Tomato cages support heavy tomato plants as they grow. Although staking is also a viable option, it is more tedious as you need to constantly prune and tie growing plants to them. With cages, all you need is several minutes a week to pull heavy fruit-laden branches through the openings. Whether your tomato cage is homemade or store bought, repairing any tears or cuts is necessary to prevent it from breaking apart. It is also a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new one.
Hold your cage firmly and bend it back into shape. Walk around the tomato cage and inspect it thoroughly for broken wires. Cut a short piece of masking tape and wrap around the point where the wire is broken so you mark its location. This saves time and hassle of searching for broken wires again when you begin the repair process.
Lay 6- to 8-inch-long plastic or wooden garden stakes on the ground in front of you. Attach each to the lower vertical wires on the cage, or to any other remaining broken wire stakes, with plastic zip ties available in hardware stores. Secure each stake with two zip ties so they hold it firmly.
Measure the size of the broken wires and cut concrete reinforcing mesh accordingly with wire snips to put over them. Use several lengths of mesh if the broken wires are spread around the cage, or a large patch that covers the area if the broken wires are near each other.
Cut all the marked broken wires as close as you can to the next attachment point on the cage with wire snips. Spread the reinforcing mesh patch over the cutout.
Attach the mesh cutout to the surrounding wires of the cage with plastic zip ties. Pull the ties as close as possible so the loop is tight, and trim excess length with scissors.
Things You Will Need
- Broken tomato cage
- Masking tape
- 6- to 8-inch-long garden stakes
- Plastic zip ties
- Measuring tape
- Concrete reinforcing mesh
- Wire snips
- Concrete reinforcing mesh is available in hardware stores.
- Wear gloves when cutting and attaching the mesh cutout to the cage to prevent injuring your fingers.
- Check the zip ties once a year to ensure they are intact, and replace any broken ones. Cut them with scissors carefully and replace with new ones. Although they usually last two to three years, checking and repairing them on time prevents the cage from breaking apart, especially when tomatoes are growing vigorously.