We thought we had got a sturdier variety of cage this year, but it's already starting to come apart.
Looking around at the various designs available, we didn't really see anything that we felt would hold up under the weight of a healthy harvest of tomatoes.
I started getting an idea of how we could build our own cage, using half in PVC pipe and various connectors.
I have no idea where the idea came from, it just seemed to me that it would be a) inexpensive and b) sturdy, so I started playing around on paper and came up with some plans. Perhaps I was an engineer in a former life?
It was easy enough to build -- I made it myself with just a measuring tape, a hacksaw and a rubber mallet. I built it "in situ" around the tomato plant in the corner of the garden bed. The original cage we bought is still there too - we'll have to cut the parts of it that haven't already come apart to get it out without damaging the plant.
The final design was a little bit different from the original plan, but that's usually what happens when I make something - it's gets "finessed" along the way :-)
The finished cage is 12" x 16" and about 3 feet tall. It's legs are securely sunk into the ground under the raised garden bed. It's not going anywhere!
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.