Seed Library Launch Recap & Upside Down Tomato Planters

Thanks to everyone who came out to help us launch our seed library at our Central branch. We had a great time with some wonderful demonstrations, some new experiences, and the result is a beautiful apartment garden for the summer.

If you missed it, no worries! We’ve got a season full of growing opportunities, so stay tuned to find out about more events. The apartment garden will be there all summer, and currently is looking great! If you want to see how we’re doing, come by the second floor of the Central Library and see for yourself. It’s right next to our seed library.




Week 1

The garden at the Central Library

WPL’s Apartment Garden

We’ve also started a miniature greenhouse. We’re trying to see what will grow in a downtown apartment balcony that faces west, and gets a lot of wind. At our launch on Saturday, the crowd decided we should try to grow: pumpkins, lavender, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, and cat grass.


growing from seed

During our seed launch, many people also asked us how to make upside down tomato planters. As promised, here’s the story.

Upside Down Tomato Planters:

Upside down tomato planters are a great way to grow veggies with very little space. While they will dry out so you have to water them more often, they’re also a great way to grow something in an apartment. Even if you have a garden outside, growing hanging plants can help you avoid harmful pests that ruin crops. This was something I first heard about in Guelph Ontario via the New York Times in 2010 (click here for article.) Since then I’ve known many people who swear by growing vegetables upside down. Here’s how you can do it yourself:

A cherry tomato seedling

Cherry Tomato Seedling

First you need a seedling. We used a Roma Cherry Tomato variety from the seed library. You can choose your own variety for this project, but if the plants are too big they will fall off the vine.

Not sure what Tomato variety is right for you? Check out some of our handy guides like The Heirloom Tomato. From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World’s Most Beautiful Fruit by Amy Goldman.

Once you have picked your plant, you need to find something to grow it in. At our demonstration on Saturday we used an old hanging planter, a simple bucket, and a 2 litre pop bottle. For this one, we used an empty juice bottle, took the cap off, and cut through the bottom with a knife.

The container we are using as a pot

Our Pot

 Once you’ve got your pot, you need to make sure the seedling can get through the opening in your container. To do this, you can use either newspaper or tinfoil. The key is to cover as much of the opening as possible, while keeping the dirt and plant inside.


Cover the cap

Once you’ve sufficiently wrapped up the top, you can feed the seedling into the pot. Make sure it goes through the hole in the bottom. Once it’s fed through like the picture below, you can then fill the rest of your container with dirt!

the seedling in the bottle

drop it in

From there, you can fill the rest of the container with dirt. I then cut two holes in the sides, and fed twine through to support it (you may wish to reinforce the holes you made for the rope with duct tape or another strong material).

A bottle converted into a planter

An upside down hanging tomato planter






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