As I’ve stated before, in the summer I am first and foremost a gardener. One of my dilemmas every couple of years is to find a better way to stake tomatoes. Those typical conical type tomato cages don’t hold up very long, nor do they hold heavy plants very well. I want to be able to reuse it year after year AND be able to hold the heavy branches. Too much to expect? Perhaps.
My step-dad built me some wood tomato cages and those worked really well. They were sturdy and held the branches when they were heavy with fat tomatoes not quite ripe. However, I should have painted or treated the wood. And, they were bulky. I had to store them outside (no room in our shed). Eventually, they rotted away. Yet, they lasted several years.
I found a new type of tomato cage this year! It is a spiral tomato cage.
It collapses flat when not in use. The bottom, and widest part of the spiral, anchors into the ground. The top and smallest part of the spiral has a screw for anchoring it against the top of a stake. What I like about it is it has LOTS of spirals to hold up a crazy tomato plant. It stores flat! The downside is that it is made of plastic. You need a stake that is at least 1 inch wide for the spiral to anchor to at the top. It is a vice, basically, and you twist the screw until it reaches the stake. The thumb turn thingy on my screw broke off, being plastic. I’ll figure out how to unscrew it after the tomatoes are done producing.
I have high hopes for this design. Even though it is plastic, since it lays flat for storage, I will be able to bring it out of the elements every winter – prolonging its life….in theory. Has anyone else seen these? Have you used one? I purchased mine from the Urban Farmer in Westfield, Indiana.