DIY Tomato Cage | Sturdy and Inexpensive

Yesterday, I shared some pictures of our yard. I have spent quite a bit of time out there this spring, planting flowers, planting the garden, weeding, replanting the garden when it froze, planting more flowers, and more flowers and more flowers… 
you catch my drift. I like flowers :) And fresh food. Especially garden tomatoes. 
Every year, I seem to battle with those stupid wire tomato cages. I even bought the sturdier ones (I had used them for about 6 years) but toward the end of the summer when the tomato plants get big, inevitably they take a nosedive. They drive me NUTS! I usually end up jury rigging them with whatever rope, twine, wire, etc I can find, to anything nearby to keep them upright. It looks…. well, interesting. More like some kind of redneck obstacle course than a garden. 
This year I was determined to get nicer ones. I saw some wood ones at a local nursery and I really loved them, but I didn’t love the price since I needed so many of them. I decided to try to build my own and I really loved the way they turned out! Here you can see them side by side. 
It you would like to make your own, you will need (per each tomato cage):
(2) 2x2x8′ boards, cut in half
(3) 1x2x8′ boards, cut into the following sizes:
**there will be a little left over
(6) 1x2x18″
(6) 1x2x19.5″ 
Nail gun or screws
Measuring tape
First, make all of your cuts. Be sure to wear the proper safety equipment. You will be cutting your 1x2s so that you have 6 that are 18″ and 6 that are 19 1/2″ long. The 2x2s are a little easier since you just need to cut them in half (4ft each)
Begin by laying out 2 of the 2×2 poles. My fancy work surface here is my driveway. I was trying to hurry and snap these pictures before I lost my last ounce of daylight. 
Secure the 1x2x18s to the poles as you see below. They are 15″ from top of board to top of board. I used the RYOBI Airstrike Brad Nailer (my new BFF) mostly for ease, and swiftness. I had so many to build that I needed it to be quick. I put a few nails at each point for durability. 
Repeat with the second set of poles as well.  

Then attach your 19 1/2 ” pieces so they overlap the other 1x2x18s as pictured below. Again, start from the top and work your way down. 
Once you have attached all 3 of them on the one side, turn the cage over and repeat on the other side. 

And you’re finished! I made 6 of them, so I did mine assembly line style. I made all of my cuts first, etc, doing one step at a time for all of them. It made the project go a more quickly.
I buried each of the legs of the cages down a few inches into the dirt, and pressed the dirt around them. I love them! I wish I had planted my tomatoes a little further apart, but I think they will be ok. I wish I had built these years ago! They are so easy, and so much sturdier. I can’t wait to eat some of these tomatoes! 
You may also find this tutorial helpful (or check out the DIY tab at the top for other fun tutorials):
How to build the easiest garden box:
Easy DIY Garden Box Tutorial 


  1. says

    I am absolutely making some of these for my tomatoes this year! My gram has a similar style – her include cross pieces so it looks like lattice work. Lovely!

  2. says

    Those are beautiful cages. I’ve been trying to decide how I want to trellis or cage my tomatoes. I have 16 tomato plants in the garden so I need an affordable option. This could be just what I need. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jackie Kern says

    Try these they are so much better than the metal cages that for me in the past have never been tall enough and have fallen over. We made wooden cages a couple of years ago. We have since resized them as my heirloom tomato plants just were getting too big for them.. My plants right now are already 8 foot and we need to make them bigger. The one thing we found with these type of cages is that it kept the deer out. We think it is because they can’t get in and turn around and it scares them. All I know is they are sturdy and work!

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