Tomato cages can be very helpful tools in the garden to encourage your tomato plants to grow in an upward fashion and keep the tomatoes well away from the ground so they don’t prematurely spoil. The top tomato cages give plants all of the support they need to grow strong and tall while producing a lot of tomatoes. As a bonus, high-quality tomato cages are easy to use, put together, and store, and they’re strong enough to work with different types of tomatoes and weather conditions.
We’re going to outline the biggest things you should keep in mind as you shop for your new tomato cages, give you a few options, and show you how to make a tomato cage by yourself so you can customize it to your needs.
Since tomato plants can produce prolifically, it’s common to need to supply them with extra support to keep the fruit out of the dirt and protect the stems from snapping.
Why Tomato Cages are Important
Sooner or later, your tomato plants will need support. They have flexible stems and a tall growth habit that doesn’t allow them to stand upright by themselves, especially once the heavier fruits start to come in. Without the proper support or staking from a tomato cage or trellis, your plants will succumb to their own lanky growth habit and weight.
Under the best scenarios, any unsupported tomato plants will sprawl out on the ground. This is a very big mess to try and maintain, and it also means that most of the fruit will end up on the ground too. This makes them far more prone to issues with disease, pests, or rotting. In the worst-case scenario, your plant’s stalk will snap without having the adequate support to keep it upright.
Tomato Cage – Buying Considerations
Tomato cages help support your plants, and they can even encourage the plant to produce more fruit. But, how do you pick out the best tomato cages? The following quick considerations will help to keep you on the right track when you shop to ensure that you get a durable cage.
Some tomato cages come assembled, but there are models out there that require you assemble with stabilizing poles and several connecting pieces. Very few tomato cages will require any tools or help from a second person to put them together, and larger cages are usually the ones that require assembly. Smaller cages usually either come ready to use or have a few steps needed to put them together. If you’re concerned with this process, double-check the assembly instructions before you buy them.
Virtually any tomato cage you pick out will be made out of metal. They can come with an uncoated metal, galvanized steel, or a coated metal. Metal will give you a very secure and durable setup, but uncoated metal is prone to rust issues. Coated metal, no matter if it has a powder or plastic coating, provides the cage much better resistance to the weather.
A second benefit with picking out coated metal is the temperature. Uncoated metal can get surprisingly hot with sun exposure. If you touch it when you reach for your tomatoes, you can get burned. Coated metal doesn’t heat up nearly as much, and you should consider where you plan to put the tomato cages and whether or not rust will be an issue when you pick out a material.
You can choose from three main shapes when it comes to picking out your tomato cages, and they are:
- Curved-Link Stakes – These are usually rectangular, and they can give you slightly more stability than ring-style cages. They also give more support for heavier tomato varieties and stronger cultivars. They fold up easily to make storage a snap.
- Triangular – Triangular cages lend more support to your plant because the bars are much closer together. This makes this tomato cage great for you if you plant to grow smaller varieties of tomatoes.
- Ring-Style – Finally, we have ring-style tomato cages. The circular shape gives them plenty of room to grow out and spread, and this can result in more fruit, especially when you add tomato fertilizer.
Tomato cages come in a range of sizes, and the smaller ones measure up to 15 inches high while the larger ones can easily top 72 inches. The size you pick will depend on the garden size and which tomato plants you picked out to grow. For smaller cultivars like New Big Dwarf or Tiny Tim, you’ll get away with smaller cages. Bigger cultivars like Big Boy and Beefsteak will need bigger cages. Some cages do come with an adjustable height, and this allows you to use them with big and small plants.
Most tomato plants require some form of support to keep them upright, and choosing the correct tomato cage for your cultivars helps ensure they won’t overwhelm the cage.
The 10 Best Tomato Cages You Can Buy
There are hundreds of tomato cages available, and this makes it challenging to pick out the best one. This is why we picked out 10 of the best tomato cages on the market, and you can decide whether or not they’ll work for you.
1. K-Brands Tomato Cage – Top Pick
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These three packs of tomato cages from K-Brands come in a triangular shape, and they’re made with plastic-coated steel. This coating prevents them from overheating in the sun and resists rust in wet environments. It works well for bigger tomato varieties, and they can get up to 72 inches high. You get snap-on clips on these cages that make it easy to thread your tomato vines through the cage and secure them as your plants grow.
Even tomatoes that start out from seeds or small seedlings can grow big enough for support from these tomato cages due to the adjustable height. The green color will nicely camouflage the cages, and this can make your garden look neater and more attractive. The cages do require that you assemble them when you get them, but you won’t need any tools to do so.
- Features a plastic-coated steel for durability
- Has an adjustable height up to 72 inches
- Has three cages per order
- Includes snap-on clips
- Reputable brand
- Assembly required
2. LEOBRO Plant Support Stake – Step-Up Pick
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If you plan on growing smaller tomatoes, this is a ring-style tomato cage that measures 9.4 inches wide by just 15.6 inches high. But, they give your plants plenty of support. They’re available in packs of four, and the cages can stand alone or you can put them in a half-circle or combine them to create a full circle around your plant.
This tomato cage is made with metal that has a green plastic coating over it, and this makes the cage very discreet in your garden, easy to use, and durable. The two piece construction they have ensures that you can place them around your tomato plants without injuring the plants. They also need almost no assembly outside of connecting the two pieces to form a circle.
- Comes with four cages
- Easy to slip around your plants
- Height adjusts as your plants grow
- Iron construction has a discreet green plastic coating
- No assembly required
- Legs are thinner
- Not meant for larger cultivars
3. GROWNEER Tomato Garden Cages – Mid-End Budget Pick
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This triple pack of tomato cages from Growneer come in triangular shapes and feature a steel design with a plastic coating to make them more resistant to rust. You get a tool-free, easy assembly process with them, and each cage will extend up to 51 inches tall and 13 inches wide. You can adjust them to work with smaller tomato plants or young seedlings. Also, it’s possible to build them around existing plants.
When you purchase this product, you’ll get 328 feet of garden twist tie that you can use to secure the tomato plants to the posts. Nine included clips will work to hold the vines in place and support them. There is also a green coloring on the plastic coating which will help them blend into your garden.
- Adjustable height up to 51 inches
- Comes with three cages
- Includes 328 feet of twist tie
- Made with steel with a plastic coating
- 13-inch diameter is too narrow for some containers or plants
- May not work well with large tomato varieties
4. Legigo Plant Support Cages – Bargain Budget Pick
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If you’re on a tight budget but you still need quality tomato cages for your plants, we suggest this simple pick. You get five 54-inch tomato cages in each order, and they feature a durable galvanized metal material that is very inexpensive without sacrificing the ability to support your plants.
This tomato cage comes with a very basic design, they have been in use for almost as long as people have used these cages to provide support for their plants. They’re durable, strong, press very easily and quickly into the ground, and they’re easy to store in the off-season. You may need to add an additional stake for support as your plants grow, but they’re nice for people on a budget.
- 54 inches tall
- Easy to set up
- Features a galvanized metal material
- Get five cages per order
- Inexpensive choice
- Have to provide more support
- Very basic
5. Panacea Products Support Cage – Best For Small Cultivars
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Coming in with 10 cages per order, this set is perfect for someone who planted a range of tomato plants and has a full garden. They feature galvanized wire, and the cages are 6 inches in diameter at the base, 12 inches at the top, and stand 33 inches tall.
You’ll get a three-rung tapered design with these tomato cages that gives smaller tomatoes a very sturdy base, as well as other climbing vegetables and fruits. The smaller bottom diameter on these cages means that you can fit them easily into your garden or container, and the bigger top opening makes it easy to harvest tomatoes when they ripen. When you’re not using them, they store neatly.
