Here’s a hint – don’t waste your money on store bought tomato cages. You see them in the big box stores – cone shaped with a few metal rings, usually 3′ high and 1′ in diameter

While these cages will support tomatoes in their early stages of growth, just about every tomato will be at least 5′ high, with indeterminate tomato  growing 8′ or more. And depending on the type, tomatoes will grow 3 – 5′ wide. These store bought cages will not provide the support your tomatoes need and will easily topple over during a strong wind.

Want to build a better tomato cage? Start with concrete reinforcing wire (usually sold in 50′ rolls), bolt cutters and a good set of work gloves. Cut off 5′ lengths, leaving “fingers’ along one length. Use pliers to make a hook at the end of each finger. Shape the section into a hoop, using the finger hooks to hold the hoop together (you can also secure the hoop with plastic ties or wire).

Place two cages side by side and insert a 4′ metal stake or rebar in between the cages. Secure both cages to the stake – this will keep the cages from falling over during wind or rain.

Note: You’ll want to plant your tomatoes before you secure the tomato cages to the stake. I usually plant two tomatoes per cage.

These cages are also great supports for peas, pole beans, cucumbers and small melons.

And although they will rust, they will also last for 15+ years.