Sunday, May 22, 2011

U is for Upside-Down Tomatoes

I keep seeing those ads for the Topsy Turvy and other upside-down tomato planting devices. I just don't understand them. How can you possibly convince a plant to grown down toward the ground when its instinct is to reach up for the sun?

I love to plant tomatoes every year and to try out different varieties. I have about 15 different varieties waiting to be planted as we speak. But I always put mine into pots and get lucky enough to try out a few of each variety. I cannot fathom using one of those weird planters, nor do I know where it would go in my yard.

Photo by jarsem on SXC

My mother grew a lot of tomatoes. Her family provided some of the supply for Campbell's Soup or Heinz or something, I think. She tells stories of planting those millions of plants in perfectly aligned rows. I know the thought of planting them upside down is weird to her, too.

I recently had a conversation with her "stepbrother" who used to help her family on the farm every year. He said that he tried one of those "newfangled contraptions." And what happened? The plants tried to grow up toward the sun and the tomatoes didn't quite turn out right.

Now, perhaps he did something wrong. But I cannot help but listen to someone who did it for a living for years and years. That being said, I would love to hear from people who have actually had success with these upside-down planters, for tomatoes or otherwise. Maybe there is something I am missing?

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