Upside down gardening is increasingly turning out to be the most common feature deployed by both homemade and commercial gardeners at the moment, and they have decided never to back down on this method.
It’s generally believed that growing plants upside down helps in several ways to ensure the healthy growth of the plants.
The benefit of growing plants upside down is primarily to stop pests and blight from killing your plants while also eliminating the typical gardening tasks of tilling, weeding, and staking plants.
What is Upside Down Gardening?
Upside down gardening is a hanging vegetable garden, the suspension of soil and seedlings of a kitchen garden.
Upside down growing is most common in legumes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, partly because of the ubiquitous topsy-turvy planters.
The battle for gardening space in small yards has increased interest in vertical growing methods, including planting and growing leguminous plants upside down.
Please make no mistake, growing plants upside down has massive benefits attached to it, which is why it is increasingly turning out to be the most common method deployed by most gardeners at the moment.
The benefits of upside-down planting may include (and are not limited to) superior drainage, air circulation, and sunlight, like reducing pest problems commonly found in garden soil. The most obvious benefit of this method is the ability to maximize space.
Meanwhile, you can convert buckets and bags to upside-down planters by drilling or cutting a 2-inch hole underneath.
Then, to prevent plants and soil from leaking out through the hole, you can use a newspaper, straw, coffee filters, and materials alike to push around the holes.
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Benefits of Growing Plants Upside Down
This article is aimed at highlighting the essential benefits of growing plants upside down, which will help to bring a solution to your puzzle while also satisfying your curiosity as to whether the method is worth using.
Below are the key benefits of growing plants upside down:
1. Space Maximization Benefits
As we earlier mentioned, this is the most benefit of upside-down planting, as it helps you grow plants with very little to no space.
Seeing that scarcity of land and space has been a common problem, especially in the gardening world.
This problem has called for the need to maximize space to accommodate many cultivations or other activities in the garden, and there is no better way to do that than upside-down planting.
This method of planting is most common for leguminous crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
2. Flexibility Benefits
Growing plants upside down ensures flexibility and mobility. Leguminous plants like tomatoes grow well in the presence of direct sunlight, which is seen as a challenge to most gardeners, as they are not guaranteed enough sunlight in one particular area to grow a good crop.
Hence, upside-down planting becomes a good strategy that can help them easily move the plants to an area that can capture the full impact of sunlight that can enable them to grow well.
Also, with upside-down planting, you can move the plants to somewhere safer if there is any threat of bad weather.
3. Saves the Stress of Staking or Housing
With upside-down planting, no staking or sheltering of any kind is required. Staking, under normal conditions, is used to help plants support the weight of their growing fruits.
But, cherry types of tomatoes and other legumes are recommended for use when growing plants vertically. In other words, since they have smaller fruits, the best method to be used is upside-down planting.
Caging or housing is not necessarily needed with this method, as it is already protected or naturally sheltered.
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4. Prevents or Restricts Pests and Blights
Growing plants vertically also limits the spread of diseases since the plant and its fruits don't touch the soil, giving any room for the disastrous effect of pests that can pollute the soil, which affects the plants or fruits.
Again, growing plants upside down allows for better air circulation that helps eliminate fungi, enhancing better pollination.
5. It Allows for Easier Maintenance
Another significant benefit of planting tomatoes upside down is that it allows for easier maintenance, contrary to when grown in its normal condition.
For instance, you would have to stress by squatting and stretching in some cases before you can tend or carry out any maintenance services like watering for crops that are not grown vertically.
In contrast, plants that are upside down give the gardener a bonus by preventing him from stress before carrying out those activities.
6. Lack of Weeds
A critical attribute and benefit of the upside-down growing of plants is that there is little or no weed. Since it doesn't come in contact with the soil, it will be challenging to grow unwanted grass or weed.
It is important to note that whatever has an advantage or benefit also has disadvantages or detriments, even though they might be few and far between. The same applies to plants that are grown upside down.
Despite its appealing benefits, it also has cons associated with it. The following are its notable disadvantages?
Disadvantages of Growing Plants Upside Down
While there are gardeners who are great fans of vertical growing, probably maximizing its benefits over the problems associated with it, there are equally others who don't believe in this philosophy or growing technique.
This is probably because they see the disadvantageous part as dangerous for the better growth of the plant.
The latter group of gardeners must have discovered that the systems don't work as well as it is supposed to be.
For instance, they believe that if you water daily and fertilize frequently, the vertical plant system might produce some fruits, but most won't ripen well. Only the smaller varieties would be suitable for suspended growing.
Other factors can add to the demerits of upside-down planting, including concerns about plant size and weight, ability to hold moisture, lack of sunlight, and small biological reality that causes strange growth.
We have highlighted the disadvantages of upside-down growing below.
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1. Weight Challenges
Any gardener that grows a plant upside down must be ready to withstand the challenges of holding the general weight of the planting medium, the plant, and the fruit it produces (can be more than one fruit).
You don't need to be told that is a massive weight, which is why the upside-down method is considered chiefly by legume planters, especially the cherry or grape tomato varieties.
We don't see that working for other varieties, as the technique cannot hold such a big plant and fruit, like the beefsteak tomato varieties.
2. Prone to Steady and Much Water Consumption
Due to the exposure of the upside-down plant to the dryness of full heat of the sun, and open to drying air and wind and the leaching, they need constant watering.
In other words, they need more water because, due to their verticality, they are at the top; hence, they are prone to the direct impact of the sun and wind, which can quickly dry up the water.
Meanwhile, watering should be done slowly to soak up the entire growing system without eroding or splashing out all the soil.
3. Fruits May Be Completely Shaded
Most fruits need appropriate and sufficient sunshine to ripen properly. But, in an upside-down planting medium, most of the stems and leaves shade the fruit, thereby making it difficult for the sunlight required for its proper blooming to reach it.
It can result in certain greenish orange fruits with poor flavor.
4. Over-Worked Stems
Some plants, like leguminous plants, produce auxins hormones that drive stem growth. It makes the tips of the branches turn and face the light.
However, this stresses the plant with the heavy fruit producing in a u-shaped branch in an upside-down technique. This occurrence gives room for wind and a heavy downpour to destroy these already over-worked stems.
Having seen the benefits and disadvantages of growing plants upside down, we can broadly see that there are more benefits to it compared to its demerits.
Generally, the upside-down growing of plants enhances easy harvesting, reduces the risk of pest and disease effects, and is portable or movable.
Materials for upside-down planting can also be produced using less expensive materials, which can also be utilized every year.
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