- 33 inches tall for larger plants
- Comes with 10 cages
- Galvanized wire materials
- Nicely tapered design
- Stackable makes them easy to store
- More expensive
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use
6. Gardener’s Blue Ribbon Tomato Cages – Best For DIYers
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This is a DIY tomato cage, and the design type with the versatility it offers makes it one to consider. This pick comes with a very basic package that contains only three poly-plastic stakes with supports that clip on. You can attach the supports anywhere you like along the stakes, and this allows you to get a custom made fit that will support any tomato plant or vining vegetable like cucumbers.
The stakes on this tomato cage are made out of a poly-plastic material that won’t rot or rust. So, as long as you don’t abuse them, they can last as long as metal stakes. If you have several different tomato cultivars available that grow to different heights and widths, you can custom make this support set to match.
- Adjustable to different widths and heights
- DIY build
- Poly-plastic design
- Suitable for large and small plants
- Support clips are strong
- Base is very narrow
- Can break easier than metal
7. Luster Leaf Tomato Tower Obelisk – Best For English-Style Gardens
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This is arguably one of the best looking tomato cages on the market, and it features Victorian ironwork that would fit beautifully into any English-style garden. This tower is built to last, and it has substantial rings and legs that will help it keep the original shape with exposure to the elements. The sturdy construction on this product will support both small and large vines throughout the growing season.
The biggest drawback of this tomato cage is the size. It’s not good for someone who is trying to have a small side garden or a balcony garden where space is at a premium. The trellis feature is both functional and decorative, and it lends visual interest to the garden while supporting your plants. The bolts can rust easily, but you can prevent this by applying a coat of paint to them if you see them starting to show through.
- Able to support larger plants
- Features Victorian ironwork designs
- Five feet tall
- Metal has a powder coating
- Very decorative but functional
- Bolts can rust
- Takes up a lot of space
8. Gardener’s Supply Company Expandable Trellis – Best For
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This trellis is a very nice choice for someone who plans on taking advantage of the vertical space in their gardens. This trellis is over nine feet long from end to end if you fully unfold it, so you do have to plan out where it’s going to go. This company makes very high-quality products, so this trellis will last a long time, especially if you use it with smaller tomatoes.
The vines on larger tomatoes won’t get high enough to reach the top of the trellis, and it has too small beams to hold up bigger cultivars as they were originally meant for peas. However, you can use it to grow a horde of cherry tomatoes. It does take a bit to set up, but it’s very strong and structurally sound once you get it in place.
- Easy to assemble
- Excellent for small tomatoes
- High-quality build
- Nine feet from end to end
- Structurally sound and sturdy design
- Not suitable for bigger cultivars
- Takes up a huge amount of space
9. Burpee Heavy Gauge Tomato Cages – Best For Large Plants
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If you plan on growing juicy and big tomato cultivars, you should consider purchasing these heavy-duty tomato cages. This set comes with three extra-large cages, and they are made out of galvanized steel with a powder coating on them to make them more durable. They offer long-term resistance to rust and sturdy support.
You’ll get square tomato cages that are 58 inches tall by 18 inches square, and the extra-wide size makes them a great pick for bigger plants like Porterhouse, Big Beef, Steakhouse, and SuperSauce tomatoes. Large openings in the cage makes harvesting fruits and pruning the plants easy, and they’re very simple to take apart and stack for storage.
- Comes with three large cages
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Has a galvanized steel construction with a powder coating
- Measures 58 inches tall
- Stackable for storage
- Heavyweight construction
10. MTB Supply Tomato Support Stake Tower – Best For Shaded Gardens
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The final tomato cages on the list come in a two-pack, and you’ll get square-shaped tomato cages that feature a galvanized steel design that is resistant to rust. However, the wires don’t have a plastic coating on them, so the coloring can easily stand out in your garden. Also, they’ll get much hotter in the sun.
Each cage from this company can stand by itself, or you can join two of them together to create a lattice for your garden. They measure 12 inches wide by 46 inches tall, and they can easily accommodate bigger cultivars. Also, for bigger tomatoes, the square shape gives you durable, sturdy support. When they’re not in use, the cages will fold flat to make storage easy.
