Several years ago, I had grown nice big red tomatoes, but when I harvested them, it turned out they were all black on the bottom. I found out it was called blight and I was supposed to have treated them for that. I had no idea. I read somewhere that the upside down method reduced the likelyhood of the fruit developing blight. Other friends have advised me to add Epson salts to the soil as well as calcium to produce stronger stems and prevent blight. I watched a PBS show the other day that confirmed it. I'm much more comfortable using Epsom salts and calcium to fight blight as opposed to some chemical that I'll injest later.
Epsom salt is not like regular table salt, it doesn't burn the plants or the roots like sodium chloride would. It consists largely of minerals like magnesium and other trace elements and are beneficial to the plants and fruit. Some have recommended that I use lime or eggshells for adding calcium. I bought a bag of lime. I'll check what the calcium content is before I put it in the soil. Usually lime is used to reduce the acidity of the soil. I haven't checked the ph of the soil and probably won't since the plants seem to be thriving.
Also, it's recommended for bigger tomatoes to prune off the sucker stems. These are extra tiny stems that grow in the elbow of regular stems. Eventually they themselves can become large. The theory is that they take the plants energy to produce stems rather than giving it to the fruit. I haven't suckered my 10 plants this year, so we'll see.
The amazing thing is that as soon as you transplant the Tomato plants into the Topsy Turvy planters and give them a good watering, they start explosive growth in two days. Even lifeless transplants seem to grow like weeds in just a few days. They recommed full sunlight of at least 6 to 8 hours a day.
The Topsy-Turvy instructions say to water the plants daily especially during the hot dry season. Also, they encourage you to put appropriate fertilizer on them from time to time.
I'll take some more pictures later in the season and especially when the tomatoes start ripening.
One thing I know for sure, there's nothing like a ripe vine grown fresh tomato compared to the green cardboard ones you buy at the supermarket.
One more interesting thing. You'll notice a distinctive smell around the tomato plants as you're working on them. It is memorable. Caring for them has been therapuetic for me and I highly recommend growing something. I've got ten terracotta pots growing herb on my porch this year too! Indulge your green thumb; plant something and care for it!
Feel free to add your tips and commnents as I've got a lot to learn about growing tomato plants.