Tomato cages: How to build a DIY heavy duty cage
Why do you need heavy duty tomato cages? You are going to grow big tomato plants and you want to keep the fruit up off the ground.
How to make your own heavy duty tomato cages using concrete mesh wire? You can buy a 150 foot roll of concrete mesh wire. This will make you 25-30 cages, usually too many for the average person. Or you can buy the same concrete mesh wire that comes flat in 3 ½ x 7 foot pieces. Go to the Building Materials section Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Purchase 2 of the 3 ½ x 7’ sheets concrete mesh wire.
Roll in a cylinder that stands 3½ feet tall. You want your diameter to be about 2 feet. That’s about 12 squares around. You will have extra wire that will overlap , which means you can make your cage bigger if you like. Use zip ties to hold it together in a circle/cylinder. Make 2 of these 3½-foot tall cylinders.
Stack one cylinder on top of the other so you have a cage about 12 squares around and 7’ tall. Zip tie the 2 together, clip off the zip tie tails and you now have 1 cage 7 feet tall by 2 feet in diameter. This is a really perfect size for most any tomato you would like to plant. And you can expand the diameter of your cages in the future.
The cage is very heavy duty and will probably outlive you.
Any trouble or questions making your own, you can email me at email@example.com.
If you intend to grow big tomatoes like you see on this website and there is no reason why you can’t, you need serious “Big Boy” cages like you see in the picture. Not those little funnel shaped cages most people have. The little funnel shaped cages only work for those growing small/Bonsai type little tomatoes. It’s hard to find big heavy duty because most people never grow big tomatoes thus there is little demand for bigger heavy duty cages so will probably need to make your own unless you live near me and want to order. Pictured is the most popular cage. There is an order form/price list on the website.
For heavy producing beefsteak type tomatoes, Better Boy, Big Beef, etc., I use zip ties to hold the vines to the cage to help support the weight of the tomatoes. One plant depending on how healthy and many vines you have, may have say 8-18 vines. One vine may have 8-15 tomatoes, with a total tomato weight on that one vine of five to eight pounds. If you don’t zip tie the vines to the cage, the weight of the tomatoes will collapse the vines and tomatoes down to the ground. In the picture above, you see the white zip ties holding up the vines to the cage wires.
You are welcome to share this information with others—family, friends and clubs, etc.
Sharing tips helps us be better growers.
Dave Freed / the Tomato Guy