Stake or Cage Tomatoes

Stake or Cage Tomatoes

In the Vegetable Gardening
Seems like everyone has an opinion on whether to stake or cage tomato plants. I'm just wondering what has worked best for you guys.

6 Replies So Far

I have tried both and find myself squarely in the "cage" camp. My situation is fairly unique since I am disabled and thus garden from a wheelchair. Fortunately I have a raised bed garden which simplifies things greatly. I found it quite difficult to tie the tomato plant stem to the stake, especially when the plants got higher. Conversely, it was easy to keep the tomato plant contained inside the cage. I also found that as the staked tomato plants grew taller they could get blown over by the wind. This did not happen once I made sturdy tomato cages.
I only have one side of my house that gets full sun, so I need to plant the tomato plants close to the house. The cage seems to be the best for me, as I don't have much room to put a tall stake. My biggest "problem" comes when the plants are full of tomatoes and even the cages are leaning over, but that is a nice problem to have!!
I have had to use both cagings and stakes. I have had few bad growth years even for a northern state such as Massachusetts. If I cage only the cages bend too far over under weight of the fruits. I mainly grow Heirlooms. 48 Plants yearly. 25% for home, 25% for our local food pantry and 50% are sold in the local farmers market.
In our experience in the California high desert, cages work the best. I use wire mesh that is used to reinforce concrete. It is a 6 inch mesh and is very sturdy. I have been using the same cages for over 40 years. We have very strong winds in the spring of the year and the cages help support the plants better.


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