I live in one of the hottest and driest states and it is hard to have your own garden here. I am also pregnant and craved tomatoes and was going through a ton of them and thought it would be good to grow some of my own. I saw the infomercial and decided to check for the TT at Target...bought one but it was defective...the lid wouldn't fit. I took it back. I had already bought the tomato plant and the soil and just needed the device. I decided to focus on my Early Girl tomato plant (plant matures within 52-62 days) and then go get another planter. Target was sold out in 2 weeks (this being in March) and I walked into Walgreens one day and there they were for $9.99! I grabbed one and took it home and had my husband help me set it up. It is fairly easy. There are a few things you should note though.
You need to buy your own soil and a young plant and have somewhere sturdy and high to hang it on. It comes as the planter and a hook and no seeds or other extras, that is up to you.
I combined Miracle Grow and regular potting soil with a bit of saved coffee grinds (I only used half of the Miracle Grow because I was told it is high in nitrogen which produces more leaves than fruit or veggies on the plants). You take the sponge out of the bottom of the planter (it has a slit in it to hold the plant in place so don't throw it out it will go back where you removed it from). Take your plant out of the pot it is in and insert the roots through the hole in the bottom of the planter then put the sponge back down through the top and fit the slit around the plant's stem leaving about 2 inches above the sponge, of stem, and begin to fill with soil mixture. I had my husband hold the plant steady while I poured in the soil. It worked well and we hung the planter on a sturdy Shepard's Hook and filled in the rest of the soil. The plant hung nicely from the bottom and we then filled it with water from the hole in the top (slowly). I grew my plant in its own pot for about 3 weeks before transferring it to the Topsy Turvy but I certainly don't recommend that. The larger the plant is, the more difficult it is to insert into the planter so it is best to start small. After about 2 more weeks in the planter I began to seen some really nice flowers and soon enough, about a week ago, my first tomato! Now I have 4 tomatoes and I am so excited. They are beautiful and more are popping out every day it seems!
I have not had a problem with bugs or sun, regardless of some extreme heat here in AZ. There is a bit of shade from the planter on the plant protecting it from getting burned. It is still lush and green and I water every day. If the leaves look a little droopy, I water. Watering seems to be best in the latter half of the day too because my plants stay hydrated through the night and seem perky in the morning sun! I am going to give this a thumbs up! I love this planter and I am thinking of purchasing others to grow a variety of tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers. I also used this as a teaching tool for my son as he is learning about growing his own food and being proud of taking care of the plant itself, then reaping the rewards of your care! He looks at the new tomatoes every day and is very excited to see them! I grew up in Eastern Canada where we had gardens and grew our own fruits and vegetables and I really missed that. Now I have a way to do that even in the different environment I live in now! I have posted pictures to show you my success with the Topsy Turvy! Happy Topsy Turvy-ing!!!!