This weekend we used our stake-a-cage method to support the tomatoes as they grow. No, we didn't find this on an infomercial, rather, we developed this method by pure accident. Last year at this time, we had just moved the chickens into their permanent home "The Coop" at the farm.
We had left over fencing wire from when we built the outdoor run, and we had large stakes that we had used to stake out the ground on which it now sits. With some wire cutters, u-nails, and a hammer to build the 'best of both worlds' method of staking up our tomatoes. We now have the support of a strong stake, but also the support that a sturdy wire cage provides.
The best part is that the cage is open in the front, allowing for the ease of tying up the plants to a broad area, along with the ease of picking the tomatoes without dealing with the hassle of reaching through a cage during harvest time.
We then use a super soft and bulky yarn to tie the tomato vines to the post/fencing system. This allows supporting only the vines that need an extra boost without damaging or constricting the fruits as they grow. We simply cut 12-18 inches of the yarn and wrap the piece around any area that may need it throughout the growing season. Not only is this a very inexpensive way to stake and tie up your tomatoes (we spent less than $3 for 86 yards of material), but there are other benefits as well. Your family members aren't missing their old, but favorite, t-shirts anymore, the pantyhose that you need for that fall wedding will still be in your dresser drawer, and most importantly, if your yarn is a green color, the garden ties are camouflaged in the background, allowing for a neat and clean appearance to your garden!