ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tomato Cages - Building or Buying Tomato Cages

Updated on July 31, 2017
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

To garden is to lose one's self in the earth while gifting yourself and your family with wholesome goodness from your own backyard.

Increase Your Tomato Yields with Tomato Cages

Tomatoes plants often have higher yields when they are given proper support. Tomato support cages are the best way to help keep the fruit off the ground and keep your tomatoes disease free. Did you know that it is very important to not have any of your tomato branches touchings the ground? The ground carries diseases and without proper support, these diseases can damage or kill your tomato plants.

Here's a look at some of the tradeoffs between buying or making tomato cages.

Building or Buying Tomato Cages

Farm boy's way of staking his plants, old-fashioned, but very sturdy
Farm boy's way of staking his plants, old-fashioned, but very sturdy

Building Tomato Cages

What Works Best For You

Many folks like to build their own tomato cages. There are a few advantages to making your own cages. If you buy materials like a roll of chicken wire or reinforcing wire, the cost for several cages is much lower than buying individual cages, unless you buy them in bulk.

The most common way to build tomato cages is to use either a chicken wire fence or concrete reinforcing wire. You can find either of these with a mesh that's large enough to put your hand through, which will allow easy harvesting of the tomatoes when the time comes. The fencing is looped back on itself in a way that forms a large tube, which is set over the tomato plant and it grows up inside the cage. With this approach there is not as much need to tie up and prune the plant, the plants will just climb through the holes and naturally support themselves.

Another way to build cages is to use PVC pipes. These are usually durable and sturdy, as you can glue up a permanent structure. Alternatively, if you just snug the parts together it will be sturdy enough, but the other advantage is that it will disassemble with ease for storage, which is one of the biggest problems with tomato cages.

Another choice is to make cages from wood, although they tend to not last as long due to the elements. When wood is in the moist ground, insects can eat it away and it will rot if you live in a rainy area.

There are other similar techniques like the Japanese tomato ring (which is actually an American invention) that combines a large home made ring with some intensive gardening techniques to boost the yields of your tomato garden. This is not something you will find you can do with a commercially produced tomato cage.

Another common way to support tomatoes is to build a trellis with a pipe that runs along the row of tomatoes and then strings are tied to it and the other end of the string is anchored in the ground near the tomato plant. Then the tomatoes are tied to the string and they can grow as high as they like and just climb the string.

Buying Tomato Cages

One advantage to buying tomato cages or supports is the wide difference in how the problem of supporting a tomato plant is approached. You can find some that are simple cages, with 3 or 4 rings in an expanding radius as you move to the top. There are some spirals that are simply stuck in the ground, and the tomato plant is tied to it as they grow. Simple plastic or bamboo stakes are also often used. A trend in recent years is for these cages to be produced in vivid colors such as orange, purple, blue, red, yellow and green. Our tomato rows are colorful as we used six different colors of cages to add contrast to the green plants giving splash of color.

There are square tomato cages, that are actually four sections of mesh that form a small square, but have the advantage of unhooking and folding flat for storage. There are three-sided versions of this same basic idea as well. One year we used the three-sided cage to stake around the huge tomato plant and it's sprawling branches.

There's also the Ultomato stake system that is sold in the hardware store. I have not tried these yet because I have a plethora of tomato cages, but when I'm ready for some new ones, I may try this one!

Finally, tomato spiral stakes have become popular over the last few years as easy to store, inexpensive, and better overall support than a simple tomato stake.

Using a Combination of Cages and Stakes

We traditionally put out tomato cages but this year, we will be staking alongside the cages. Why? Because, we started some seedlings and did not properly thin them out resulting in two and three little sprouts in our peat pot. We did not have the heart to end any of their lives so we kept them all. The end result is we have these healthy growing tomatoes sprawling all over the place and some outside the area of the cage. We will have to stake them if we want any good production. A great experiment!

Hanging Tomato Planters - No room for a garden? No problem, grow tomatoes on your patio or balcony

A popular way to eliminate the need for tomato cages is to grow the tomatoes from a hanging planter. While you are limited in the size of plant that you can reasonably expect to grow in a hanging planter, they are ideal for small space gardening.

What's Your Favorite Way to Grow Tomatoes

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      I am on Team-Storebought, but some folks make their own sturdy cages; mine all fall apart.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Blessed by a Squid Angel.

      Merry Christmas!

      Susie

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)