Sturdy Tomato Cage Design

This unique tomato cage design allows plenty of air circulation and is easy to install.

Sturdy Tomato Cage

You can make a sturdy tomato cage out of metal u-posts, concrete remesh and cable ties.

Illustration by Susan Hadden

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I’ve designed a tomato cage that won’t fall over, allows plenty of air circulation, and comes apart for easy storage and transportation. The total cost is about $80 per cage, but keep in mind that each cage will last for years and will support three or four tomato plants.

Materials

• 3 pieces of concrete remesh, 42 by 84 inches, $7 each
• 6 metal fence U-posts, 6 feet tall (with holes and clips), $7 each
• 18 nylon heavy-duty cable ties (3 per post), about $15 for two 15-packs

First, drive the posts into the ground in two parallel lines of three posts each. There should be 42 inches of space on either side of each row’s middle post, and 42 inches of space between each row. Use the cable ties to attach the concrete remesh horizontally to the inside of the posts to form three remesh “shelves.” Leave about 18 to 24 inches of height between each remesh shelf. After assembling the tomato cage, plant three or four tomato seedlings underneath the lowest tier of remesh. As the seedlings grow, each remesh shelf will lend support.

Susan Hadden
Califon, New Jersey

msusnicknel
3/9/2015 8:10:24 AM

A few ideas to make it a little cheaper. First, use PVC instead of rebar. Because it isn't as strong as rebar, you'll need to make a square frame at the top instead of leaving it open. Instead of the remesh, you can use plastic coated mesh fencing (I like the 36" tall stuff.) With the PVC frame, it will be more than strong enough to hold any of your plants. Then, instead of using zip ties, simply drill small holes in the PVC where you want your mesh to sit, cut the corner of the fencing square and slip the wire into and through the hole, twist it closed and voila!