Gurney's Tomato Cages vs. Texas Tomato Cages.

kristimamaJanuary 19, 2012

I am looking for a new way to cage my 6'+ tall tomato plants this coming summer. What are the comparisons, relative selling points, of the Gurney's Tomato Cages vs The Texas Tomato cages.

Currently, I have the ring-type tomato cages (the sturdiest I could find) from my local nursery, and I take 2, stand them on end, and tie them together with plastic ties, creating about 7' of growing cage. But they are hard to store in the off season and they're starting to show their age.

I saw the whole discussion of the Earthtainers and how they all use Gurney's Pea cage, and I wondered whether the Gurney's tomato cages might work for me without much work. (All the work bending the Pea cage doesn't appeal to me.)

It does seem like I'd have to stack them to get more vertical height, which I don't mind if they are sturdy and work. What appeals to me is that they lay flat during the off season. I probably need enough for about 6 tomatoes.

Since space is an issue for me, making and storing Concrete Rebar is not an option for me. I know so many people here love them, but I really need tangible advice on the collapsible options.

Any thoughts? Gurney's Square Tomato Panes Vs the Texas Cages?

Thanks,

Kristin

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is this the cage you are talking about? They are only 40" tall. Using 2 per plant could get real expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato cage

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:22AM
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kristimama

Yep, that's the one. And yes, it's pricey, but not so much compared to the Texas Tomato Cages, at 6 for $159.

Just wondering what people use, IF they need a collapsible, easy to store type of cage.

If I had tons of yard space and a separate area I could safely store home-made rebar cages, I would.

But I don't. And the stackable round ones are wearing out.

Any words of wisdom?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:15PM
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seeker11(z6)

Home-made PVC cages solved this problem for me. They are versatile, can be built to any height and width, are very easy to build, don't damage the plants, last forever, and can be easily taken apart for winter storage.
If you're interested, send me an e-mail through gardenweb (if that's working these days), and I'll send you a picture and directions.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 7:08PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I have 6 Texas Tomato Cages. Have had them for three years. Don't think I paid that much, but I really can't remember. I'm still storing them in the box they were shipped in.

For many years I had rebar cages. They were a pain to store and rusted almost immediately. I love the TTC! They still look great.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:57PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you only need 6 cages then you're talking $149 for enough from Gurney vs. $159 for the TT cages.

Personally I wouldn't put that much money into either given all the other options available out there. But in this case it's basically your choice as to which you want to spend $150+ dollars on.

You might compare the opening sizes of them both - don't know if they are both 4x4 or 6x6 or what - as that can affect how much support the plant gets from them.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:54PM
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woodcutter2008

I bought eight of the Gurney's cages last year. They are great! They are heavy, well built, and should last many years. I bought four more this year. Of course, with Gurney's marketing methods (50% off sales) you need not pay the catalog price. They are 48" not 40" -- you need to be careful of this because Gurney's does not count the "legs" that go in the ground. Other sellers list the gross length, so from someone else 40" means 40" total.

I considered the Texas cages, but chose the square ones from Gurney. AND to complicate your decision, Burpee now sells an even larger, taller square cage 18" square and 55" tall (IIRC). These are powder-coated and of course, pricey, but I have no doubts they are of excellent quality. With Burpee, if you "dig" a little, you can get free shipping which would ease the price burden somewhat.

-WC2K8

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 8:39AM
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fortyonenorth(6b)

After several years of trying various cages and techniques (e.g. weave) I bought some TTGs. I love them and have resolved to only grow as many tomatoes as I have TTGs. It's a lot of money, but you certainly won't suffer from buyer's remorse. IMO, it's a very worthwhile garden investment.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I am considering Texas tomato cages for use in a 25-gallon Smart Pot that is 21 inches in diameter. Does anyone have the exact measurements of the base? In other words, what is the distance between the legs? Ive been using 8-foot plastic coated metal stakes from a big box store that tend to fall over with a tall heirloom plant full of big tomatoes. And I have to prune all but a few suckers to use a stake.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 12:02PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I bought six Texas Tomato Cages last year for $99 plus $35 shipping. They have gone up in price this year. I don't care. I am ordering six more. Over the years, I have used rebar (see natal's comments. I say Amen!), 18 inch square bean towers from Gardener's Supply (great, but 18 inches is TOO NARROW for indeterminates), and some flimsy little folding things from Lowe's which are now used for peppers and eggplants. All in all, I could have bought Texas cages several times over!

