Does it Work: Topsy Turvy

(KPLC) - The Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter claims to be a space-saving, hanging planter that claims to grow a wide variety of veggies all season long. But does it work?

The Topsy Turvy says it's "The world's easiest way to grow tomatoes." Drill a hole and set the provided hook, use the webbing included and dangle the planter waiste high and it's ready for planting.

After carefully installing the pant with ease and locking it into place with a thick sponge, the Topsy Turvy used almost two bags of soil before it could be hung. The product emphasizes using plenty of water - excess will drip from the bottom.

As the days passed and continued watering, the tomato plant grew inches almost daily. It made a turn upward and spread its leaves toward the sun. Around three weeks, buds sprouted and followed with green tomatoes beginning to grow.

Then the plant took a turn for the worse. The plant was wilting; a stem was brown and decaying. After supporting the plant upward with string, there remained no improvement.

After 30 days of care, a decaying stem, wilted dead leaves and few buds of fruit, the Topsy Turvy was not the easiest tomato plant to grow.

After dropping $25 for a planter, soil and a plant, the Topsy Turvy gets a "No." The unit alone sells for just under $10, but you have to purchase seedlings and soil separately.

Web Extra:  In all honesty, the Topsy Turvy was headed toward a "Yes" until about a week prior to finishing the segment. The plant was growing rapidly and looked healthy for a while. 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, the YES/NO decision was based on the primarily claim that it's the easiest way to grow a tomato. To our tester, this was not easier than placing a tomato plant in the dirt of a fenced garden.

TOPSY TURVY CARE 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


Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.