Tomato cages/supports

plant_nanny(z5KaneIL)March 15, 2005

I have noticed a great variety of tomato plant supports in all of the gardening catalogs and or magazines I read. I have used homemade cages for years (2feet diameter and 4 feet tall) and would like to try something new. Has anyone tried any of these supports other than the traditional cages? If so, please comment on how well they worked! Thanks --

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GingerBlue(z6 MO)

We always used 6ft tall wooden stakes and used strips of t-shirt to tie the vines to the stakes. But we always grew indeterminate ones that got longer and longer. It worked very well and it made harvesting very easy since everything was up high. We got a friend to "rip" a 2x4 into 1" stakes and were able to use them for several years.

Ginger

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 11:36PM
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whatcheer(z4 Ia)

I've always used concrete wire. It comes in rolls. You can make cages as big around as you like. And they stand about 5' tall. I have about 11" legs on mine. I use them for pole beans too. They are about 10 years old now. It's much cheaper too. They're very sturdy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 10:05PM
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Kat

I bought the folding cages 2 summers ago. I really like them. They take so little room for storing compared to the regular cages. My in-laws had used the stakes and tied the vines to them. I don't have the time for that. Once those tomato plants start growing, they really take off. You have to check on them and tie them every other day for awhile. And naturally, this growing surge occurs during our 2 wk vacation away from home! LOL!! My son waters the gardens while we're gone, but there's no way I could ask him to tie things up.

Kat

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 4:27AM
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Kat

Rubyredress, those are the kind I have...but they're not called that here. They have them here at most garden centers. I love the fact that they fold flat. That really saves room.

Kat

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 2:28AM
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Kat

I just looked at the link for those cages. Well, the ones I have are square and about 5 1/2 tall. They are galvanized steel, but the ones I bought are a lot cheaper. If anyone is thinking about buying these, maybe they should check out garden centers where they live, first.

Kat

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 5:03AM
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bouquet_kansas(z6Ks)

we also have used the concrete wire to make cages for several years now....and really like them.....

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 12:06AM
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richard_in_alabama(7)

If you're lucky enough to have a Home Depot within driving distance, check out their 5' concrete reinforcement mesh. A 50' roll sells in Alabama for around $42.50 and will make 11 5' tomato cages with 6"x6" openings. The mesh isn't easy to work with and you'll need a good bolt cutter to snip the 10 gauge mesh but the cages you'll end up with will truly last a lifetime.
The cages will rust but I rub a little used frying oil on mine at the end of growing season and have no problems with them. Mine are now 22 years old and will easily last another 30 years! They're perfect for tomatoes and cucumbers and the plants seem to produce better and are more disease free when grown vertically.
Using Home Depot's current 2009 pricing and making them up yourself, each cage will cost you around $4.35. How's that for something that will easily last you lifetime! But there is a downside to these cages. They do not fold and take up a fair amount of space if you want a cage that you can store indoors. I just leave mine in the garden year round - they're virtually invisable.
Hint: some folks snip off the lowest horizontal row of wire and press the cages into the ground 6" so they don't tip over. If you grow indeterminate tomatoes, don't do this and use ground staples instead so you'll have the full 5' height to accomodate the longer vines.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:19PM
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Lauren_IA(4b IA)

The past few years I've used the tall spiral stakes on which you wind the central tomato stem. I found them to be surprisingly sturdy for the job. For the indeterminate tomatoes I still like to have some type of cage around them to keep the heavy branches off of the ground.

This year, I am trying a new tomato stake from the Gardener's Supply Company. Its a bit difficult to describe. Triangular, tall, with one side open and support cross bars across the vertical posts on the remaining two sides. Kind of like a Toblerone chocolate bar stood up on end. I am not using any other type of support or caging. I'm not far enough into the season to form an opinion but things look promising. I hope so anyway as I lent my spirals to the neighbor!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:13PM
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michelpaille

Hello Plant Nanny,

I have found the very best in tomato and pepper support called The Tomato Ring. We have used it this year for the first time and it could not work any better. The Tomato Ring is simply a metal ring molded to a clamp that will fit any size tomato stake. You simply slide it up the stake as your plant grows, its that simple. We have 8ft plants and it works great. check it out on a Youtube video just inter Tomato Ring and you can see it in action. you can also see it where I purchaced it at www.veggiecage.com

Michel

Here is a link that might be useful: www.veggiecage. com

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 5:20AM
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daniele_grow

The tomato ring is Ok (yes, I've tried them all) but the Spiral Stand is even better. Because the support is a spiral, the plant just grows up through and doesn't get caught on the rings. The Spiral Stand is sturdy and effective, I've been using mine for two years and I love them!

Here is a link that might be useful: www.spiralstand.com

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:34AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Daniele, are you paying GW to advertise? This is now the 5th forum you've posted on advertising the spiral.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 1:02PM
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