How to Properly Use Tomato Cages


Tomatoes of all varieties, growing on determinate and indeterminate plants, benefit from the support of cages. Keeping the plants off the soil prevents soil-borne fungal diseases, certain insect attacks and protects growing tomatoes from direct sunlight, which can cause burning and cracking. Tomato cages come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to support bush and vine tomato varieties. With proper installation and care, tomato cages will provide support to your prize-winning fruits year after year.

Step 1

Choose tomato cages based on what kind of tomato you are growing. Tall, narrow cages in square or cylindrical form work well with vining, indeterminate varieties, such as grape and cherry tomatoes. Determinate and bush varieties that produce larger fruits require cages with a larger area.

Step 2

Set up the tomato planting area to allow for the spread of the plant and the size of each cage. Space tomato plants at least 3 feet apart when planting.

Step 3

Install cages immediately after planting tomatoes so that the root structure is not damaged by the cage prongs.

Step 4

Center the cage over the tomato plant and gently push the support prongs into the soil.

Step 5

Push the branches gently inside the cage as the tomato plant grows. Mississippi State University Extension Service notes that this practice produces more tomatoes that will not be cracked or burned by overexposure to direct sunlight.

Tips and Warnings

  • When using inexpensive wire cages, make certain that soil surrounding the plant is moist. If you try to insert this type of cage into dry, hard soil, the support prongs will bend and become distorted.


  • Mississippi State University Extension Service: Staking and Training Tomatoes
  • How to Garden Guide: Tomato Cages and Supports--Looking for the Best Tomato Cages
Keywords: tomato cage support, types of tomatoes, caging tomato plants

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.