Tomatoe Cages

ninnymary

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
12,056
Reaction score
10,674
Points
417
Location
San Francisco East Bay
I have found some FREE tomato cages that are 5' by 18" diameter on Craigslist. Should I get them? Anyone have good results growing tomatoes in them? They are made out of the concrete rebar panels.

Thanks
Mary
 

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
7,074
Reaction score
4,665
Points
377
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
PICTURES @ninnymary , PICTURES!!!
It sounds like a good deal. My MIL made her tomato cages out of goat panel type of fencing. They were round and she secured each one in the ground with a metal fencepost.
The Best Homemade Tomato Cages - Organic Gardening - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
The rebar sounds heavy. :confused:
DD's used the 7 tall tomato cages that I bought them for the 2020 season. Since the spot was partly shady, their tomatoes were leggy, but they produced good fruit. Looked like these:
yellow_rack.jpg (825×1112) (bp.blogspot.com)
About 4 ft tall when you push them into the ground, and coated metal, not too pricey, about $7/each.
THIS year, EVERYBODY was sold out of ANY tomato cages.
I still use my smaller cages for peppers, which never grow too tall for them in my garden.
I LOVE free stuff, and gardening products people have labeled all of us as suckers with the prices they put on tomato cages and OTHER gardening stuff.
Here is another option, if you need more, or decide not to get them.
The Best DIY Tomato Support - GrowingAGreenerWorld.com
Make the Ultimate Tomato Cage - GrowingAGreenerWorld.com
You will need bolt cutters, but the panels cost ~$40.00/each, 16 ft long, and 4 ft wide, or tall.
If I figure right, you can make 10 cages out of one.
The guy on the program, Joe Lampl, uses goat panels for peas and other stuff, too.
Dunno if you have a truck, or a Friend with a truck. We have been Very popular with friends who don't have one and need somthing moved/picked up!
Maybe Christmas goodies as a payback?!?
Anyway, I am thinking of going goat panels for 2021.
Just don't like the price of cages at the hardware stores, and I am not a great builder, but I am pretty good at bending metal. :celebrate
 
Last edited:

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
20,722
Reaction score
11,474
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
I use the hardware store cages but only in the 3 or 4 pots at the foot of the back steps.

Then, I put 3 stakes in each pot. Then, I use twine around the stakes, above the cages.

It's a fair amount of bother to supplement the silly cages but it keeps the tomatoes in-bounds for several months.

Steve
 

ninnymary

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
12,056
Reaction score
10,674
Points
417
Location
San Francisco East Bay
They were about an 1 hr. 20 minutes away from me which I was willing to do. But the seller said it wasn't worth the drive. I think I asked too many questions and may have annoyed him, haha. He was moving and I asked if he was moving closer to my direction. I figured even if it was 20 minutes that would have been something. Oh well.

Mary
 

ninnymary

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
12,056
Reaction score
10,674
Points
417
Location
San Francisco East Bay
Probably all rusty and nasty ANYWAY!
When I put something up for sale, I WANT IT GONE!!!
You have some time to build some nice cages for next year. :D
I was disappointed but you're right they were probably ugly. I like neat and pretty. :p

Mary
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
8,715
Reaction score
7,495
Points
327
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
you can paint them nice and pretty fushia after sand blasting them. :) i would have said go for it if they were for free, but that also means how many? one or two, not worth that kind of drive, but for a dozen i'd consider it worth it. rust isn't a problem. rust is a nutrient. :)
 

Zeedman

Garden Addicted
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
1,522
Reaction score
3,243
Points
237
Location
East-central Wisconsin
I have found some FREE tomato cages that are 5' by 18" diameter on Craigslist. Should I get them? Anyone have good results growing tomatoes in them? They are made out of the concrete rebar panels.

Thanks
Mary
The rebar sounds heavy. :confused:
Concrete reinforcement wire makes great tomato cages; strong, not exceptionally heavy, and they last forever. They do rust - but that won't even show once the cage is covered by foliage. I've used them in the past, and still have a couple (which are currently protecting newly-planted trees). The rust is not unsightly IMO, since it weathers to a dark brown, and the rough surface makes it easier for plants to cling.

The biggest problem I had with the wire cages was where to store them between seasons. My cages were made from pre-cut 10' sections of welded wire sold by the local big box warehouse. That was convenient, since those folded into a 3' diameter cage (a good size for indeterminate tomatoes) with no cutting necessary. They worked wonderfully, and the wide openings allowed easy access. But to store them required a 10' X 5' area, where they would not be an eyesore... and in the end, that was the reason I stopped using them. I now trellis tomatoes on the same post/rod/string system that I use for beans, but modified to support more weight.
 

Dirtmechanic

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
798
Reaction score
1,436
Points
197
Location
Birmingham AL (Zone 8a)
If I had to cage, which I should do, I would use cattle panel and make a square cage consisting of two panels bent 90 degrees. They would nest for off season storage and are more durable than the wire cages, even the rebar mesh. But I am a rope runner like someone mentioned above.
 
Top