Tomato Cage Dilemma

* * * If you have arrived at my blog by doing an internet search to find tomato cage ideas, please be sure to read this new post with a method we found that works better than the ones shown here. New and improved method:* * * *

Every year we have been putting up with useless tomato cages. Our tomatoes usually grow three times the size of the tomato cages and do not provide the proper support. So this year, I went on a mission to find a solution to this problem. The above is one contraption found on the internet. This one is pretty easy to make. The only materials you need are pvc pipe, pvc elbow and T's and hack saw. It's not exactly cheap (less than $10), but if it lasts for many years, it will be worth it. After taking inventory of our garden, we decided this support might be a big help for our cucumbers to climb.

This idea came from the local organic gardner I met at the farmer's market. The fence posts are on the ends of three tomato plants. Twine was used to weave around each plant. The plants were already in tomato cages, so they were left as is. As the plants grow, more twine will be used for support at 2-ft, 3-ft height, etc. The fence posts were about $7 each, but will last forever.

This design seems quite sturdy. I like the fact that you can water the plants through the top of the pvc and it will go directly to the roots. We used electrical conduit instead of white PVC as it was a bit cheaper. It was quite a challenge to drill through the plastic, though. I'll have to show an update later in the season.

Anonymous –   – (2/05/2009 1:11 PM)  

I'm begining my tiny orchard and vegetable garden this year and I've been looking in the internet for DIY tomato cages. I have to say that I like the 3rd design made from conduit and the idea of watering the plants from the top opening of the PVC is just great!

Anonymous –   – (4/27/2009 11:57 PM)  

I was surprised on how cheap and sturdy electic conduit was after making a few cages. It's a great idea that works. Even if they grow to high or you make them to short you can extend them even higher with some couplinks. I suggest spray paintig them so the neighbors wonder where you bought them. The design is different so it give your garden a different look. I made 15 of these and will never buy another cage again.

Anonymous –   – (1/29/2010 7:17 PM)  

I like your tomatoes cage ideal Thanks

Anonymous –   – (7/29/2010 8:17 AM)  

Watch out for the sharp edges on the conduit - they can take a chunk out of you as you weed, etc.

I put pieces of 3/4" clear vinyl tubing on the ends. It isn't perfect, but it's the best I've come up with so far.

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