Escapades With a Homemade Upside Down Tomato Planter

About two months ago, my Green Goals included making a homemade upside down planter. At long last... it's done! Ta-da! And it was astonishingly easy too... basically, you use scissors to hack the bottom off of a two-liter bottle, add holes along what is now the top and run string through them so that it can hang, and you're done. Like I said, ridiculously simple really. Here are my additional observations:

1. It's better to use the planter for a plant that's big enough to have an established root cluster, but not too many "branches" yet. Because I had procrastinated so long on the whole project, my plant was very tall, and it was a little challenging to work the whole thing through the mouth of the bottle without breaking any of the stems. Had the plant been smaller, it would have been a little less stressful... for both of us.

2. Give that it is a bit of a challenge to get all those leaves through such a small space, here is the best way I found to do it. Once you've finished "constructing" the planter, take a chair somewhere you don't mind spilling a little dirt, and hold the plant (in its existing pot) on your lap or between your knees. Lower the new planter (aka, bottle) over the top of the plant, gently pressing the leaves upward so that they point towards the sky as you go. You might want to use a pencil or something to gently poke the top leaf of each "branch" through the top of the bottle, at least to where you can take hold of it and ease it through the rest of the way. Once the whole plant is successfully through the mouth of the planter, hold on to the old pot and flip the whole thing upside-down, allowing the dirt and root system to slip free and slide into the bottle. Ta-da! You have successfully transplanted your tomato into an upside-down planter. Hang it up, and you're good to go.

3. Make sure you don't throw away the bottom of the soda bottle that you cut off initially -- this will make a nice little watering contraption and will help to retain the moisture inside the planter. Simply flip it over, and push a pin through each of the nooks in the plastic. If you're lazy, even just one or two will suffice really. Water your plant thoroughly, and then set the plastic over the top like a lid and fill that with water too. It will drain slowly, giving your plant a more prolonged drink and helping to create something of a greenhouse environment inside the planter. If you were lazy and only poked a couple of holes in the device, simply angle it so that it will drain in their direction.

And that, my friends, is all there is to it! I'll keep y'all posted on how our tomato plant does in its new home, but after being cooped up in a tiny pot for so long I'm pretty sure he'll love it. Here's hoping for a thriving crop of cherry tomatoes!

Big thanks to my dad who built us the wooden stand to hang our upside-down planter on! It looks great, and works even better! :)


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