Tomato Towers

I have never pretended to be a veggie gardener. Ornamentals have me by the heart, but I do love a good tomato. Actually when the tomatoes are in season, I give myself canker sores by eating them so often. The season is so short, I have to satisfy myself. Greed, is my middle name (along with, Does my bum look big in this?)

Every year I plant tomatoes and stake them with a 6 foot pole, and every year they get to the top and fall back down. Next thing I have a tomato jungle on my hands and have to fight my way through the foliage to find the tomatoes. (I am probably supposed to pinch back the top and keep them to a manageable size, but what did I say my middle name was?)

But not this year!

I was reading Martha Stewart magazine a couple of years ago, and found a very interesting article on plant staking. But it took a couple of years, before I could convince Ian to build me the tomato cages.

The plan called for 6 foot lengths of wood, but they go a foot into the ground. Did I not just tell you that my tomatoes get up to 6 feet, plus! I am a bit of a size queen, so mine had to be bigger, we bought 8 foot lengths. This way I figure, as the bottom (that is inserted into the soil rots) we can cut it down. By the time I am eighty, it should be about 4 feet high, just the right size!

The start,

why go natural, when you can stain your wood “Kilbourne” blue!

 And they are up!

If I get tired of using them for tomatoes, (or I can sweet talk Ian into building me more), I could use them for clematis, morning glories, all kinds of climbers.

As Martha would say “It’s a Good Thing”.



51 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Nice work. They beat the crap out of my rather wobbly and ugly tomato cage. Mine isn’t as high; that said, it’s too cold here to get six feet of growth.

  2. 3

    Racquel said,

    Cool towers and as you said if the bottoms rot you can still cut them down. 🙂 It is a good thing… lol

  3. 5

    Its a dang good thing!! Look how fabulous they look and I love the color. Now you have me looking at my walmart specials thinking there is room for improvement. Can I borrow Ian? He looks handy with a drill. Shane is not so much but makes fabulous cocktails. 🙂 They look awesome D and I hope you get your bounty of tomatoes from them. Take care, M

  4. 7

    Jenn-na-na said,

    Oh my goodness these are wonderful!!! I LOVE the aesthetic of them and you did such a great job!! LOVE IT!

  5. 9

    Laurrie said,

    What a nice alternative to the usual metal cages… love the blue! And they really do stand as eye catching ornaments, with or without a crop or a vine covering them.

    • 10

      Laurrie, I started with metal cages, the small ones, they are totally useless, and I priced heavy wire to make a big one with, (expensive) and not as eye pleasing.

  6. 11

    Turling said,

    Those are great. My store bought cages can’t hold a candle to those. Then again, they can’t really hold a candle to anything, I guess. The blue is nice, I would have never thought to stain them.

  7. 13

    Those tomato cages are cool – I like the Kilbourne Blue! Where do you garden, I subscribed to your blog but couldn’t find your location?

    • 14

      Thanks Brenda. I garden in Owen Sound, Ontario, located on Georgian Bay and Zone 5b. I also have a (very) small terrace at my condo in Toronto, that I post photos on sometimes. Thank you for subscribing to my blog, I am chuffed that you think enough of it to want to read it on a regular basis.

  8. 15

    Wow, those are beautiful!! I also use a stake and also have a tomato disaster, which is why I’ve resigned myself to potted patio tomatoes for now. Can’t wait to see how the towers look with the plants growing up in them. The blue will look so pretty with the red fruit. 🙂

  9. 17

    fairegarden said,

    Those are simply architectural, Deborah, lucky tomatoes! Ian did a wonderful job. May they never rot, too pretty for that. Our tomatoes get real tall as well, already over the top of the six foot cages. Maybe it is the type of tomato that gets so big, the little yellow pears, my favorite salad tomato and the easiest to grow with the biggest harvest by far. We needs us some of those towers! 🙂

    • 18

      Thanks Frances, I was very proud of him. I like to try different heirloom varieties, ( I also like the little yellow pear) and they get very tall. This should keep them standing tall.

