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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:07 pm
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Last year my tomatoes grew significantly larger than I expected. They toppled over my stakes. I have been looking around for some solutions andcame up with one.


It was something that was like multiple cages from one device. I would make rectangular ## shapes. They would be boxed in and lay horizontal. I would try and make the size so 2 plants could fit in one box. I would connect them to vertical posts. And essentially you would have several cages all in one. I would them train the plant ect.


In the process of figuring this out I throw together to fence type structures and thought maybe they would be ideal.

I just want to hear some thoughts, possible problems I might be creating(like harvesting in close quarters), or any other ideas. I think cages are not beefy enough it gets windy and that is one of the reasons I thought the first idea was the best.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
A beefed up cage like you describe would be good for container grown plants in a crowded area, because it'd be easy to keep them in control inside their cages. It really depends on how much space you have to work with and how many tomatoes you intend to grow.

I use the 8' 3" wooden tree posts with a couple heavy nails in each to hold up a single strip of 4' wide heavy mesh. I leave about 2 feet between the bottom of the mesh and the ground, which tomatoes can easily reach, then they can climb up 6' or more. Here osh sells 4"x6" mesh in 20' rolls for ~$12. Add 4 posts at $4 each and you have enough for a 20' row of tomatoes for $28. I don't think you can go cheaper with new materials. Last year I used 2"x4" mesh, it worked fine for the tomatoes, but it was too tight to reach through. That wouldn't be a problem if you could reach each side of the row though.
Image

I agree that the standard cages are lame, they can only support a determinant tomato, not an indeterminate one.

If you have a raised bed you can bolt 2x4s to it instead of using stakes, which is cheaper and can look nice.
Image
There I have 4 panels of mesh hanging from the top bars. These were quite a bit more work than the tree-post trellises, and more permanent.

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