Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Make Your Own Tomato Cages

I like to use tomato cages. They are much easier than staking tomatoes and keep the plants off the ground to avoid disease and make the tomatoes easy to pick.

When we married, Ed's parents gave us some of their tomato cages. (Since I married their youngest child, their garden was downsizing the same time ours was expanding!) They are so much better than most of the cages that you can buy at the garden center. I have no idea how long they used the cages but we've used them for eleven years. They have served us well but are now starting to rust out.



Time to make some new tomato cages.



Ed had a roll of concrete reinforcing wire left from another project. It is an inexpensive way to make cages. The children helped unroll the wire and cut it into lengths with metal cutters. (Someone had to sit/stand on both ends of the wire because it wanted to keep rolling up!)

 

We cut the wire in three different sizes in hopes that we can store the cages inside each other to save space. I'm not sure if it will work since they were only a tiny bit larger, but we will try to combine them in the fall!



We cut the wire next to a "block" so that the long end of the wire could be used to attach the two sides together. We just bent the wire to connect the two sides.



In less than an hour, we had a dozen new cages for our garden. Since our tomatoes usually grow huge (apparently they like our soil) we like to use strong metal  fence posts to tie the cages to. We can get high winds at our place and a full grown tomato plant combined with some wind can pull a little stake right out of the ground. I still have some of my tomato plants covered with milk jugs because they were so little and the winds last week were terrible!

Do you use tomato cages? What kind do you like?

5 comments :

  1. That is almost identical to my cages that I have used for years. I stack mine between 2 trees cord wood style for winter. Don't those milk jugs work great? I use them for everything any more.

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  2. Your weather is amazing. Snow for months on end and then hot enough to grow tomatoes outside. Our summers, are at best 17 degrees so we have to grow summer veg in glass houses -Froogs from the UK x

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  3. I use folding tomato cages. They fold flat for winter storage. I bought mine at Lowes but you can get them at Burpee also. They work great!

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  4. I concur with Nicole. That's what we have used too. Now they have them in cute colors too! Additionally, we grew our tomatoes in a planter on our patio & the folding cages held up really well. I was apprehensive because we get a lot of wind on the back side of our house. We're not growing any this year because we're having contracted yard "work" performed.

    Sam

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  5. We use 16 foot galvanized cattle panels (available at most farm supply stores) set upright with 3 six foot tee posts. Set panels about 3-4 feet apart and plant 4 plants to each panel. Train the plants to grow up them by weaving the branches in occasionally as they grow. We have been using the same panels now for at least 15 years. They are also great for peas, cukes, canteloupes, squash, or really anything that will vine. Saves tremendous space in our garden.

    Marikka

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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