inexpensive, sturdy tomato supports

tomatoesaretops(5A)February 3, 2008

I'm a tomato nut with very little space and a tight budget.

Could someone please recommend a reasonably priced (say 3 for $40)tomato support that will last more than one or two seasons and be sturdy enough to support large, heavy tomato plants?

I can't find anything with consistently good reviews.

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Well Hi There tomato grower, I am too and I have a stake that will outlast them all. Go to builder supply store and buy some 1/2 inch re-bar and cut it into the length you need above ground plus what you want below. As the plant grows use cheap roll of surveys tape to tie the plant. I have used this method for more than 30 years and still useing some of the ones I started with. They will outlast us both, HA HA HA HA.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 3:35PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Everybody seems to have a favorite way to support their tomatoes, and it's really too bad that the GW Search function doesn't work from within GW because there have been literally hundreds of discussions. But you can find threads on tomato cages and supports by searching GardenWeb with Google!

My favorite tomato support is cattle panel. Others have their favorites. I can get a 4' x 16' piece of cattle panel for just under $20.00 at Tractor Supply Company. At the bottom is a GardenWeb thread where folks are discussing it.

But I don't make cages from it. I use it cut in half (4'x 8') as a trellis that I just tie the tomato plants to as they grow.

Here's a picture of it supporting melons. It's very very sturdy and all I had to do to keep it upright was attach short stakes to the sides.

And here's the cattle panel supporting tomato plants:

This Spring I've turned them so they're only 4 feet tall but 8 feet wide, since I've expanded my growing space and want to trellis some beans that I didn't grow last year, in addition to supporting the melons and tomatoes. I'll just let the tall stuff grow up over the top and start down the other side.

Others will have suggestions, too, just as good and economical.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cattle Panel Tomato cages

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 3:52PM
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concrete reinforcing wire.
$5 for a sheet that will make a dandy 6' cage.

much less $ if you buy a 150' roll.

you can stack em 3 or more high if your toms get that big.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 7:48PM
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ken_platt(z5/6 CT)

I second the concrete reinforcing wire. I have all the cages I've ever made, and the oldest are 15 years old. I cut the bottom-most horizontal pieces so that I have a bunch of little spikes at the bottom of the cage, seems to help them stay upright until the weight of the plant does the job. Some of the spikes (which spend the season underground) on the oldest cages have rusted to where they broke off, but I figure that's going to happen with just about anything with that use over that time. Lowe's and Home Depot carry the stuff, but you might get blank looks when you ask one of their staff, even if they carry it. I use it for pepper cages, pole bean cages too.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:29PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I third the concrete reinforcing wire. It's cheap and nearly maintenance free! (Lazy gardener here!)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 8:43AM
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I noticed the re-bar,in fencing! at home depot. $3.50 for a 12 foot legnth. I've been buying tomato cages for years but, like everything else, they're getting really pricey. I've used the concrete reinforcing wire cages but they still need staking.
I'm gonna try earth boxes; so the cattle gates and or/re-bar may be what I'm looking for. I've had raised beds for 25 years and they are really great but, They were originally double dug and I'm too worn out to go thru that again.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:32PM
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