  10. 19

    jim groble said,

    Your box frames are very cool. They sure beat the sticks in the ground we use. I gotta show Pat and tell her that we could do this. jim

  11. 21

    Beautiful Deborah! Wow, so much prettier than mine. We just use a roll of hog-wire to build our ours. They work great, but aren’t nearly so lovely. Although in my defense, I’m hoping the plants get so big that the cages won’t be noticeable. And don’t worry…nobody’s bum ever looked big from eating too many tomatoes 😛 At least I hope not LOL, I have plans to consume more than my fair share this summer too!

    • 22

      Clare, I priced the wire, it was quite expensive, and I just loved the way the wood ones looked. Glad to know about the bum thing, now I can eat as many as I want, lol.

  12. 23

    debsgarden said,

    Wow! Those are the prettiest tomato cages i have seen! The tomatoes, and other plants you might choose, will look fabulous growing up those blue towers. I use six foot lengths of iron rebar. Indestructible, but not nearly as cute as yours!

  13. 25

    Very pretty, Deborah! Yes, it is a good thing. 🙂

  14. 27

    michael said,

    blimey! the work that you ‘sweet-talking’ wives get us husbands to do! please give ian my every sympathies!

  15. 29

    Wendy said,

    these look great! Is Ian the best or what?

    I actually have that article cut out and filed in my binder, it’s from way back, but like all of Martha’s stuff, pretty inspiring! I have a feeling your tomatoes will outgrow these towers fairly quickly, but I bet they’ll be a happy and gorgeous permanent home to the lovely vines you mentioned.

    They’re beautiful!

  16. 31

    Jen said,

    They are spectacular, now why didn’t I think of that?

    This year at least, I finally gave in and used 6 foot stakes for the peas. Last year, a year of denial, I used only 4 foot, and then had to scramble around extending it. “oh no, those peas never grow over 4 feet” yes,….right.

    Great idea.


  17. 33

    Joy said,

    OMG Deborah those are the most beautiful tomato cages/structures ? I have ever seen ! .. I’m sorry but I would have to use them for just what you said you would if you get tired of the tomato thing .. clematis , morning glory .. a flowering vine for sure !! .. I still chuckle when you mention your husband’s name .. since my son is an Ian too !
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL !!! May all of your wishes come true on that very day !
    So buy a lottery ticket woman !!! hahaha

  18. 35

    Those are fabulous tomato cages and sure beat the old metal ones. They add a lot to the garden all on their own. I think you could set up a side line business for your husband 🙂

  19. 37

    miss m said,

    These look great ! Nice job, Ian ! Happy tomato season !

  20. 39

    Grace said,

    Dang right it’s a good thing, Deborah! Did Ian do this for your birthday? What a lucky gal you are especially with Greed as your middle name. I ought to know, LOL. Happy birthday, friend!

    • 40

      Thank you for your birthday wishes, “Grace Greed”, I am asuming you know as it is your middle name too, lol. And it wasn’t even a birthday building project, lucky me.

  21. 41

    i am totally jealous! your towers look incredible. so elegant. happy tomato growing 🙂

  22. 43

    Your towers are beautiful! They can’t look any better – well, maybe decorated with nice, ripe tomatoes! They will even look great in the winter, too.

    • 44

      I love them. I hope one day to have a bit more sun in my Kitchen Garden and will move them there. Until then, this is the sunniest spot in my garden, but they look nice against the brick wall.

  23. 45

    Gloria Bonde said,

    Hi Deb – Thanks for the tomato cage ideas. My sweetie made me some pyramid towers that I save every year for tomatoes. But, I went overboard this year in planting tomatoes so I was thinking about stringing them up. I like the star looking string cage. Beautiful peony – mine are still in bud form. Did you know you can cut them and hang them upside down and they dry looking like roses.

  24. 47

    My hubs built some almost exactly like yours last year, though not so tall. But I do need to pinch the tomatoes more rigorously this year as they get so thick they fill the enclosed space and get hard to harvest. Ours are stained the same color as our deck once was. I like your lovely blue much better!

  25. 49

    What a great project – I am thinking of something new for Morning Glories this year and this might be just the thing! Thanks also for submitting it to GardenStalking – welcome!

    • 50

      Donalyn, I thought they would be perfect for vines as well, hope to see yours if you make them. Thank you for accepting my submission to GardenStalking, I am sure I will be stalking, lol.

  26. 51

    […] areas in the whole garden. One is right behind the house. The last summer we were there I had my tomato towers set up, best tomatoes […]

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