I bought some ultamato tomato cages this year, being unhappy with previous
commercial tomato cages. They were great until the tomato actually began to
fruit. The weight of the fruit toppled them. I now have them propped up with
additional twine and stakes, which is OK, but it's not as great as
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 :)
I use the concrete wire too, we buy it in big rolls and cut as needed.
Lasts forever and the mesh is big enough to stick your hand through.
You do need to stake down the cylinders. The plastic wrap in the early
season works like a charm.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.