Pickling cucumbers are smaller than slicers, making them ideal for upside down planters.

How to Use the Topsy Turvy for Cucumbers

by Nannette Richford

The Topsy Turvy brand upside-down planter, originally billed as a tomato planter, allows you to grow vegetables suspended upside down from a plant hook. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), especially small picklers, as well-suited for growing in a Topsy Turvy planter. When placed in a sunny location, cucumbers thrive in evenly moist, well-drained soil. One of the positive features of the upside-down planter is well-drained soil that drains well, making it ideal for cucumbers. Harvesting is quick and easy, as the cucumbers never touch the soil and can be grown at the perfect height for picking.

Remove the cucumber seedling from its growing pot, using care not to injure its tender roots.

Loosen the white foam ring inside the planter and slip the stem of the cucumber plant into the slit in the foam so that the root ball is inside the planter and the foliage faces outward.

Position the foam ring into the planter, checking that the cucumber foliage extends through the bottom, and push it into place. This holds your cucumber plant securely in place and prevents it from slipping free of the Topsy Turvy planter.

Fill in around the roots with potting medium. Bill Felknor, inventor of the Topsy Turvy planter, recommends using a Canadian peat based potting soil in the planter. He explains that cheap potting soil or top soil contains pieces of bark and other organic material and is not suitable for this planter. Add approximately 3 inches of soil above the top of roots.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of slow-release vegetable fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, over the top of the soil. Continue filling the planter with soil to within 2 to 3 inches of the rim. The slow-release fertilizer provides the nutrients your cucumbers need for the first two weeks.

Apply 1/2 cup of water-soluble fertilizer for vegetables, mixed to a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, every 14 days until you cucumber plant reaches a length of 2 to 3 feet. Increase the fertilizer application to 1 gallon every 10 days when the plants reach 2 to 3 feet in size. Large mature plants producing cucumbers can be fertilized with each watering.

Water your cucumbers every day or two until water runs freely through the bottom of the planter. Evenly-moist soil is vital to cucumber production.

Items you will need

  • Pickling cucumber seedlings
  • Potting soil, peat based
  • 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer
  • Water-soluble fertilizer


  • To make your own potting medium for the planter, mix equals parts potting soil, perlite and peat moss. This makes a lightweight soil mix that drains well and provides good aeration to the roots.


About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images