Science
HOW TO – Inverted Indoor Gardening

PlantsMatt writes – “Like many people I enjoy gardening and growing houseplants. While my wife and I have a large garden during the summer months I have often thought about how it would be nice to grow things such as tomatos and beans indoors during the winter months. Now I could have the floors lined with even more pots and planters than I do now but as much as my wife likes the movie I don’t think she would appreciate the house having that little shop of horrors decor.” Here’s an inverted hanging planter constructed from a 2 liter soda bottle. I plan on growing tomatoes indoors in addition to the beans which I already have growing in one.” Link.

10 thoughts on “HOW TO – Inverted Indoor Gardening

  1. Hmm… I don’t exactly understand why he wants to grow the plants upside-down; in the picture it looks like they end up growing upwards anyway (and all twisted around like that, they can’t be planted outside when it gets warm).

    It’s neat and all, but is there some other benefit that I’m missing?

  2. Here is my quick top three reasons for planting it upside down:

    gravity-Why make the plants waste energy to grow against it?

    watering-the water is going to drain to the bottom anyways so why not have the roots where there is the most amount of water and nutrients being carried via the water.

    management-it is much easier to find and pick growing vegetables when they are growing at or near eye level.

    Also that picture is somewhat deceptive. The majority of the foliage you see is actually my citrus tree in the background. The bean plants are closest to the antique sewing machine. As it grows more I will be posting better pictures to my site.

  3. I’m wondering why the step for cutting the neck of the bottle, and hot gluing it back in… Couldn’t you just use the same principle by just cutting the bottom of the soda bottle, and hanging it upside down? Does the dirt always “leak” out with this design?

  4. Good question. My reason for cutting the top of the bottle off, inverting it and gluing it back on is that it allows for some standing water in the bottom of the bottle. Think of it in terms of a reversed funnel. If you simply cut the bottom of the bottle off, hung it upside down with the plant in the original unmodified bottle top; you would get water/dirt and mud running out the bottom every time you water it. By inverting the original top any excess water which the plant doesn’t absorb flows to the outer edges of the bottle until it is used by the plant. |_/_| It appears I need to go into a little more detail on my site.

  5. Nice diagrams, explaination. The standing water for roots, I have a quesion about. Since roots usally head for water, or the nearest sewer line or foundataion, why use the entire bottle, with most garden plants the roots won’t go very deep anyway, 5 or 6 inches in sandy soil and that’s because of water. So aren’t there roots going to really just stay around the bottom of the container anyway? And light getting to the roots, doesn’t that cause issues?

    I’m in an apartment with balcony in Northern Va wishing I was on 100 acres in WV, so a portable garden for year round growing is of interest. Especially if it means I can have fresh tomatos year round :)

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