Ask a Question forum: Tomato Support

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FlowerPowerKT
Mar 20, 2017 6:41 PM CST

New Member

Hello!
I have 24 Roma Tomato plants in the ground. Yet I am looking for a way to support them and have no idea where to start. The main issue I am having is that I only have $50 to do so. Any suggestions would be great! :)
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
Mar 20, 2017 6:46 PM CST
I like to use t-posts and rags ripped into strips to support the plants. Another idea is to get 6ft tall wire fencing and cut into sections, ties the ends together to make a circle and put around the plants. They will last for years and are cheaper than tomato cages in the long run.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 20, 2017 6:47 PM CST
T-posts. You don't have to get the heavy duty ones - lightweight will work. And twine. Put the posts as close to the plants as possible and train the tomatoes up the post, tying them as you go.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Region: United States of America
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Weedwhacker
Mar 21, 2017 8:40 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @FlowerPowerKT .

What sort of arrangement are your tomato plants in? Assuming they're in a row (or rows) you might want to try using a "Florida weave" system (which would use less of the t-posts than staking each plant individually, and also requires less pruning of the plants than staking). Here's a link to one of many sites that describes how it works: http://extension.psu.edu/busin...
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AM CST
I have t-posts about 6 feet apart. Plant 3 tomatoes between them.
I put doubled twine, about every 6 to 8inches, and train tomatoes between twine. Thumbs up
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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PM CST
I've used the basket weave system for years. And I noticed in Sandy's demo link pictures, they used heavy black plastic cover for weed control. I do that too. Keeps moisture and heat in the root zone and weeds out. Hooray. I say - try it, you'll like it.
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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 24, 2017 4:00 AM CST
I have had great results using 6" mesh concrete reinforcing wire for making tomato cages. It takes some initial work, but they are sturdy and have lasted 25 years. It generally comes in 5' width and you need about 6' in length per cage. So you get a 5' tall 22" diameter cage (you need some of the cut wire to fold over to secure the opposite side)

A jig saw with a metal-cutting blade will cut it, or a big bolt cutter, but I found I Saws-All is easiest. I bought a 60' roll and made 10 cages. It also makes a great trellis attached to PVC pipe.
[Last edited by Yardenman - Mar 24, 2017 4:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Region: United States of America
Region: Michigan Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Birds Butterflies
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Weedwhacker
Mar 24, 2017 12:37 PM CST
Fence that doesn't work well for tomato cages - the kind with larger holes at the top and small holes at the bottom (to keep out rabbits, etc.) That's what we made cages out of years ago and it was hard to impossible to retrieve any tomatoes that had fallen to the ground inside the cage Grumbling
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