has anyone bought and used the Texas Tomato Cages. They are supposed to be heavy duty. Was wondering if they were any better than the run of the mill tomato cages for a lot less $.
Never heard of them! I have been using concrete reinforcing wire for years.I have access to it in the construction field and it's free.
I have 12 Texas cages. I have 8 CRW cages. I would trade 100 CRW cages for 1 Texas cage that's how good they are. But then I only grow 20 to 30 plants per year and want the absolute best.
A search of Texas Tomato Cages at the top of this forum yields 305 hits. Lots of discussion already.
They are the gold standard of tomato cages. They are heavy duty, they will never rust and they fold for easy storage.
thanks everyone for your thoughts on this
I have six Texas Tomato Cages and just ordered six more. That said, I think they are over priced, especially when you include shipping, but from the research I have done they are the best currently available.
However I can think of a much better design. I wish someone would just sell round hoops of galvanized rebar welded shut on the end in the shape of a circle two feet in diameter. You could then just buy four pieces of straight rebar or wood stakes or whatever is handy and tie the round hoops onto them with wire or string to create a cylindrical cage. At the end of the season just cut the wire and the hoops and straight pieces would be easy to store. I know they sell the round hoops, because they use them for making reinforced cylindrical concrete columns, trouble is I can't find anyone who sells them locally. Glamos Wire makes a 22 inch diameter galvanized hoop out of quarter inch steel wire, but they never answer my request for a price.
If you spaced the hoops a foot apart it would take five hoops for a six foot high cage, assuming the first hoop was a foot above the ground and you used seven foot long pieces of 3/8 or 1/2 inch rebar for the stakes and pounded them a foot into the dirt. The cages I envision would be much stronger than Texas Tomato Cages, and could be made any size by adding or subtracting the number of hoops and lengths of the uprights used.
Texas Tomato Cages are great. Yes, they are expensive, but if you compare the price of the cheap plastic / garbage alternatives you may find that they're not even that much cheaper in the long run. I just looked up a plastic cage setup which I had used in the past and it would cost roughly half of the Texas cages, but they would not last more than 2-3 seasons and are a lot more maintenance.
Factor in the fact that these cages will last for years and years of re-use, are easy to store as they fold flat (a huge bonus) - the price is well worth it.
And no, I don not work for TTC - although I would gladly sell a few if I could get a discount since I need 6 more this year, heh.
I love 'em! Even though they collapse for storage you still have to find room for them. I keep mine in the original box standing up in the garden shed. Would love another 6, but dh would have to get rid of something to make room and I don't see that happening.
i have 12 and love them. i grow big plants and even in high wind the plants do fine. it was a great investment for me because they work well and during the off season they do not take up much space.
"i grow big plants and even in high wind the plants do fine."
This is a sentiment I can also back-up. At the end of the season, I had 7-8 ft. plants draping over the tops of the cages loaded with fruit (a lot of it at the top) and even in high winds, which I get all the time, the cages didn't fall over. I was really surprised since, at the end of the season, the plants were incredibly top heavy with fruit; The Brandywines and NARs were the worst in this regard.
The worst that happenned is that one of the cages started to lean a little. I just pulled it back upright and it was fine. It was the least work I've had in years. All it takes is a once or twice a week walk through on the plants to make sure to pull the branches back into the cages.
"The worst that happenned is that one of the cages started to lean a little. I just pulled it back upright and it was fine. It was the least work I've had in years. All it takes is a once or twice a week walk through on the plants to make sure to pull the branches back into the cages.
exactly...so little work because the last 2 years of tomato growing I have been very pregnant with a toddler and then a newborn and toddler so it was important to have a set up that worked well.
my marvel stripe plant was huge and so fruit heavy and it leaned a bit after major winds but easy to upright.
@homegardenpa: i am also doing NARs this year so hopefully I will have the same problem you had with alot of fruit ;)
i also used them to plant my peas...just planted a ring of peas around the cages...so versatile.
I never have seen the Texas tomato cages. Always used the concrete remesh cages. I do like them, but with large plants, they get torn up in high winds if you don't have them staked with at three to four pieces of rebar or a couple of t-posts (driven fairly deep). In the last two to three years, we have had thunderstorms producing 50-60 mph winds here in northern MO. This can really tear a cage up under the weight of large plants. Cost of cages is a consideration for me. I generally grow 24-25 plants.