Whenever we plant tomatoes, they grow very big, about 7-8 feet tall
and yield a lot of tomatoes. I am not complaining. (we use chicken
manure and sometimes fertilizer).
But, my question is what do people use that is cheap and sturdy and
can support such a big tomato plant.
Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
A couple of years ago someone gave me a bunch of those tomato cages so I
tried them. I will never use them again except possibly for cherry tomatoes.
A heavy period of rain softened the ground so much they fell over. Also I
had a bunch of fruits that got severely bruised when they grew up against
the wire of the cages. I am back to using cheap 1x2 lumber usually called
furring (sp?) strips. The 8 foot lengths usually last at least 2 or 3 years;
by then they might be getting a little short for tomatoes but they come in
handy for a lot of different things around the garden. I guess if I was
doing a LOT of tomatoes I might try to devise something more permanent.
I use the cages for cherry tomatoes and steel ladders for the beefsteaks.
You can make your own steel ladders (cheap, but a pain) or buy them (not
cheap and easy) but the they last a very long time.
I have 10 ladders and 4 cages for tomatoes. I use ladders for cucumbers,
squash vines and eggplants also. Even with ladders I still use plant
ties to help tie plants to the ladders. In the past the thin wire cages
tend to slice the vines during strong winds.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.
I ended up doing this:
1) on two ends of the row, I sledgehammered two pipes into the ground
so that 1 foot sticks out
2) Put larger pipes on top of those. So they are removable.
3) To the top of the pipes, I welded other pipes so that they look
like letters "T"
4) I put a 2x4 by 14 feet boards on both sides.
5) I used little 1x2 boards to lean from the ground to these 2x4
The total cost was $16 for the 2x4s, I had the rest.
I can post pictures if anyone is interested.
Back in Aug., 2006, "gonzo" said,
"An easy home-grown alternative if you don't mind the rustic look:
a single concrete reinforcing mesh panel (I forget what the dimensions
are, but it stands 4 feet tall). Available at any home DIY store, I
think I shelled out 4.50 each for the 3 I have a couple years ago.
Roll into a cylinder, and wire up or bend the panel ends over to keep
the cylinder shape. I've seen some books recommend just snipping off
the end and sticking the cylinder into the ground, but I'm sure my
plants would topple that. I use a metal stake pounded into the ground
and wire/string the cylinder to it.
Openings in the mesh are 4-6 inches, just right for harvesting tomatoes
when the plants reach up and over the top. My plants can look me right
in the eye, and I'm just 6 foot. No special plastic mulches, etc. The
plants seem to love it.
Added bonus: wrap the cylinder in early spring with plastic for a
Now I have a handful of those silly little commercial tomato cages that
I see everywhere in the spring I use for marking special plants,
holding up peppers, etc. Tomatoes get the support they need with the
heavy duty cages :)"
Thats what I saw being used at a community garden I visited, and the
material can be
purchased by the foot from a mason yard.
To find the length of reinforcing wire needed multiply the diameter you want
I finally ditched the wire and bought Texas Tomato Cages last
year. I only regret that they do not sell them in pairs, as I'd like
to get two more:
At the end of the season, they fold up nice and easy. Plus, you
can add on to the top to make them taller.
My wire cages had rusted up and were always a pain to deal with
in the fall.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
On Tue, 20 May 2008 15:33:59 -0500, Ignoramus4856
:Whenever we plant tomatoes, they grow very big, about 7-8 feet tall
:and yield a lot of tomatoes. I am not complaining. (we use chicken
:manure and sometimes fertilizer).
:But, my question is what do people use that is cheap and sturdy and
:can support such a big tomato plant.
There's lots of different ways. One good way is just stakes. I have a
very good book that has you plant your tomatoes in a box in the soil,
made out of masonite, with no bottom and stakes in the four corners
angling slightly away from each other, probably around 8 feet above the
ground. The plants have side suckers removed and are tied to the stakes
I used to do this but now use bamboo for stakes and a modified method
without the box scenario. I have bamboo stakes set in the ground and tie
more bamboo between them as needed and tie the plants where appropriate.
My neighbor has a tall stand of bamboo and I always get as much as I
Not cheap the 1st year, but mine are now over 20 years old and still
good as new. I bought a roll of 6 foot wide by 6 inch square mesh
concrete reinforcing wire. I cut it into 30 inch lengths, then
connected 4 pieces together with the cut wire ends acting as hinges.
They fold when not in use to 6' X 5' X less than an inch thick. I use
them to also cage cukes up off the ground. I also made some 2 foot
square by 3 foot tall for peppers and my old timer tomatoes that don't
get as lanky!! The rust coat hardened by the 2nd year and no
deteration has taken place since.
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