Every year we struggle to keep our tomato plants under control, so we came up with a DIY tomato cage. At the beginning of the year, our tomato cages work great but as the plants grow and begin bearing fruit they quickly begin leaning. We’ve tried staking each cage, but the plant ends up outgrowing the cages and laying all over the ground anyway which blocks our walkways and makes it really hard to harvest the tomatoes as they ripen.
We knew we had to do something because our traditional tomato cages just weren’t working- so we did some sketching and came up with this super simple DIY tomato cage.
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DIY Tomato Cages For Raised Beds
Commercial Tomato Cages vs. Our DIY Tomato Cage
How To Plant With These DIY Tomato Cages
We planted 3-4 tomato plants beneath the wire and used small sticks and garden ties or pieces of velcro to support the stock until they were tall enough to reach the wire.
We also removed the limbs close to the ground to encourage the plants to grow taller (it also helps to keep the plant more orderly Once they were tall enough to touch the wire we removed the sticks for the most part and secured the plant to the wires.
This year we are going to add support to prevent the 2x4s from pulling in, other than that we love this system! It held our tomatoes up off the ground and was strong enough to handle the heavy plants. We probably could have cut the 2x4s longer, but we weren’t expecting our tomato plants to get over 6 feet tall (a couple even went up and over our tomato cages and then up the top of our cattle panel arbors). All together we are really happy with this DIY tomato cage and plan to continue using them in our garden.
How To Make DIY Tomato Cages From Wood
What you need to make a DIY Tomato Cage:
- 2x4s 1- 5-6 foot section for either side of the box- (we use untreated wood to avoid the chemicals.)
- 17 gauge fence wire
- Drill with the proper attachment.
- Tape measure
- Compound Miter Saw
Step 1: Cut the 2x4s to the desired height for your DIY tomato cage (now is a great time to decide if you are going to be growing determinate, or indeterminate tomatoes- you can read about growing tomatoes in this article).
Step 2: Attach your 2x4s securely to your raised bed using screws (we chose to attach it in the center of most of our beds so we still have room to plant other things in them).
Step 3: Wrap the wire around the 2x4s tightly, (if you want you can staple it in place). You’ll want to make sure that the wire is nice and tight and secured well to the wood. We wrapped ours several times around the board before continuing to the next 2×4. You do not want it to sag as the plants get heavier, if necessary you can tighten the wire down by twisting it. If you are going to use heavy-duty staples or notch the wood this is the time to do it.
How To Attach Tomato Plants To Your DIY Cage
To secure your tomato plants to the DIY tomato cage, you can use velcro garden stripes or twist ties. Wrap the twist tie (or whatever you are using) around the wire, and then around the branch. Gently secure the plant to the wire. Continue attaching the tomato plant as your plant gets taller.
Check out our Amazon Storefront for all of the supplies you’ll need.
- How To Grow Tomatoes – The #1 Beginner’s Guide
- How To Build Raised Beds
- How To Start A Vegetable Garden From Scratch
- 29 Of The Best Spring Gardening Essentials Every Gardener Needs