No kitchen garden is complete without tomatoes! These are one of the most rewarding plants to grow in a vegetable garden if you ask me. They take a certain crew, ready to do whatever is necessary until they can at last bring their tomato harvest to the bragging table. Growing tomatoes isn’t hard, it just takes work and diligence. But the reward? That shiny, bright red, gorgeous, stunning tomato fruit!

One of the ‘must haves’ for growing great tomatoes are good and sturdy tomato plant supports. Better than those cheap, flimsy things you find at the home improvement store. These DIY tomato cage and trellis ideas are exactly what every good gardener needs so they can claim the biggest, the reddest, the most gorgeous tomato at the end of the season.

Easy DIY Tomato Cage & Trellis Ideas

First, we’ll go over some of the basics you’ll need to know before setting out to create the perfect system for tomato plants. Consider this an intro to tomato growing… but trust us, there is so much more to learn! Maybe that’s our next post? Then, we’ll get into a wide variety of tomato cage, trellis and staking systems you can DIY in your own garden. So let’s get into it!

Why Do Tomatoes Need Support?

Tomatoes can be heavy fruits that can weigh down the plants until the fruits touch the ground. This can be an invitation for pests, disease, and rot. Beyond that, the weight of the ripe tomatoes as they grow can actually break a plant in half. That, my friends, will put a damper on any tomato grower’s harvest.

Tomato vines are long plants that need a sturdy support in order to remain healthy plants. This allows the fruits to be properly supported and allows good air circulation to prevent diseases. It can also help provide easy access to the plant to check for pests and to harvest fruits.

Different Ways to Support Your Tomatoes

As we’ve explained, there are basically two main ways to support your tomato plants. The first is with tomato cages. You can either buy at the garden center or use the tutorials below to create homemade tomato cages. The other option is with a trellis, usually a taller structure designed to support a main stem growing upwards. You can create through a whole manner of different ways involving string, wood, stakes, or metal piping.

It doesn’t matter whether your tomatoes are in plantersraised beds, or in the ground – you can create trellises and cages that will work with any situation. Ultimately, it depends on which tomatoes you have, which materials you have at your disposal, and your personal preference. That brings us to our next topic- types of tomato plants.

Before you choose whether you need a tomato cage, trellis, or stake, you need to know what type of tomatoes you are growing. There are two main types- determinate and indeterminate.

Determinate Tomatoes

Determinate or bush tomatoes grow exactly like their name would suggest… in a bush form. These plants can vary in size, so make sure you choose a variety accordingly. This group includes smaller tomato varieties like dwarf tomatoes that are great to grow in containers, but keep in mind they’re also large types of bush tomatoes. Most transplants available at a garden center should say determinate or indeterminate on the tag as you see below, but you should also check the growing information to get an idea of what size plant you’ll be dealing with.

One main difference that sets determinate tomatoes apart is that their fruit ripens all at once- so be prepared to use a lot of tomatoes when they’re ready! This makes them a great option for canning, but not so great if you want to enjoy fresh tomatoes all summer long.

Bush tomato plants benefit from a tomato cage that will allow the plant to grow within the cage, supported on all sides. Staking can be used for smaller varieties. Pro tip if you’re using cages – make sure you check every 2-3 days and poke wayward branches back inside the cage and over a support, otherwise they won’t be supported.

Indeterminate Tomatoes

Indeterminate tomato varieties, or vining tomatoes, grow on long vines. If uncontrolled, they’ll grow in all directions on many vines, as you can see in the example below of a plant that I let get a bit too crazy. Many gardeners choose to employ a “single leader method”- working with one main stem, pinching off the “suckers” throughout the season in order to keep the plant nice and tidy. 

small tomato transplant with plant tag in ground in front of it

Some gardeners grow these vines on tomato trellises, while others string the vines up tall stakes. Some even grow healthy tomato plants upside down out of a hanging flower basket! These vines can grow along a slight angle or even along a flat surface like the top of a trellis after it reaches the maximum height of the provided structure. There is really no end to the creativity of an avid gardener!

Indeterminate tomato plants continue to grow and set fruit throughout the growing season, until they get hit by their first frost. This means they have lots of time to grow into large, unruly plants. By the end of the summer you may just have a tomato jungle!

So let’s get to the solutions for tomato support, no matter what variety or type you choose to grow!

