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Tomatoes are a huge part of our garden because we do so much with them. We use them for spaghetti sauce (fresh and frozen), salsa, tacos, salads, and more. We grow a lot of tomatoes and they all get used!
As we re-did our garden foundation and raised beds this year, we thought we’d give our tomato cages a fresh thought too. I wanted our cages to match the feel of the rest of the garden.
We came up with this design that was both easy to create and looks really good in the garden. We’ll also be able to re-use them in future years, but most importantly, they are super stable and don’t fall over. You’ll notice ours are rectangular instead of square. That is because we have 2 tomato plants per cage, but I’ll explain how to adjust if you want a square cage.
Supplies for 1 Cage
(Multiply for more cages.)
- 2 count – 8′ strips of 2″ by 1″ wood (I chose cedar), because you will create 4 count (4′) legs for each cage.
- Thin wood strips (I bought these by the bundle for $15 and there was more than enough for all these cages) ~~ For Square Cages: You will need to cut 14 of the 12″ strips, For Rectangular Cages: You will need 8 of the 18″ strips and 6 of the 12″ strips.
- Measuring Tape
- Staple Gun
- Saw (simple cuts, most any kind of saw will do – we used a jigsaw here)
How To Make The Tomato Cages
- Gather Supplies.
- Measure the wood for the cuts (lengths explained above in Supplies).
- Cut the wood.
- We realized we could cut multiple thin pieces of wood at one time.
- Set aside the prepared pieces of wood.
- We began stapling the top of two side pieces first. Our strategy was to start with the “awkward” staples to make while it was easier and just the solo side. By awkward, I mean the 2″ by 1″ wood piece was standing on its 1″ side instead of 2″.
- Normally we just stapled about 3 times, but sometimes we went a little staple happy. Stapling is easy at least.
- With the pieces laying on their sides, position the strips where you’d like them.
- Go through and staple the rest of the strips to create the two first sides.
- Two sides are finished and you’re half way done!
- Now turn the two side pieces up on their sides instead of the flat way you’ve been creating them. Now position the strips for the side facing up and staple those down.
- Turn it over and position the strips for the fourth and final side and staple those on.
And there you have it – a tomato cage!
I thought it looked really good in the garden, if I do say so myself!
After we felt comfortable making one tomato cage, we did an assembly line to create the other cages. We have 6 total cages up in our garden and a total of 11 tomato plants – mostly volunteer tomatoes from last year.
If you have kids too, I don’t know when you’re able to get stuff done with your husband, but a sprinkling of evenings and rare Saturdays seem to be the only time we have together to work on things. This was a great night of doing this while the kids played. The sun started setting, but we were determined to finish!
(My girl sitting and reading there is reading a gardening book looking for some info we need for our fruit trees. It takes a team out here, but my kids are really starting to represent. My little guy there is just happy as long as he has something to occupy him and he is close to us … in this case it is a watering can and a garden hose that is doing the trick. My other girls are having a swinging competition – oh, sisters.)
It got too dark to continue taking pictures, so I had to come back the next day for a picture. I can’t help it, I LOVE IT!!!!
And we got them in place just in time, because we left to go out of town for a week after we got them setup and the day we returned, our tomatoes had already grown this much. And this picture was a few weeks ago … they are already so much taller with tons of tomato balls forming all over the place. Watching things grow is so beautiful to me!
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Gardening is so different than other home projects. I like projects in general, but working in the garden feels like an escape from real work … even though I work harder and sweat more. I guess that’s love.
Are you a backyard and garden junkie too? I couldn’t always be because of allergies, but taming those has been so liberating!