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What to do when your tomato plants outgrow their cages?

  1. peeples profile image93
    peeplesposted 2 years ago

    What to do when your tomato plants outgrow their cages?

    HELP!! My cherry tomato plant measured at 7 ft 4 inches 2 days ago. They are several feet over the cage. The cage has began to fall over and the whole top of the plant has now fallen over. They are against the house in a garden. We have attempted staking out, but it isn't working. I don't want to lose the plants. We have well over a hundred cherry tomatoes on the top half that is falling over that I don't want to waste! Ideas please?

  2. eugbug profile image99
    eugbugposted 2 years ago

    You could try making some form of "wigwam" arrangement with canes, slender poles, light timber or copper tube pushed into the ground. Tie at the top where all the sections meet. This would likely be more stable than staking. You could then gently tie the plant to this structure with wide string, flat laces or similar to avoid damage to the stems.
    Take a photo so we can get a better idea of the situation.

    1. MizBejabbers profile image89
      MizBejabbersposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Good advice except for the copper tubes. We live in the south and recently had to remove our metal tomato cages and substitute plastic coated wire ones because the metal was cooking our plants.

  3. The Examiner-1 profile image73
    The Examiner-1posted 2 years ago

    When they grow above the cage then it is time to pick them off the plants and cook them or eat them. Yum.
    The bare plants can be cut back and allowed to grow again.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
      DzyMsLizzyposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      We have the same situation, but picking and eating is not yet possible, as they are still green.

  4. peeples profile image93
    peeplesposted 2 years ago


    He is holding up part of it. There is about two feet sagging behind him. The cage is in there, but the  stakes we had up did no good so I removed them.
    Edit sorry the pic didn't upload the first time, should be showing now.

    1. eugbug profile image99
      eugbugposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      If you live in a single story building, it might be easy to tie a piece of thin cord or string to a cup hook screwed into the soffit or even tie it around the gutter. Then just loop the other end of the cord around the tomato plant.

  5. RTalloni profile image88
    RTalloniposted 2 years ago

    I do not even know if I believe the photo in this link

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions … y-tomatoes

    but besides pruning and enjoying a smaller plant, you'll be needing some beefy stakes or be willing to espalier the plant somehow:

    http://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/arti … ruit-trees

  6. LongTimeMother profile image96
    LongTimeMotherposted 2 years ago


    I use this type of structure to support tomato and cherry tomato plants (in the right season, lol.) You could make one that runs beyond your plant - and tie the plant along it.

    Lots of people say to support tomatoes on lengths of wire between stakes, but I find it damages the plant - so I use chicken wire and make sure there's a cross beam to hold up the weight.

    Your other option is to create an arch coming out into your yard area. Tomatoes grow just fine at an angle ... they'll even grow along the ground, and set new roots if you let them ... but then they are very difficult to pick, and risk rotting on the ground depending on the weather. They need fresh air to stay healthiest.

    The frame in this picture is one I use for peas or beans. My tomato frames are taller but I can't be bothered walking through my winter weather right now to take a photo of it. Same, but taller wooden posts, and the wire netting starts higher from the ground.

    As someone already said, when you tie them on, use soft ties. Strips of fabric, for instance. After that, you can just tuck the ends back and forward through the chicken wire.

    You could lean your frame against the side of the house ... and have the main length away from your window.

    Make your frame bigger than you expect to need, because nature in action always provides surprises. smile

    1. peeples profile image93
      peeplesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks. We have made a mix of chicken fencing and poles to keep it in place for now. I guess I will need to make some of those because still have more plants growing thatll be tall soon.Nature has been very kind to our plants if I can keep them going

    2. MizBejabbers profile image89
      MizBejabbersposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yours certainly look healthier than ours.