- Can create a lattice with two cages
- Comes with two cages per order
- Features galvanized steel for durability
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Measures 46 inches tall for big tomato varieties
- Not heat resistant
- Some assembly required
How to Build Your Own Tomato Cage
If you want to build your own tomato cage instead of buying it, you can do this. It’s not an incredibly difficult project, especially when you round up all of the supplies before you start so you can finish it in one session.
Remesh – One or Two Sheets Per Tomato Cage
If you’re not familiar with remesh, it’s a support product for wire concrete, and you can think of it like a very thin rebar. It is available in a flat grid panel that is roughly 3.5-feet wide by 7-feet long. You should be able to source it easily by looking at your local hardware store with concrete support. You can also use it to build trellises around your garden, and it works very well for the cage design.
Sturdy Stakes – Three Per Tomato Cage
One stake will work as the main tomato plant stake for the stalk while two hold the cage firmly in place. You’ll want to get stakes that are a minimum of four feet tall to act like supports. As for the stake for the tomato plant, this will depend on the cultivar you pick out. Indeterminate tomatoes can benefit from a six to eight foot stake while determinate tomatoes need a four foot stake.
Coated Garden Wire, Galvanized Wire, or Zip Ties
This will help you secure the remesh to the cylinder so you can attach the stakes. You’ll need soft plant ties to secure the tomatoes to the main stake too.
- Optional: Bolt cutters – They allow you to modify the size or cut the remesh wire.
Step 1: Curl the Remesh Into a Cylinder Shade
To make your DIY tomato cage using remeish, you’ll start by curling it into a cylindrical shape and securing it. We found it easy to lay your remesh on a flat surface before picking up one of the shorter ends and walking it back over itself until the two short ends come together. A partner and a good pair of gloves is a good idea for this part of the project.
You can secure the tomato cage end-to-end so it’s flush, but this can create a wide tomato cage that is roughly 27-inches wide from a seven-foot panel of remesh. It is possible to use it, but it’s most likely going to be far too large for your garden or space. Additionally, it creates a loose cage around smaller tomato varieties. So, it’s a good idea to overlap at least one or two rows of grid squares before you secure it to create a smaller cylinder. Overlapping two rows will give you a 22-inch diameter tomato cage, and one square overlap is a 24 to 25-inch diameter tomato cage.
Step 2: Secure the Cylinder
Next, cut your galvanized wire into two or three-inch pieces or break out your zip ties and attach one of the panels to the other to secure it into your desired cylinder shape. Adding a wire tie at the top, middle, and bottom portion, and running a few more for support in the middle is a good idea. Once it’s secure, you can push down on it while laying on the ground to get a more circular shape if you want. At first, you’ll get a more oval shape.
- HappyDIYHome Tip: If you think you want to undo these tomato cages at the end of the season and lay it out flat to store it, you should consider using reusable garden wire for this step instead of galvanized wire.
Step 3: Install the Tomato Cage
Finally, set your DIY tomato cage over one tomato plant in your garden. It’s easier to add the cage when the plant is small. You should center the tomato inside the cage as close to the center as you can. Follow the normal spacing guidelines for your tomatoes, and this is usually between 24 to 36 inches per plant.
Add two sturdy stakes on the opposite sides of the cage at this point. It’s a good idea to try and put the stake in line with one of the vertical wire runs as this gives you enough space to connect the stake to the cage. The stakes should get driven at least a foot down into the dirt to secure them. Depending on the cage size and plant spacing, the cages may be able to touch and share stakes.
Connect the stakes to the wire in a few places per stake. You can do so by using a strong reusable garden wire and wrapping it around across the remesh wire a few times. You can also use zip ties, garden velcro, or regular wire to do so. Finally, add a stake along the main stalk of the tomato plant if you haven’t already. Soft, reusable plant ties are a great way to secure the plant to the stake.
We’ve outlined 10 of the best tomato cages you can buy on the current market and how to make your own. You can use this short guide to get all of the tomato cages you need to support your plants and ensure you have a fruitful harvest this year.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.