Texas cages come 18 inches in diameter and 24 inches. The 18 inch ones would be fine for containers, but I plan to stick with the 24 inchers. I fully expect these will be the last I ever have to buy. They are very sturdy, do not rust, fold flat for storage, and are well nigh perfect. You can now get height extensions, which is a great idea, but my plants would still come out the top and the higher cage would make it very difficult for me to reach the fruit. The only other thing I could dream of asking for is if they came in bright colors, but that's just me.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Has anyone used the Burpee XL cages? They are 18 inches square by 58 inches high. With the two foot extensions, the cost is about the same as Texas and Gurney cages. (There is no shipping charge for the Texas cages, so they may be the lowest in cost.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Burpee XL Pro cages

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:13AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Donna, I find the 18" TTC work fine for me. This year I'll be growing all of my Sun Golds in them.

Ohiofem, those Burpee cages look flimsy. There's no info on the material used.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:23PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I am convinced the TTCs are best for my situation. If I was stronger and better at building things, I might build cages out of CRF or PVC, but Im a klutz with no tools. I found this Youtube video review of the Texas cages, which demonstrates how they work. I haven't found anything else for sale that matches it.

Here is a link that might be useful: video review

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 1:38PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Let me suggest one thing if you order the TTC. I don't have room to hang them during the off-season, so I store them in the original box.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:33PM
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kristimama

Thanks for all the info. Ugh, now I have to convince my hubby. LOL

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 12:19PM
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johnny_tomato_seed

Kristin:

I am in East Bay by Pleasanton area. I have 18", 24", and last year bought the 20" size. 18" definitely too small. 24" too big for 18 gallon SWC. The 20" was especially made for Yamagami's in Cupertino. There was a semi sale so I bought them, still around $150 for 6. For people in Norcal with little space, the cages are well worth it.

If your husband need convincing why you need them, I'll send you a picture of my 9 ft plant.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:32AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I would love to see that photo Johnny. Please post it. Do you ever use the extensions? On the tomatocage.com website, they are only advertising the 20- and 24- inch cages.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 9:54AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Ohio, they don't make the 18" cages anymore. That's what mine are and they've worked beautifully ... even with a monster plant like Sun Gold.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 12:24PM
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kristimama

Yes, Johnny Tomato Seed, please please post your picture!

I would love to see it and I can show my DH.

I didn't realize that TTC were ever available at retail.

I spoke to the gal at TTC directly, and she said they discontinued the 18 and they do the 20" instead now.

Has anyone ever tried the extensions? I read one review that the extensions aren't quite as stable?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 1:41AM
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woodcutter2008

> Has anyone used the Burpee XL cages? They are 18 inches square by 58 inches high. With the two foot extensions, the cost is about the same as Texas and Gurney cages. (There is no shipping charge for the Texas cages, so they may be the lowest in cost.) I haven't used them yet -- I think they are new this year. But I was impressed with the size and have never had issues with the quality of things I've bought from Burpee.

So I bought 3 of them to try and received them today. FREE SHIPPING on my order of $50, which was easy considering the cages cost about $40. They are certainly of ROBUST construction: Upright posts (8) are .180" and the cross members (7 rows) are .148" (measured with a vernier).

In my use, I always find it advantageous to drive one wooden stake next to the corner of the cages and tie the cage to the stake. This is cheap insurance against heavy loads and storm winds. I can't imagine anyone not being pleased with these!

BTW, I've recycled some of my old, small square cages into "pea fencing," unhooking the ends and attaching them together to form ~6' sections. Love those Sugar Snaps!

-WC2K8

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:22PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

WC2K8, what are those Burpee cages made of? I found it strange that info wasn't provided.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:30PM
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woodcutter2008

> WC2K8, what are those Burpee cages made of? I found it strange that info wasn't provided. They are steel, and powder coated for rust resistance.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:29PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I bought powder-coated steel fencing for my veggie garden and it started rusting from the inside out within 6 months. You should have saved your money.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:00PM
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woodcutter2008

My experience with powder coat products is evidently quite different than yours. (For me) it has been much more durable than galvanized.

-WC2K8

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:20PM
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woodcutter2008

A brief follow-up:
After reading the Burpee catalog description that said the shorter PRO cages were made of powder coated, galvanized steel, I wondered why the XL cages would not be the same. So I contacted Burpee's customer service and they replied that the taller ones are made of the same material, then powder coated.
-WC2K8

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 7:43PM
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elight(9b)

Here's a link to a past post on PVC cages (with photos and diagram) that I bookmarked last summer and am planning to build for this year. Note that the diagram only provides for cages that are 3-4' tall, but you could quite easily continue the same pattern to make them taller.

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/con0722035623819.html

Here is a link that might be useful: PVC tomato cages

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:55PM
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