DIY Tomato Cage Ideas

Caging is a great way to keep your determinate tomatoes supported, but commercially available cages are getting pretty expensive, especially if you’re growing lots of tomato plants. These DIY tomato cages are a great way to save money while still keeping your tomatoes safely off the ground. Here are our favorites!

DIY Tomato Cages from Wood

We love this inexpensive DIY tomato cage made from wood by “The Handyman’s Daughter.” It’s a simple project, but offers your tomatoes enough support and air circulation, no matter how tall or wide they get! If you happen to specialize in a certain variety of tomato, you can customize this cage to be wider or taller, depending on the need.

wooden tomato cage around a small potted tomato plant

Made from cedar 2×2’s, some brad nails, and wood glue, this will last for years. Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant wood, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into the soil. You know… the very soil that’s growing your prize tomatoes! Download her free to make your own diy tomato cage. Oh, bonus? This is a great tomato cage for container gardening!

DIY Tomato Cages for Raised Beds

Creating Mary’s Home‘ made rectangular tomato cages so that they could put two plants in each cage. (Go read why they did that!) They also used wood staples instead of brad nails for a faster project. Also great if you don’t have access to a brad nailer. Most people can get their hands on a staple gun. Be sure to use heavy-duty staples for a project like this! These look sturdy enough to stand up to high winds, rain, and even large determinate tomato bushes.

large wooden tomato cages in a raised bed

Tomato Cage Idea for Vegetable Gardens

BHG‘ uses pressure-treated wood and wood screws to create a wood tomato cage that will last many years. We all have our opinions on using pressure-treated wood in the vegetable garden. Pressure-treated wood is impregnated with certain chemicals to make it rot and weather-resistant. And, it works. Pressure-treated lumber can last much longer than untreated wood. But if you are concerned about the use of chemicals, check out this post over at ‘Fine Gardening‘ for more info on whether it is safe.

small red wooden tomato cage

Decorative Teepee Style Supports

We are in love with these teepee style DIY tomato cages over at ‘My 100 Year Old Home‘! Made from spruce or pine and wood screws, these will hold up to a lot of weight. There are tons of step-by-step photos for this tutorial. Tons. Oh, and a video too! You literally can’t go wrong here, even if you are a beginning builder.

wooden tomato tower or teepees in a raised bed garden

DIY Metal Tomato Cage

These metal tomato cage raised beds may be one of the best ideas to come to tomato growing… well, ever. The cages themselves are made of metal cattle panel, and then set into individual wood raised beds. Each individual tomato plant gets the good drainage and fertility a raised bed provides, along with superior tomato supports. You need minimal tools to create these cages, and this tutorial has step-by-step photos and directions. (There are only 5 steps!)  From “Radical Geezer”, a Vietnam Vet, BTW, over at ‘Instructables‘.

metal tomato cages with tomatoes growing in the middle of each

Metal Tomato Cages with Video Tutorial

Joe Gardener‘, one of our favorite gardening Podcasters, has a great video tutorial on ‘YouTube on how to make metal DIY tomato cages that will last. Also check him out on our post about the Best Gardening Podcasts.

raised bed garden with small tomato plants, each with their own tomato cage

DIY Tomato Cage from PVC Pipe

Check out this super easy tomato cage idea from ‘My Abundant Life’ over at ‘Hometalk‘. Made with PVC pipe and rebar, this one will last as many years as you want to grow these gorgeous red fruits! Simple instructions and supply list.

tomato cage made of PVC pieces

DIY Tomato Trellis Ideas

For indeterminate tomatoes, trellises offer the best method of support. There are lots of different ways to create a DIY tomato trellis, as you’ll soon see! Check out these tutorials to find the best method of keeping your tomatoes supported throughout the growing season.

Florida Weave

One of the most popular tomato trellising methods, it’s hard to go wrong with the “Florida Weave.” This method offers plenty of support to each tomato plant by utilizing sturdy stakes as a frame. As the plant grows, the gardener then weaves each vine through a series of twine that wraps from one stake to the next. This provides plenty of support to the heavy vines without any danger of cutting into the stems. Here’s a tutorial and example by “Garden Betty” on how to set this structure up in your own garden.

small tomato plant growing in a florida weave setup

PVC Tomato Trellis

This is a PVC tomato trellis DIY made by ‘The Living Farm‘. Super easy instructions on how to make this trellis, perfect for vining tomatoes. PVC pipe is inexpensive, and this project requires no tools if you buy the pipe in the proper lengths. Step by step instructions for this super easy, long lasting DIY tomato trellis idea.

