To make sure you get the very most from your Vegetable and Tomato Cage, we’d like to tell you a little about how they work and how to make sure your tomato plants grow up strong and beautifully supported all summer long.
The most important thing to note is that the Vegetable and Tomato Cage is more of a replacement for tying tomato plants to a stake than an actual cage. To make them work properly, you will still need to make sure that the initial stalks are contained within the rings.
- ENCOURAGE VERTICAL GROWTH -- The cage supports tomato or other plants, and encourages them to grow vertically. So the fruit and leaves don't weigh down the stems.
- STRONG AND STURDY -- Inside each stake is durable steel core. These stakes are covered with a heavy-duty plastic coating. It means long-lasting performance spanning several seasons.
- CONTINUOUS SUPPORT -- This cage allows constant healthy growth with the placement and movement of the snap-on arms as they easily attach to the stakes.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE -- No tools needed, this cage takes minimal time and effort to set up. 51 inch height meets the maximum height of most tomato plant varieties. Convenient to store after dismantling.
- FOR CLIMBING PLANTS -- This garden cage is designed specifically for vertical climbing plants to provide support. Perfect for growing tomato plants, pole beans, cucumbers, grapes, and kiwi.
Stakes are not included, because people have different height requirements depending on which plants they are using the cage with. You can use stakes that you might already have at home with the tomato and vegetable cage.
When you first extend and hold up the Vegetable and Tomato Cage, you may be surprised at how flexible and “springy” the Vegetable and Tomato Cage seems. You may even think, “How can something this flexible hold up a full-grown tomato plant?”
But don’t let the up-and-down flexibility of the Vegetable and Tomato Cage fool you. That’s because the engineered design of the Veggie Cage means that it does not hold the weight of the plant and all those tomatoes up-and-down, but rather side-to-side.
If you were to slide your forearms up inside the Vegetable and Tomato Cage and press outward, you’d see how rigid it suddenly becomes. That’s exactly how it works in your garden. The main branches of the tomato plant lean out against the inside of the rings, and the Veggie Cage becomes “one” with the plant.
- ✔ MULTI-FUNCTION BEST TOMATO CAGES-- 🍅 It is a big upgrade over your basic metal frame ones. They are same heavy-duty, a little nicer to look at, and most important, the adjustable bars. They make it so you can really give the plant support right where it needs it.Doesn't matter if it's tomatoes, pole beans, grapes, climbing fruits and vegetables, etc.
- ✔ MODULAR DIY CAGES DESIGN-- 🍅 you can link them together to form different shapes and heights for the 2 plants you needed them for. Not just a triangle,but also Frame Trellis, teepee trellis, tomato tower and so on; ★★ Come with 9Pcs Vine Clips ★★, make a quick job of adding additional support,you could use an extra one here or there for a naughty branch.
- ✔ STRONG STEEL CORE STAKES-- 🍅 Inside stainless steel provide a durable and sturdy support, green plastic coating will not affect the aesthetics.It means long-lasting performance spanning several seasons and never rust.
- ✔ EASY TO ASSEMBLE AND STORE -- 🍅 These tomato trellis are super easy to put together - takes 3 minutes each cage without the need for tools; At the end of the season they come apart easily and take up very little room for storage.
Read More: Best Types of Vegetable and Tomato Cage
The Vegetable and Tomato Cage functions as a truss or like a girder that connects the whole plant making a completely stable and strong “structure”. You will love how simple and natural the spiral Veggie Cage really works. What’s more, the flexibility allows the Vegetable and Tomato Cage to be stored nearly flat at the end of the season; you need only to flip it upside-down to make it collapse.
As your young tomato plants begin to grow, you’ll want to give it a little “guidance” by tucking the main branches into the coils, when they are tall enough to reach them. Thereafter, you should take a look at your plants about once each week, to make sure that none of the branches are growing outside the Vegetable and Tomato Cage. Any loose branches should simply be tucked inside the nearest coil. As the plant gets taller and taller, you will need to do this less and less(stakes not included).
How Tomato Cage Works
I was challenged and inspired by my Father-in-Law Joe, a gardener from central Wisconsin, to come up with a better tomato cage system; so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the issues and frustrations that can come from using the standard wire tomato cage. Below are the main points that I focused on to produce the BEST TOMATO CAGE.
Plant Support and Protection
Improper support and protection can cause too much stress on the plant.
When the plants were allowed to grow out on top of the ground, I noticed a lot of broken vines, ground rotted tomatoes, easy access for critters to get at the tomatoes, and the plants took up way too much valuable garden space.
When using the standard wire cages, I noticed that the diameter of the wire was way too small and when the vine grew outside of the cage and got heavier with tomatoes, the wire created a tourniquet effect on the tender vines causing a lot of tissue stress and cell structure damage to those vines and in turn putting a halt on its vertical growth and yield of the plant.
