I've rounded up a bunch of links to places where you can learn how to grow tomatoes upside down ... "do-it-yourself" sites and places that have whole kits ready for action.

All I ask in return is that you give me and other GardenLine listeners some periodic updates if you try this technique.

I'll be honest though ... while I love the idea of growing tomatoes upside down, I’ve never tried it myself.

This may be the ultimate "thinking outside of box" theory in vegetable gardening, unless you’re familiar with the concepts of hydroponics. But, the benefits in growing conditions might make one wonder why this isn’t the normal way of growing tomatoes. For one thing, the air can circulate better ... so the plants have almost no disease problems. Second, the fruit doesn’t rot as quickly as it woould closer to the ground. And, finally, many of the ruinous critters (insect, mammalian and aviary) have trouble getting to the ripening fruit.

You can also add to the list of benefits that you never have to cage, stake or weed your tomato plants. Plus, if you employ consistent care and block the late afternoon sun in the spring and early summer, you can actually extend the life of the tomatoes. And ...

• You don’t have to dig holes
• You don’t have to bend over working the soil
• No chance of nematode damage
• No blossom end rot with consistent watering
• Watering only takes seconds
• You feed them every time you water them
• Perfect for patios and small spaces
• Makes it downright fun and interesting

It all starts with something nearly every garage has at least one of (or that you can get for little money: a five-gallon bucket! Unless, you buy the pre-fabricated containers used in the Topsy Turvy Tomato System or the hi-tech kind from Hammecher Schlemmer.

But, if you have such a bucket, and you are in the "do-it-yourself" category, here are the three best sites I’ve found to walk you through the procedure.

U.S. Botanical Gardens
Mini Farm Homestead

And, here are some other sites as recommended by listeners, mostly affiliated with gardening catalogues:

Hammacher Schlemmer