tall pvc tomato trellis

DIY Tomato Trellis with a Watering System

Ok, I’m thinking serious tomato growers will really love this next tomato trellis idea! Coined “The Tormato”, this support system also provides water and nutrients to the root system through it’s ingenious tubing technique. Made from PVC pipe and garden tubing, you only need a simple saw and a drill to make this project. The tomato plants are supported through the spiral of tubing, which is supported by the PVC pipe. If you love growing tomatoes, you need to check this tutorial out! At ‘Instructables‘.

tomato stakes with tubes for self watering

Metal Pipe Trellis Frame

If you want a DIY tomato trellis idea that will last literally forever, check out this one made with metal conduit by ‘Chatfield Court‘. Held together with pipe clamps, they use garden twine between the supports for the plants to grow on. Metal doesn’t rot, so you only have to buy these poles once.  If you grow indeterminate tomato plants, a trellis like this is a great idea.

tall trellis frame made of metal pipes with garden twine hanging down for tomatoes

Wooden Tomato Trellis DIY with Garden Twine

Rocky Hedge Farm‘ used a similar technique to build their super fast, super cheap tomato trellis idea. Also using garden twine, but built with wood 1×2’s, this project goes together fast and looks great from the kitchen window as well!

diy wooden tomato trellis with garden twine supports

Tomato Trellis Idea for Raised Beds

If you’re growing your tomatoes in a raised bed, this tomato trellis DIY project is exactly what you need. They’re beautiful and plenty sturdy. Find all the details here from “Homestead and Chill.”

tomato plants and other kitchen garden plants growing in a raised bed garden

Budget Tomato Trellis DIY

Don’t have a big budget to work with for your tomato support project? Don’t worry, you don’t need one! This budget guide from “In Color Order” will have your tomatoes safely supported off the ground for just a few dollars – win win!

tomato plants in a diy trellis system

Tomato Staking Ideas and DIY Projects

Sometimes, staking your tomatoes is easier than setting up an entire cage or a trellis. Some forms of determinate tomatoes don’t need the support of a cage, but benefit from staking, which supports their main stem and keeps your fruit safely off the ground. Check out these projects to get started!

DIY Tomato Cage and Staking Idea

Old World Garden Farms‘ has created a tomato stake/cage that is smart, sturdy, and really cheap. All it takes is som cattle panel, zip ties, and wooden stakes! If you grow a lot of tomato plants, this is a great option. You can make a whole lot of them quickly and inexpensively.

diy tomato trellis made with cattle panel

DIY Bamboo Tomato Stakes

Bamboo is a great option for staking your tomatoes because it’s strong and has a nice, rustic look in the garden. I always think bamboo stakes look much nicer than metal tomato cages, but of course it’s up to you! Find the guide here at “The Martha Blog.”

bamboo tomato stakes set up in teepee shapes with small tomato plants in ground below

Simple Wooden Tomato Stakes

Staking your tomatoes doesn’t have to be a complicated process, as these tomato support ideas from “The Spruce” shows. Love this because they give you so much info on how deep your stakes need to be, how to tie your tomatoes, and what’s best for indeterminate vs determinate varieties.

close up of a tomato plant growing on a stake - with one ripe tomato and one unrip

Metal Tomato Stakes and DIY Tomato Support Ideas

The team at “Food Garden Life” has some brilliant ideas for tomato staking and supporting depending on your garden setup and the types of tomatoes you’re growing. From a DIY tomato trellis for pots to DIY tomato cages, this guide to tomato support ideas has everything you need to know!

spiral tomato stake with tomato plant growing up it

Use These Tomato Support Ideas to Grow Your Best Crop Ever!

Hopefully you will get your tomato growing off to a great start by using one of these DIY tomato cage or trellis ideas for support and staking your plants. If you’re growing tomatoes, you’ll probably love checking out our post on how to start a kitchen garden! And maybe you want to start some vegetables to harvest in fall, too! It’s not all about summer tomatoes after all. Be sure to check out our post on How to Grow Basil and DIY Greenhouses. You also might be interested in some ideas on our post DIY Raised Beds!

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  1. Patty March 9, 2022 at 6:33 am

    i love all ur ideas..ima gonna hope i can complete several..thank you..

    1. Kathy Bates March 9, 2022 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks Patty! Happy planting!


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