Topsy Turvy Planter

Question:


Because the Tospy Turvy is elevated (to keep the squirrels out), it is difficult to tell how much water is needed. I am having some problems with yellow leaves. It has only been a week since it was planted and has not been fertilized.


Answer:

I've used the upside-down planters and it IS hard to know what condition the soil is in concerning moisture. Yellowing leaves can occur if you over-water, and they can occur if you under-water (leaves would probably be wilting as well, though).
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I think with the above mentioned problem, you're going to almost HAVE to feel the soil of the container. I can't think of any other way that you could for sure tell if the soil is damp or dry. When I used the Topsy Turvy, I used a small step stool that allowed me enough height to lift off the top lid and feel the soil.

If you have that possibility, you can water in the morning and then check the soil in the evening or the next morning. You can poke your finger into the top 1 inch or so of the soil. If it feels damp, leave it alone. If it feels dry, slowly water the container until water seeps out the bottom. You'll most likely and quickly get a since of how often the container will need watering, instead of guessing when it does. Just keep in mind on some days you'll deal with rain, and some days you'll deal with extreme heat and may have to water once, twice or zero times in a day.

Here's just a couple of ideas I'll throw out there. Since it's hard to diagnose the plant without seeing it, we'll cover a few other bases as well.

One thing that comes to mind, is that the yellowing leaves could be a lack of nitrogen. That's what makes the plants leaves their green color. If you haven't fertilized the tomato plant, you might do so now, and see if the yellowing disappears. However, keep in mind that if you use a potting soil such as Miracle Grow Potting Mix, they recommend not using fertilizer for up to three months since a slow release food is already in the new potting soil. Check the manufactures recommendations.

Another idea is Early Blight. With Topsy Turvy planters, a lot of the water that is used to irrigate the plant, can flow onto the tomato plants leaves. Tomato plants don't do well with water and moisture "laying" on their leaves. Thus tomato blight can occur. Most often blight makes the leaves drop off as well and with this fungus, spotting occurs. If you feel you have this disease, sulfur dust can be used to prevent the spread of the fungus.

Aphids can also cause yellowing of the leaves. One sure way to check if you have these "critters", is to look for honeydew. That's a sticky excrement that the bugs leave behind. If this is suspected, an insecticidal soap can be used.

The Upside Down Tomato Garden.


Upside Down Tomato Garden That Is Easily Reachable






With that said, first get a good watering schedule down that's base upon the "signs" the soil is giving you. Remember, only water if the soil is dry. Don't let it stay dry for very long, though. And if the soil is damp, just wait!

Great luck to you,
Brad




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