Intro: Simple Tomato Cage
As a dedicated sucker plucker, I like to grow my tomato plants tall. The flimsy little tomato cages you get at the garden center have never appealed to me and staking them just seems too much work. So I use concrete reinforcing welded mesh to create cages. I can't claim the idea, as I saw it somewhere ages ago.
The nice thing about the wire is that it's tall and sturdy, and has big enough holes to easily reach in and pull out the tomatos.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Heavy duty wire cutters. These are actually 8" bolt cutters from harbor freight.
A nice big roll of welded wire mesh from your local hardware store.
Step 2: Make the Cage
The first one off the roll will likely have some damaged ends, so I trim the first 2 sections or so off and make the horizontal wire cuts flush with the vertical wire.
For my use, I find that 12 sections gives me a nice sized cage for my tomatoes. As you can see, the cuts are flush on the left, and the wire is sticking out on the right side.
Use the vice grips to bend a 'hook' on the loose wire ends. Once you get all the hooks made, you are almost done.
Just bring the whole thing together into a cylinder, there you go, a perfect tomato cage.
On my raised beds, I usually wire the cages together and to the bed to make sure they don't blow over in the wind. You may want to either stake them down, or find some other way to make sure they don't blow over.