View Full Version : Tomatoes

04-19-2009, 02:47 PM
I have a question-How do you stake your tomatoe plants? Do you use the wooden stakes, or the wire cages, or the wire trelises. How does everyone do this? I am thinking of using the wire cages as they are fairly cheap at Lowes, and they look like they are very easy to use. Anyone have a preference?

04-19-2009, 03:47 PM
I have heard that caged tomatoes produce much more than ones that are staked, so if you can do a cage, I'd encourage you to do that.

You can get reinforcing wire, bend it in a circle, place it around the plant, and then stake it with a post or spike. In my experience, the inexpensive tomato cages often don't do much.

Let us know what you do and how it works.

04-19-2009, 05:34 PM
I use a combination of cages and a trellis to support the monsters.

Backyard Permaculture
04-19-2009, 07:17 PM
My experience with store bought tomato cages, usually in sort of a cone shape, last one season if you are lucky, and if your plant is healthy and indeterminate, will totallly overwhelm the cage.

You can make a much more durable cage by buying a mesh called "concrete reinforcing mesh/steel, which are usually about 4 foot x 7 foot, heavy wire and about 6 in x 6 in mesh. Just bend in around to make a cylinder about 32 to 26 inches in diameter and 4 ft high. If your plants are healthy you may need a second to wire on top of the first.

These cost about the same as the larger crappy tomato cages and will last forever


04-19-2009, 09:07 PM
Store bought tom cages work great for peppers and eggplant, but really don't do the job with indeterminate tomatoes . I use furing strips as stakes for my fall tomatoes that I plant in 5 gal buckets. (I tie them up with strips of my wifes old panty hose.) For my spring tomatoes planted directly in the garden I use cages made from galvanized feild wire . It is much more expensive than concrete reinforcement wire, but it does not rust. The main reason I use this wire is because I almost always have it available as left overs from our normal fencing repairs on some acreage I own . I also use it to build some pretty big arbors and trellises . The only drawback is ,it costs 150 dollars a roll. Kevin

04-20-2009, 08:41 PM
I used purchased cages that were a triangle shape last year with good success. I did have to stake down a couple that the tomatoes far outgrew to keep them from toppling over. I have heard the rebar ones work great and the cost is not too bad.

04-25-2009, 06:14 PM
I used those metal tomato cages last year and they were a disaster. Part of it was that I didn't realize how big the plants would be and my cages were too small, but they also aren't very sturdy and they toppled over. Eventually my tomatoes ended up a big mess of stakes, twine, and cages. This year I bought 8' long wooden stakes (about $3 apiece) and sunk them 2' down right next to the plant. Since I'll be pruning pretty severely to produce more fruit and will have only one main stem, it should be easy to loosely tie it to the stake as the plant grows.

04-25-2009, 09:13 PM
I use the tomato cages that are triangle shaped and have good luck with those. The cone shaped do work well for peppers.

I am hoping for a great tomato harvest this year. All heirlooms!