Topsy Turvy - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Topsy Turvy

The Topsy Turvy The Topsy Turvy
Planting the Seedling Planting the Seedling
First Few Days First Few Days
Thriving Plant Thriving Plant
Wilting Plant Wilting Plant

By Jeff Jumper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter is a space-saving, hanging planter that claims to grow a wide variety of veggies all season long.  I purchased some soil and a seedling and headed to my apartment to put it to the test.  Out of the box and I was on my way to set up the Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter.  ‘The world's easiest way to grow tomatoes.'  That's the claim on the box, so I started by drilling a hole and setting the provided hook.  With a piece of webbing, I dangled the planter to waist height and it was ready for planting.

I said, "Now that we have the Topsy Turvy rigging all set up and it's hanging at about waist level, it's time to insert the plant, upside down from the bottom."

I then carefully installed the pant with ease and locked it into place with a thick sponge.  Next I filled the Topsy Turvy with almost two bags of soil and hung it in place, leaving a few inches form the top of the bag as directed.  I poured plenty of water slowly into the top until it began dripping.  The instructions emphasize plenty of water.  Excess water drips from the bottom, so it promises no overwatering.

So as the days passed, I continued to water my tomato plant and it would grow by inches almost daily.  It made a turn upward and spread its leaves toward the sun.  After around three weeks, buds sprouted and shortly thereafter, I had some green tomatoes growing.  All signs pointed to a healthy plant, until one morning I found the plant wilting.  I noticed the stem was brown and decaying, so I supported the plant upward with a string.  After a few more days, there was no improvement. 

I said, "A decaying stem, wilting dead leaves, and only a couple buds of fruit, after over thirty days of care, the Topsy Turvy certainly wasn't the easiest tomato plant I've ever grown."

So after dropping $25 for a planter, soil, and a plant, I would say my green thumbs up topsy turvyed to a thumbs down NO for this week's "Does it Work?" test.  The Topsy Turvy alone sells for just under $10 locally, but you have to purchase seedlings and soil separately.  If you've had success or have run into the same problems with the Topsy Turvy, I want to hear from you to put your testimonials on kplctv.com.  Submit your e-mails to jjumper@kplctv.com.

Web Extra:  In all honesty, I was leaning toward giving the Topsy Turvy a YES until about a week prior to finishing this segment.  The plant was growing rapidly and looked healthy for a while.  To me, it looked like the no overwatering claim was a bit flawed.  Not so much the plant having too much water, but more so what happens to the excess water.  The images on the box show the plant growing down, but mine tilted in an up direction about an inch below the base of the planter.  It then grew out horizontally.  It seemed the excess water dripped down the stem and worked to slowly break down the stem from the outside with rot.  This is what I am contributing to the death of my plant.  I can't confirm this killed the plant though.  A gusty wind from a storm, too much sun, very hot weather, or a diseased plant may have been contributors.  Regardless, I made my YES/NO decision based on the primarily claim that it's the easiest way to grow a tomato.  To me, this was not easier than placing a tomato plant in the dirt of a fenced garden as I did many times as a kid in Pennsylvania.  I used an Early Girl 50 breed of tomato plant with Miracle Grow potting soil.  Below is my care log for the plant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOPSY TURVY LOG

PLANT: Early Girl 50: Indeterminate $2.50
SOIL: Miracle Grow Potting Mix $10

DAY

DATE

LENGTH

WATERED

NOTES

1

12 JULY 2009

11"

YES

Planted Today

2

13 JULY 2009

10"

YES

Main stem has begun to curl upward

3

14 JULY 2009

11"

YES

 

4

15 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

5

16 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

6

17 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

7

18 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

8

19 JULY 2009

16"

YES

Returned to find plant in good condition

9

20 JULY 2009

--

NO

Soil very moist, forego watering

10

21 JULY 2009

19"

YES

 

11

22 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

12

23 JULY 2009

23"

YES

 

13

24 JULY 2009

24"

YES

 

14

25 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

15

26 JULY 2009

26"

YES

 

16

27 JULY 2009

--

NO

Out of town

17

28 JULY 2009

--

YES

Out of town

18

29 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

19

30 JULY 2009

32"

YES

 

20

31 JULY 2009

--

YES

 

21

1 AUG 2009

34"

YES

Noticed eight buds on plant

22

2 AUG 2009

--

YES

 

23

3 AUG 2009

--

YES

 

24

4 AUG 2009

38"

YES

Still budding, trimmed brown leaves, 8 branches

25

5 AUG 2009

--

YES

 

26

6 AUG 2009

--

YES

More buds noticed

27

7 AUG 2009

41"

YES

One bud on main stem producing fruit!

28

8 AUG 2009

--

YES

Two buds growing fruit.

29

9 AUG 2009

--

YES

Noticed plant was severely wilting

30

10 AUG 2009

--

NO

Still wilting, supported plant with string

31

11 AUG 2009

--

YES

Still wilting, removed two dying branches

32

12 AUG 2009

--

YES

Wilting

33

13 AUG 2009

--

NO

Wilting

34

14 AUG 2009

--

YES

 

35

15 AUG 2009

--

YES

 

36

16 AUG 2009

--

YES

Think water dripping down stem weakened it, allowing for decay and eventual death.

37

17 AUG 2009

--

NO

CALLED OFF, PLANT VISIBLY DEAD


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