Ok, I’ll admit it. I’ve been a little curious about Topsy Turvy planters for years. I live in Washington State and it’s hard to grow crops like strawberries here because the pests love them. Especially the slugs. If you’ve never stepped on a slug in summer, then you probably don’t live here. They’re disgusting creatures with no real redeeming value other than the birds like to eat them. We also have a very mature landscape now which means tons of privacy, but lots of shade as well. Our deck gets more sun than any part of our backyard so it’s a perfect place for planting.
My mother, an avid shopper, knew about our sun and slug issues, so she picked up a Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter planter along with a Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter, for us to try. What do you get for your money? Two bags and one sponge. Yep, no plants, no soil, no seeds. That seems to be the biggest complaint from consumers on Amazon for the strawberry version. Me, I didn’t expect them so I wasn’t disappointed. You can’t buy 15-20 strawberry plants for the $13 the planter costs.
Anyway, it was pretty obvious from the size of the bags that once filled with soil these would be hefty. Something our 1970’s house wouldn’t be able to accommodate without some modification. The hubby built a railing for them outside of our deck railing (which is in dire need of replacement) and dug footings into the ground to give it extra stability. I planted the two planters with garden soil with slow release fertilizer included (sorry, no photos, it was raining and I was rushing to get the job done).
I filled the strawberry planter with soil up to to the first round of holes, added water, and then gently placed 1-2 plants inside each hole being sure to keep them at the same level that they’d been in prior. We chose to plant two different varieties of ever-bearing strawberries to up our odds of having something to harvest figuring one of the varieties might do well if the other didn’t.
I then filled the bag with soil up to the next round of holes and continued the fill, water, stuff process until the bag was full of plants and soil. I sprayed the bag down to remove the excess soil on the outside of the bag. I then turned the hanging over to the hubby. These weighed a lot – perhaps 40-50 pounds or so after watering – definitely not something I could have lifted on my own and something to be considered when you think about where to hang them.
Once hung, the bags are easy to turn so you can be sure all parts of the bag receive sunlight – especially important to the strawberries since they’re planted all around the bag. So far the plants look great. I’ve been reading reviews on the tomato version and they range from “amazing” to “terrible” so I’m really curious how it’ll work out. I’ll update in a few weeks, but so far they’re working well. We’ve not had to water yet as it’s rained nearly every day since we’ve put them up, but we anticipate having to water once a day during our summer weather. In hotter areas of the country, you may have to water twice a day.
By the way, the hubby is wearing his AO Safety 90541 WorkTunes AM/FM Hearing Protector with Digital Tuning and MP3 Input headphones. I purchased them as a gift for him to help protect what’s left of his hearing, but also because he was always carrying a battery-operated radio around the yard with him to keep him entertained while he worked. He wears them constantly now – I have to use sign language to let him know I’m trying to talk to him – I guess that’s why he loves them so much, it blocks me out, too. 🙂