Intro: How To: Make Tomato Ladders From the IKEA Salvia Trellis
Tomato ladders (similar to tomato cages) are great for smaller spaces -- like raised container beds -- because they help the plant grow up rather than out.
The flimsy $1.99 variety that I tried last year, required lots of triage with bamboo, twine and pieces of a trellis - it got pretty ugly. I found IKEA Salvia trellises on clearance last year for $3. So here is the concept of a tomato ladder using pieces of the trellis.
Each ladder uses 6 Salvia trellis squares (there are 9 squares in a pack).
Step 1: Connecting the First Side
Hook together three pieces of the trellis with the middle piece on the outside of the end pieces. This is one side of the trellis.
Step 2: Adding the Second Side
Attach the lower and middle pieces of the other side by slipping them through the square part of the first side and interlocking them. Repeat with the top piece.
Step 3: Strengthening the Cage
Use zip ties to hook the middle vertical sections together.
This helps strengthen the ladder since the top and bottom corners of the trellis are loose.
Step 4: Step 4: Installing in the Garden
Insert the lower angled pieces into the ground (about 3-4 inches) and drive small stakes or pins into the ground to anchor the ladder.
There you have it - a thick, steel tomato ladder for $10 each (or $2 in my case because of the clearance deal). Read more about my tomato ladders