15 Tomato Support Ideas for Your Garden

tomato in hanging basket

Grow the best tomatoes your garden has ever seen with our tomato planting ideas. Learn how to grow and train this popular vegetable.

01 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Cages

galvanized wire tomato cage

Healthy tomato plants may sprawl or grow into vigorous vines. Contain them in a cage or train them to a trellis to keep fruits off the ground and make harvesting easier. Galvanized wire tomato cages are a quick and easy tomato support solution. However, they may not be large or sturdy enough to support rampant growth. Check out the rest of the slide show for more great ideas on how to tame your tomatoes.

02 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Concrete Reinforcing Mesh

wire tomato cage

Heavy-gauge concrete reinforcing wire makes a sturdy tomato cage. Cut a length of wire about 5 feet long to make into a cylinder about 18 inches in diameter. Overlap the cut ends and wire them together to make the cage. Wide openings in the mesh make it easy to reach through for picking.

03 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Spiral Stakes

spiral wire tomato stakes

Add artistic flair to your vegetable garden with spiral tomato stakes. Use the spirals alone or in combination with a wire cage to support tomato plants. Wind the main stem of the tomato plant around the rings of the spiral. Secure the stem to the stake with a loose garden twist tie or strip of cloth.

04 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Plastic Wrap

wire hoop tomato cage with plastic wrap

Make your tomato cage serve double duty by wrapping a wire mesh cylinder (rabbit fencing works well) with clear plastic wrap. The wire cylinder supports the plant and the plastic wrap acts as a mini greenhouse boosting tomato growth during cool weather. As summer heats up, remove the plastic covering to make harvest easier, improve airflow through the plant's leaves, and reduce disease problems.

05 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Wooden Ladder Cage

wood tomato cages

Ladderlike cages constructed from 1X2 boards make an attractive way to keep tomato growth well behaved. Use rot-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood. Cut the crosspieces all the same length (14 to 18 inches long, depending on the size of cage you prefer). Make the upright pieces 4 to 5 feet long and insert the bottom 6 to 12 inches into the soil to prevent the tomato supporting towers from toppling in strong winds.

06 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Handmade Trellis

tomato tepee

Construct a garden trellis from 2- to 3-inch diameter saplings or bamboo poles. The trellises shown here use four poles as an outer frame and one pole as a central support. For extra stability the design shown here includes crosspieces attached to opposite poles at two levels.

07 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Wooden Stake

wood stake tomato support

Attach the main stem of your tomato plant to a single wooden stake with loose twist ties. (This technique also works well for pepper plants.) As the tomato plant grows taller through the season, add more ties to secure the tip to the pole.

Here's a hint: Remove excess side branches by pinching them off at the main stem before they grow 6 inches long.

08 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Chain Link Fence

tomato trellis on fence

Chain link fencing makes a solid support for clambering tomato vines. You may need to weave stems through the openings in the fence in early stages of growth, but the plants will soon wind their own way through the fence's web. Use an existing fence, or set one up especially for tomatoes to climb.

09 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Wooden Antenna

aerial tomato trellis

This wood tomato trellis, reminiscent of an old television antenna, is a great way to add style to your garden and support for your tomatoes. Ten angled arms extend from a central support post. Upright stakes connect the arms for added strength. If you have a home orchard, you can repeat the design by training grape vines, apple trees, or pear trees to a similar shape.

10 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Leaning Wire-Mesh Panels

lean-to tomato support

Two wire-mesh panels leaning against each other make a quick-to-assemble tomato support structure for multiple tomato plants. Plant a tomato vine at the base of each panel. Clip or wire the tops together for stability. When it's time to clean up the garden, the panels stack flat, saving on storage space.

11 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Twine Trellis

tomatoes trellised on string

Try a twine trellis if you have limited space, such as in this brick raised-bed planter next to a porch. Attach the lower end of the string to a wood stake pounded into the ground. Insert a screw eye into an overhead beam or soffit. Stretch the string tightly between the ground stake and the screw eye. Help the tomato plant climb the twine by tying the main stem to the string.

12 of 15

Tomato Support Idea: Obelisk

obleisk tomato support

Bring a formal touch to your garden by growing your tomatoes in an obelisk, a cone-shaped decorative garden support. This attractive kitchen garden uses four matching tomato-filled obelisks in central raised beds to create balance and add an air of drama.

13 of 15

Tomato Planting Idea: Container Garden

tomato in decorative pot

Decorative pots are ideal for growing tomatoes on a patio, balcony, or deck. If you use a large container, such as a half whiskey barrel almost any type of tomato will work. If you grow plants in a smaller, 10- or 12-inch-diameter pot, select a dwarf variety. 'Patio', 'Window Box Roma Hybrid', and 'Bush Early Girl Hybrid' all grow less than 2 feet tall, and are good choices for containers.

14 of 15

Tomato Planting Idea: Combine with Herbs

tomato in crate

Use your imagination to fashion fun, attractive containers for growing tomatoes. These wood crates are lined with landscape fabric to keep potting soil from sifting through the slats. Try planting basil in the same container with a tomato for a fantastic Mediterranean cuisine combo.

15 of 15

Tomato Planting Idea: Hanging Basket

tomato in hanging basket

Avoid stooping and bending to tend your tomatoes by growing them in a hanging basket. 'Tumbler Hybrid' is bred especially to hang off a cascading plant, perfect for a hanging basket. Other small varieties suited to growing in containers will drape down, too, once they become laden with fruits.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles