If your tomato support cage isn’t at least 6 feet tall, it’ll probably do a lousy job holding up your tomatoes.
Most tomato cages are too short and you end up with a top-heavy plant that doubles over on itself.
Grafted tomatoes, as well as all indeterminate type tomatoes, need a strong support system installed at the time that you plant your tomatoes.
The leaning tomato tower.
Are you ready for a REAL tomato support cage?
I have a design for a tomato support system that expands to 10-ft tall and is affordable and easy to build.
I call them “tomato towers.” They are majestically tall, sturdy, and you can roll them up at the end of the growing season.
You will spend approximately 10 to 15 dollars to make each one if you buy a large roll of metal fencing and make several.
Take a look at how I made the tomato towers on a recent Home & Family Show garden segment.
MATERIALS FOR TOMATO TOWERS
- 50-ft x 5-ft roll of galvanized metal fencing with rectangle grid at least 4-inch by 2-inch.
- Metal wire used to close metal fence
- Sturdy 6-ft bamboo or plastic landscape poles
- 15-gallon or larger Smart Pot or other fabric grow bag, (if planting in containers)
- Metal cutters
- Wood pallet if planting in grow bag to keep it off the soil
- Cut metal fencing long enough to completely wrap around grow bag.
- Place metal fencing around the planting bag and close it using wire.
Insert three, evenly spaced, 6-ft plastic poles along the perimeter of the bag and secure to the metal fence with wire.
1. Add a second layer of fencing, attaching to the top of the first fence with wire and secure to the plastic poles which should protrude from the first level.
2. Cut a 4-inch by 8-inch opening in fencing to act as a “window” where you can reach in and guide the fruit through the fence openings when still small
HOW TO USE TALL METAL TOMATO TOWER
As your tomato plants starts to grow fruit, train the fruit through the grid opening while it’s still small.
Your tomato stems will adjust to hanging from the grid and strengthen and become turgid to support the fruit.
Use your window opening to arrange your tomato stems so that you create an open center for best sun exposure and circulation.
Your tomato towers will not lean as the grow bag, which they wrap around, gives the plant the support it needs.
Enjoy your tomato towers!