Skip to Content

The Best Tomato Cage Varieties to Use and Which One to Avoid

Sharing is caring!

Tomato cages are indispensable tools for any gardener who wants to grow healthy, bountiful tomato plants.

These simple structures offer crucial support, enabling tomatoes to thrive by reducing the stress on the plant’s stems, improving air circulation around the foliage, and making fruit easier to harvest.

This article explores the best varieties of tomato cages suitable for different types of tomato plants and highlights one particular type that might be best avoided.

Understand Tomato Cages

Tomato cages are structures designed to support the vertical growth of tomato plants, helping to keep the plants off the ground and reduce the risk of disease.

Historically, gardeners improvised with whatever materials were at hand to provide support for climbing plants.

Today, a wide variety of manufactured cages are available, including cone-shaped, square, spiral, and even customizable DIY cages.

Each type has its design aimed at addressing different needs depending on plant size and garden space.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Tomato Cages

Selecting the right tomato cage involves several considerations to ensure that it meets the needs of both the plants and the gardener:

Size and Growth Habit

Tomato plants vary in size from compact cherry tomatoes to sprawling beefsteak varieties. The cage size and design should accommodate the specific growth habit of the plant.

Material Durability

Tomato cages are typically made from metal, plastic, or occasionally wood. Metal cages offer durability and sturdiness, whereas plastic cages may be lighter and more resistant to weathering.

Wooden cages, while less common, can provide an aesthetic appeal and natural look but may not last as long as metal or plastic.

Ease of Installation and Storage

Consider how easy the cage is to install around your plants and how much space it takes up when not in use. Some cages are foldable or stackable, making them easier to store in the off-season.

Cost Considerations

The price of tomato cages varies widely based on material and durability. While it might be tempting to go for cheaper options, investing in more durable cages can be cost-effective in the long run due to their longevity.

Aesthetic Preferences

While functionality is key, the appearance of the cages can also be important, especially in ornamental gardens.

Some gardeners prefer cages that blend in with the garden, while others might choose colorful or artistically designed cages to make a visual statement.

Best Tomato Cage Varieties

When it comes to selecting the best tomato cage, there are several types that stand out due to their effectiveness and popularity among gardeners:

Cone-Shaped Wire Cages

These are the most commonly used tomato cages and are ideal for medium-sized plants. They are typically made from galvanized steel, which resists rust and can handle the weight of growing tomatoes. The cone shape allows them to be easily inserted into the soil, providing good stability.

Heavy-Duty Square Cages

Made from thicker wires or metal bars, these cages are square or rectangular and provide excellent support for larger, heavier tomato varieties.

They often come with modular or stacking options, allowing the height to be adjusted as plants grow.

Adjustable and Expandable Cages

These cages offer flexibility in terms of adjustment as they can expand in diameter and height to accommodate growing plants.

They are perfect for gardeners who grow different types of tomatoes each season or who need versatile solutions.

Vertical Trellis Systems

While not a cage per se, vertical trellises serve a similar function and are particularly useful for very tall or vining tomato varieties.

They can be made from wood or metal and are often used alongside or as an alternative to traditional cages, especially in smaller spaces where horizontal spread is limited.

The Variety to Avoid

While many types of tomato cages can offer excellent support and functionality, there is one particular style that may not meet the needs of most gardeners: the thin wire cone cages.

These cages are often appealing due to their low cost and availability in many garden centers, but they tend to be less durable and may not support the weight of a fully grown tomato plant, especially the larger varieties.

The thin metal wires can easily bend or collapse under the weight of the fruit, and their narrow base often does not anchor securely in the soil, leading to stability issues as the plant matures.

Innovative and DIY Tomato Cage Ideas

For gardeners looking to blend creativity with functionality, DIY tomato cages offer an opportunity to tailor support structures to the specific needs of their plants and garden spaces. Here are a few innovative ideas:

Wooden Frame Cage

Constructing a cage from wooden stakes and horizontal rails offers a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing option. This cage can be customized to any dimensions and painted or treated to withstand the elements.

PVC Pipe Cage

Using PVC pipes to create a cage frame provides a lightweight, rot-resistant alternative to metal or wood.

This type of cage can be assembled with connectors to form a cube or rectangular shape that is easy to disassemble and store.

Concrete Reinforcing Mesh Cages

This material can be cut and shaped into large, durable cages that accommodate bigger plants. The mesh openings are large enough to allow easy harvesting and can be shaped into cylinders or squares, depending on the gardener’s preference.

Maintenance and Care for Tomato Cages

To ensure that tomato cages last through multiple growing seasons, proper maintenance is crucial. Here are tips to keep your cages in good condition:

Cleaning and Repair

At the end of the growing season, remove any plant debris from the cages and clean them with a mild soap solution to prevent disease and pest infestation. Check for any signs of wear or damage and make necessary repairs.


Store cages in a dry, sheltered place to prevent rust and weather damage. If space is limited, choose designs that are collapsible or stackable.

Repurposing Old Cages

If a cage is no longer suitable for tomatoes, consider using it for other climbing plants in your garden, such as peas or cucumbers, which may not require as much support.

Choosing the right tomato cage can significantly influence the health and productivity of your tomato plants.

By considering the size, material, and design of the cage, gardeners can ensure optimal growth conditions.

Although thin wire cone cages are less recommended due to their limited durability and support, there are many other options that can suit different gardening needs.

Additionally, innovative and DIY solutions provide customizable and creative alternatives to traditional cages, enhancing the functionality and aesthetics of garden spaces.

Sharing is caring!