Need to Stake DIY Tomato Cages

KerenR(7)April 17, 2013

I have officially abandoned the store bought tomato cages after too much frustration and lost tomatoes. Last week I made 27 tomato cages out of reinforced concrete wire mesh, and I am super excited. I went ahead and cut off the bottom ring to be able to stick them in the ground about 6 inches.

My question is whether I need to stake these cages with something (rebar, conduit, etc). I've read on the forums what people used to stake DIY cages, but not if you need to. I didn't know if those people cut off their bottom ring or not. Thanks for the help!

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

Yes you do. Weight and height of full grown plant and fruit plus any wind can easily lay them over.

Some use 1 heavy duty stake inside with the cage strapped to it, Others use 2 stakes of some kind on the outsides wired to the cages.

I cut the bottom ring off mine just as you did and I use 2 rebar stakes, one on either side - one with and one against the predominant winds..

Dave

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:09PM
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KerenR(7)

Dave, what length of rebar do you use? I can only find 2 foot and 10 foot lengths.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:14PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

On a farm we have lots of rebar around for all sorts of things so I suppose my stakes range between 4' and 4 1/2 feet. Some maybe a bit shorter. Need a good 6" in the ground and they need to be short enough that you can drive them in.

I suppose you could buy the 10' lengths and cut them in thirds and be ok.

But it doesn't have to be rebar. T-posts even heavy wood stakes would work. If you have a Lowes or HD or similar they carry all sorts of different fence posts.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 10:58PM
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jimm_sc

I use metal electrical conduit ($3.29/10ft at the box stores) cut in half to make 2 5 ft stakes and drive 12 inches in the ground. I used to use zip ties to attach the cages, but now use short lengths of solid electrical wire. The copper wire is easy to bend and can be reused for years. Any construction site should have scraps of electrical wire.
Jim

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:55PM
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tn_gardening

My local orange store sells 18 inch pine wood stakes. 12 for $4. I routinely look in the cull bins for discounted/free wood that I can use in my garden to make A-frames or support stakes.

They won't last forever, but they're cheap enough.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:09PM
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