Read More: Growing Hanging Tomatoes Method
Also, the small diameter wire cages did not offer much protection when the wind came up. Most of the cages were leaning, bent over, or even pulled up out of the ground.
Read More: Best Gardening Tips for Beginners
In the peak of summer, the ground can get so hard, that even heavy watering may not be delivering enough moisture or nutrients down to the root structure where it’s needed most.
Continuous watering and/or overhead watering can cause leaf curl, blight, or other diseases that will impede the health and production of the plant.
Weeding and Harvesting
Plants that have no containment system or support of any kind, and were allowed to sprawl out onto the ground make weeding a challenging chore.
Also maneuvering around the plants to harvest the tomatoes was a yoga workout in itself, trying not to step on the plants or other tomatoes.
Removal and Storage
The conical shape of the widely used wire cage makes removal from the tomato plant a daunting task. At the end of the growing season or when frost hits, the cage has rusted somewhat and the spot welds tend to break when pulling it up out of the ground. By the time you get the plant out of the wire cage, the cage itself is so bent up that they won’t stack for storage as nice as they did when they were on display in the store. As a matter of fact, I know some folks that just dispose of the whole thing, and buy new ones every year.
Read More: How To Grow San Marzano Tomatoes
So contrary to popular belief, growing a simple tomato is not a simple process.
Four key items that are required to grow a healthy plant are:
- Plenty of direct sunlight
- The correct amount of water
- Good protection/support for the plant
After thinking, tinkering, and a couple of seasons of trial and error, I invented a system that is able to grow towering, healthy, lush, and bushy plants with lots of tomatoes on them. Even here in Wisconsin, the plants were still producing tomatoes well into October or later, depending on when the first frost would hit.
Tormato With Trellis and Nutrient Delivery System
Here is a feeding tube coming from the irrigation system through the PVC and feeding the roots of the plant. If an irrigation system is not in place, simply drill some smallish holes in the stake end of the Tormato, and a hole to insert the hose or watering can of choice into and feed right down to the roots of the plant. Just like they like it!
The Tormato is also functioning as a trellis here. This tomato has the optional trellis cap. A string is dropped down from there, and the tomato is gently twisted around the string as it grows.
I hope you’ll look around and decide to try one… Or a dozen!
I came up with this crazy idea during my massive spring fever this year, and this is the trial year for the Tormato! I had initially wanted to make a freestanding version out of conduit but was not having much success with my pipe bending skills. Then one day, it hit me. PEX!! and PVC!! Both are fairly cheap (10 ft of 1 1/4 inch PVC is about $2.00, 20 feet of 1/2 inch Pex is about $6.00)
I’m expecting good results (i.e less time spent tying up my plants in the garden) and will be documenting my experience with my Tomatoes here. I’m looking for others who may want to try this system and have other modifications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When I mounted the Vegetable and Tomato Cage on the tomato stakes, there were still rings left on the ground. Am I using them correctly?
Answer: Since this feature of the Vegetable and Tomato Cage confused so many people, the manufacturer shortened the product in 2015 and made the rungs much stiffer. It will still work for most plants up to 7 feet, and there is no problem with having excess rings on the ground, but this should eliminate some of the confusion.
- Dimension: 3 Pack 48 Inches/3Pack 4feet height tomato cage,hight up 4ft-48 inch(120 cm with 60cm-2pcs), width: 12 inch(31 cm). Can high up to 4ft total 3pack. You also can assemble it for 6 Pack 24Inch plant cages for small climbing plant, flower, etc.
- Usage:Our plant stake multi vines of climbing plants, flowers, vegetables. Great stakes for cucumber, eggplant, tomato, ivy, roses, clematis, jasmine, blackberry, beans, peas, grapes, morning glory, long stemmed etc.
- Durable: Each stake inside iron, surface coated plastic, rust-resistant. Great garden helper, easy to insert in soil to support plants. Helping your plants growth well.
- Collapsible Design: Promptly Self-assembled, Time-saving, Adjustable Height. Easy to install, and easy to cloth and storage. Save your garden place.
- Reusable and Natural: Green appearance as plants makes it blend into garden. Coated plastic can be used all year round in any weather.
Q: Does This Product Really Work?
Answer: 2018 marks the fourth full season for the Vegetable and Tomato Cage. It is safe to safe that the product works extremely well. Of course, it has to be used properly. It does not exactly function like a cage. Rather, it is an alternative to tying tomato plants that many people feel works much better than cages. For the Veggie Cage to work properly, you must ensure that the stalks are pushed within the cylinder of the “cage” as they grow.
Q: What Kind of Stake Should I Use With the Vegetable and Tomato Cage?
Answer: The clamping mechanism on top of the Vegetable and Tomato Cage can accommodate either square or round stakes. In testing, we often use stakes that actually measure 1.25″ x 1.25″. This is the maximum size that fits in the clamp. We cut them to 7 feet in length so that we can bury the stake one foot deep into the ground. Conduit, rebar, and other wood stakes can also be used effectively.