How to Protect Tomato Plants With Bubble Wrap


Protecting tomato plants from the risk of frosts or chilling temperatures requires covering foliage and stems. Although any lightweight fabric can be used, anchoring them to prevent the wind from blowing them free of the plants and exposing tender foliage is always a concern. Covering the tomato cage with bubble wrap and securing it to the cage creates an insulated area for young seedlings and protects them from frost.

Step 1

Measure the distance around the of tomato cage at its widest point. Typical wire cages are formed in an inverted pyramid with the widest point at the top. Note the measurement.

Step 2

Measure the distance from the ground to the top of the cage.

Step 3

Add 4 inches to the measurements of the tomato cage and cut bubble wrap to size. Cut between bubbles to preserve the insulating effect and for ease of cutting.

Step 4

Align the bubble wrap with the cage so the bottom rests slightly above the ground level. The top will extend 4 inches above the top of the cage.

Step 5

Begin at the top of the tomato cage wrap the bubble wrap around the cage overlapping the edges. Pull snugly to make a tight fit and secure with packing or duct tape. Continue to pull the bubble wrap taut and tape in place as you work your way to the bottom of the cage.

Step 6

Fold the top edge toward the inside of the cage and tape to secure in place.

Tips and Warnings

  • If heavy frost is expected, or foliage has grown to the top of the cage, cover the top at night. If you choose to grow your seedling inside the bubble wrap greenhouse, check plants often as they can quickly overheat from the rays of the sun. If plants show signs of excessive wilting, remove the wrap. To make your own cage, drive four stakes into the soil around the tomato plant and wrap with bubble wrap. Secure with tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Tape (packing/duct tape)
  • Bubble wrap


  • Cornell Extension: Understanding Frost
  • Colorado State University Extension: Frost Protecttion
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University Extension: Recognizing Tomato Problems
  • Farm Radio International: Protect Tomatoes from Frost
Keywords: protect tomato plants, tomato cage, bubble wrap tomato protector

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.