Gardening Mamas - Supporting Tomatoes!

Updated on April 07, 2010
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH
8 answers

We are a tomato loving family! My youngest daughter can eat an entire plant of cherrie tomatoes (fullest harvest) completely by herself! Last year I grew 18 cherrie/grape tomato type plants and 18 large tomato varieties.(even with all those plants my daughter rarely let a tomato into the house. I had to beat her out to pick before she did. LOL. My problem is that I don't have time to prune suckers or train vines up trellises or tie up stakes every day or 2 during the growing season. My tomatoes get anywhere from 6 to 8 feet tall and although they are planted 3 feet or more apart they are usually over lapping and crisscrossing so they pretty much become a tomato jungle as some other gardener once put it.So how is the best way to support my tomato jungle?At the beginning of the growing season I put those store bought wire cages in the ground.... but before the plants even had fruit they broke and fell over. Waste of time and money, then later (way too late) my husband put 2 10 foot 4x4 stakes in the ground and ran clothes line and pulled individual branches up to tie to the wire but... this took forever and it was difficult because the branches we intertwinned with each other and it was like untangling multiple knotted necklace chains! Not fun!

So what are your suggestions knowing our lazy habits and our huge, heavy growing tomatoes?
Thanks for your help

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answers from Columbus on

Gardners supply company (look them up online) has several extra tall tomato cages. You need to put them in place when you plant the tomatos or within a week of doing so.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

We are a tomato loving family too! I have a small garden (that I have to expand this year) so my plants are REALLY close together. I use tomato cages, but I use the BIG ones. I think the ones we used last year were about 3 ft high and bigger around than my arm span. We plant cherry tomatoes, Beef Steak tomatoes and Early Girls and my cages haven't ever broken. Maybe look around at some gardening stores to see if they offer a cage that would be big enough to support your plants. The best thing to do, whatever you decide, is to do it RIGHT away. If you decide to use a trellis, put it up when you plant your tomatoes, then you can train as they grow, instead of sorting out a mess later on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You may want to see if you can find bamboo. We have neighbors that are always trying to cut back their bamboo, so we collect it from them. Many pieces are almost 18 feet tall. I use 2of these as poles per plant and gardening string criss crossing so the plants can climb up .

. Our problem is not the tomato loving daughter you have, but the squirrels and raccoons! I have to use plant netting over the whole thing and use bricks to hold it all down.

Hope you have a successful season!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

You can make your own baskets with fence. Buy the height/size you want, then cut in sections, roll in a circle and secure with wire!!!! Much taller and stronger than most store bought tomato baskets.

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answers from Seattle on

Call Gardener and ask him about what is best for you to do.



answers from Topeka on

I don't have any problem with my tomato gardens maybe because I don't do it my husband does all the work.Have a great summer



answers from Columbus on

I bought little wire tomato cages and they all fell over too.... last year I bought the largest, heavy duty ones.... we only had 4 tomato plants, but they get huge.... I used zip ties to attach all the cages together. We had no problems.



answers from Elkhart on

I bought heavy-duty tomato ladders here:

They are wonderful! A bit expensive but considering they should last a lifetime, worth the money spent. Maybe you could buy one or two sets a year to build up your supply of them.

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