I needed a lot of tomato cages this year as I expanded my veggie garden. When I researched the prices of cages, I stumbled upon information regarding professional growers. They don't generally use cages, they use stakes. I thought, "Stakes have to be cheaper than cages". And they are... but I needed 48!!! So, I went shopping in my shed, in my garage, and anywhere else I thought I might find something to repurpose into tomato stakes and/or cages.
Last year, I was given vinyl fencing material. At the time, I had big plans for that fence.... but then I changed my mind. So instead of sending the fence to the landfill, I tucked it into a corner of my yard until I found someone who could use it or I found a new purpose for it. That fence material has become my new tomato stakes and cages.
It's a very simple process.
Step 1: Materials Needed
Get your hands on some vinyl fencing. I found mine through a bartering/free website, but I have seen fencing at garage sales and flea markets. Vinyl fencing is very durable and will last a long time. This pic is the fencing that I have remaining after my projects are completed. These slats are 1' by 2' and 6 feet long.
Step 2: More Materials
You will also need the following.
For tomato stakes:
Large Drill Bit (I'm not sure what size I used, but the 1/4 inch bolts fit loosely in the holes)
14 gauge wire (not shown)
For tomato cages you will need the above supplies PLUS:
saw (I used a compound mitre saw)
1/4 inch by 2 1/2 bolts
1/4 inch washers
1/4 inch nuts
Step 3: Measuring the stakes
Use the sharpie to measure one foot increments on the stake.