Quick DIY for gardeners: Tomato cages

in palnet •  5 months ago  (edited)

Hi fellow DIY enthusiasts / gardeners,

First post on the PALnet site, would love to get others to post there as well! All you have to do is visit https://palnet.io and login with your active key to enjoy rewards in both Steem as well as PAL!

Today's post is a bit of a quick one but it was still fun and I believe helpful. I recently shared our garden project here but it was lacking some important hardware, particularly for tomatoes: cages!

If you've ever grown tomatoes, you know that the plants generally need quite a bit of support like any other vegetable/fruit plant that doesn't end up being a tree. The plants branches get heavy with their delicious treats and can't stand up on their own so many use cages to assist them in staying upright.

image source

One thing I didn't realize until I went to my local hardware store is that the metal cages I was thinking of using were actually poisonous for our health! The poison comes from the galvanize coating they put on the metal to prevent it from rusting. I get the need for it but I don't want that stuff washing off into my plants and then into my dinner plate! I decided to take matters into my own hands, with a 10 minute fun little DIY that can be done with multiple different materials.

DIY wood frame

One thing I wasn't able to do this time was gather some decent sticks. We've been having a tough time with ticks in our area and I didn't want to venture into the woods to then collect a handful of ticks crawling on me; I have a friend with Lyme disease so I didn't want to risk that at the moment! I ended up grabbing some small wooden posts from a local hardware store as an interim solution to see how they fare for the season; if they do poorly then I will go the stick route next year!

There were just a few simple, very cheap supplies needed for this project!

I bought 10 of these 48" wooden posts to help support the plants:


I also have a big bag of zip ties, which were something I needed to use since I doubted that twine would be able to withstand the weather for the many months this summer


I also just used a basic pair of pliers that I could find to cut the wood, these were the only ones I could find easily in our house.



I first needed to cut the sticks I bought. I measured roughly how wide they would need to be and made several pieces out of one of them.


I then inserted 3 of the full length ones into the potted plants and used the ones I cut to go between two of them so when the tomato plants grow higher, I can guide them to grow within the area. I used the zip ties to connect the horizontal sticks with the vertical ones.


I put the zip ties at a crisscross angle so they would support both of the sticks; the tomato plants get pretty heavy when they're loaded with delicious tomatoes!


I repeated this on the other big tomato plant and had some pretty solid support for them!


The smaller ones I am going to try to put one single vertical stick and zip tie them to the stick to see if that works any better.

How's your garden doing? Let me know what you've got going on!

Check out my other DIY posts if you'd like!
Securely Hanging a Cabinet ;

Joint Compound on Ceiling ; Washing Machine Drain Pump ; Bubble wrap insulation on a wall ; Finish work in the bathroom ; Bubble wrap on windows ; Laminate floors in a bathroom ; Ball joints on a car

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The cage is there not to protect the tomatoes from us... But to protect us from those killer tomatoes!!!!!!

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Hahah be careful of those demons!

Great idea. Maybe I will try this if some tomato plants my grandson brought home that someone was giving away end up flourishing.

Thanks! It’s fun, maybe do it with your grandson and show him how to think for himself on the best way to support the plants without the store.

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Awesome thanks! First feature by you folks I’m honored!

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I have always tried to plant the tomatoes, but he has never given me what I want, I have always seen a kind of white homgo in the leaves, a kind of fungus that covers the leaf and damages it, I do not know if you know that I can do in that case, some homemade trick, or a perticida. I dedicate myself to cultivate paprika because it is stronger.

Thanks for stopping by! It sounds to me like you should try using some essential oils! I've used them in the past with mild success but I didn't spend as much time as I should have keeping an eye on the plants.

Essential oils for plant fungus

Linked above is a quick article I found but many of them say the same things: rosemary oil, tea trea oil and castile soap are great at helping reduce or eliminate plant fungus. I would love to find out if this worked for you, so if you try it let me know!

Thank you, I will try it, but I see that it always applies the same principle, to avoid that the fungus has a support on the surface of the leaf by means of substance that repel it ... it will be a matter of trying!

This post is worthy of a @curie community upvote. I, as a farmer found this to be helpful though the last time I stake a tomato was two years ago and it was with a rope, the cucumbers style.

I'll surely show some of my friends this type of yours to see how this could be replicated. Though I've seen something close to it before.

Job well done.

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

Thanks for stopping by! I am glad you enjoyed it, and think it could easily be applied to yours as well as others gardens/farms. I haven't tried tomatoes for a few years either but knew that I wanted to not go the route of those metal cages. I would have enjoyed doing it with sticks from the wooded areas near our house but we've had so much rain lately that the ticks have exploded in population! The plants are doing well, I am going to additionally support them in another way and go into that in my next garden journal update in a couple weeks. Would like to see you again in the future on my posts!

I would be honored to receive a curie vote but would understand if this is a bit too short for their criteria.