There are two types of tomatoes: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate varieties are bred to grow in compact bushes about three to four feet tall, and their fruit ripens at about the same time over a week or two. Indeterminate tomatoes, also called vining tomatoes, can reach six to 10 feet tall and need cages or stakes for support. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to flower and produce fruit until a killing frost. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to support indeterminate, vining tomatoes in your own garden.
Mark each of the pressure-treated posts for the various lengths needed. You'll need to cut to the following lengths:
Mark the straight cutting lines with a writing utensil. Use a carpenter square to aid in marking the cutting lines.
Saw posts into lengths needed. Cut two posts into two 3-foot lengths each, with 2 feet left over from each post. Cut each remaining 2-foot section in half, resulting in four 12-inch lengths. From the third post, cut two 12-inch pieces. With the 6 feet remaining from the third post, cut six 10-inch pieces. (You'll have an extra 12-inch piece that's not needed.) The fourth post will become the cage's center stake, securely holding the heavy tomato plant in place. Trim one end of each leg and one end of the center post at a 45-degree angle for inserting into the ground.
Nail a 10-inch piece of wood to the top of two legs. Repeat this step with the other two legs. At 1-foot intervals, attach the second and third 10-inch lengths.
Connect the leg panels by attaching the 12-inch pieces to the outside of the 10-inch lengths. To attach the pieces, nail them together with a hammer.
Add a protective layer with an exterior-grade paint to your tomato cages. Choose a color that matches your home's exterior, or one that stands out in your garden.