DIRW: Topsy Turvy tomato planter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DIRW: Topsy Turvy tomato planter

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

There's nothing quite like the taste of fruits and veggies straight from the garden.  But growing your own can be a challenge—especially if you have limited yard space.  The "Topsy Turvy" planter claims to offer a solution.  But does it really work? 

As far as I'm concerned, you just can't beat the taste of garden fresh tomatoes in the summer.  But I'm no green thumb.  And even if I were, my condo doesn't exactly offer the space for a garden.  So I decided to give the Topsy Turvy tomato planter a try.

Assembly is pretty easy.  You just unfold the planter tube and hang it up on a gardening hook.  Then insert a tomato plant upside down through the bottom.  Fill up the planter with potting soil, snap the lid in place, and give it a good watering to get started.  And of course, continued regular watering is key to keeping the plants healthy.

"The ideal growing conditions for tomatoes would be at least 6 hours of sunlight, preferably afternoon.  They really like hot sunlight.  Make sure they get plenty of water.  And they like some food, so make a 10-10-10 good fertilizer," said Eileen Loan, KWWL meteorologist and master gardener.

I followed that advice. And within about three weeks, I began to see my first small, yellow flowers:  a good indication that tomatoes would soon follow.  Sure enough, in about another week, the first tomatoes appeared.  At the two month mark, the plants are more than triple their original size, and the tomatoes are looking pretty good. 

But what does the expert think of how the Topsy Turvy's performed?

"They look pretty good.  Now you've got a red one going there, and I've got a red one starting on mine.  So that's about the same time period.  And the leaves look good.  There's some yellowing, but it's been a hard summer so far.  But I've got yellow ones.  I've got some curling ones as well because of some drying.  But overall, they look pretty good," Loan said.

So based on that review, and how the plants look right now, I'm going to give the Topsy Turvy an "A-."  And that's just because I can't yet taste the fruits of my labor. 

The Topsy Turvy planter sells for $9.99.  But you have to purchase the plants, potting soil, and garden hook to hang it from separately.

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