Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports

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As a gardener, you aren’t limited to the flimsy wire tomato cages available at your local garden center. There are many DIY options to create your own plant cages and supports, tailoring them to your needs.

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If you’ve gardened for a bit, chances are you’re familiar with the well-known wire tomato cages you can buy at any nursery or garden center. This means you’ve likely dealt with them falling over or becoming greatly disfigured when you pull them out of the ground at the end of the season. That makes it incredibly difficult to position them around plants the following year.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports

However, suppose you’re willing to put in a little work. In that case, you can create the following sturdy plant cages or supports, using minimal supplies or perhaps even upcycling materials you already have on hand.

Bamboo Teepee

Bamboo is excellent for making plant cages as it is durable, reasonably inexpensive, and easy to work with. Using six, 6-foot bamboo poles and some garden twine, it’s quick to put together teepees to support your tomato plants.

Drive four bamboo poles a few inches into the ground in a square pattern (one on each corner). Pull the tops of them into the center and tie them together with twine to create the basic teepee frame. Then cut the other two poles for the support tiers, lashing them onto the upright posts, creating as many tiers as you have supplies to make. Make sure each “rung” is at least an inch longer than the width between the upright poles so you can secure them together with twine.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Cattle Panel Tomato Cage

If you’re growing heavy heirloom tomato plants or indeterminate plants that continue to grow all season, you’re going to need some heavy-duty support to hold plants once they set fruit. Using 16-foot metal cattle panels (available at your local farm supply store), fashion them into cylinders, securing the ends together using zip ties or hognose rings.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Folding Ladder Plant Cage

Folding wooden ladder cages are a fantastic DIY project if you’re short on storage space. These cages are easy to make and can be built using scrap wood. Hinges at the top allow them to fold when you aren’t using them in the garden, making them easy to store for the winter. The finished cage is perfect for tomatoes or other climbing plants like peas, beans, or squash.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Chicken Wire Support Structure

Chicken wire is a favorite amongst gardeners because of its versatility and inexpensive price tag. Use fence posts or wooden stakes as supports and then attach chicken wire across the front of the poles to create a structure for plants to climb. The best part? If you use wooden stakes, they also double as plant markers.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Pallet Trellis

Like the folding ladder plant cage, plant trellises made from old pallets go together quickly and upcycled materials you have sitting around. In only a couple of minutes, you can create simple A-frame trellises to support all of your garden plants. If you attach the pallets using hinges, they’ll fold up for easy storage at the end of the season. Nail a piece of scrap wood to both sides to keep the trellis strong through the summer.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Easy Branch Trellis

One of the easiest and cheapest DIY supports on this list is the easy branch trellis. Gather up some long, straight branches from your yard and use them to create a DIY teepee that’s perfect for your peas, beans, squash, and cucumbers that love to climb upward. Lash them together at the top with baling twine or yard to keep them stable and secure.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Climbing Vine Arbor

One of the best ways to make more space in the garden is to think vertically. It’s easy to create these climbing vine arbors using fence posts and cattle panels, poultry fencing, or chicken wire. Pound fence posts into the ground at all four corners and attach a 10- or 12-foot length of your metal material to the posts, creating an arch. Secure it to the posts using zip ties.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
PVC Tomato Cage

PVC tomato cages are not only sturdy but incredibly weather-resistant, making them a great DIY plant support for your garden. Using PVC pipe, tees, elbows, and four-way fittings, it’s easy to put together box-shaped tomato cages capable of supporting your heaviest plants. When building these structures, use a thicker-diameter pipe as one upright support and secure your plants to it.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Wood Frame Cage

Using 2x2x8” and 1x2x8” pieces of wood, these wooden frames are easy to make and relatively inexpensive, especially if you have scrap wood on hand. Like the PVC cages, the plan is to create upright box structures with supporting rungs along the vertical posts. Adjust the dimensions to your liking, starting by putting four posts in the ground and then connecting them with rungs.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Lean-To Trellis

A simple and ingenious plant support is a lean-to trellis. Drive corner posts into the ground, ensuring they are deep enough to be secure. Place livestock paneling or chicken wire on the opposite side of the garden bed, and then let it lean over to rest on the fence posts. Or lean a similar support structure up against the fence. Not only is this quick to assemble, but it’s also easy to take down at the end of the gardening season.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Stake-and-Twine Cage or Trellis

If you’ve got wooden stakes and garden twine on hand, these simple cages come together in a short amount of time and cost next to nothing. Drive stakes into the ground creating the basic framework for a box or a trellis, and then wrap the twine around the posts, creating horizontal supports. This support structure is perfect for tomatoes or vining gardening plants when finished.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
$10 Obelisk Cage

With no angles to cut, obelisk cages are cheap and easy trellises to make. Not only are they incredibly supportive of your plants, but they are also beautiful accents in your garden. Start by building a four-sided ladder and then attach the horizontal support braces. If you like, after they are made, paint them in fun colors to add whimsy to the space.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports
Row Cages

When growing rows of plants like beans or squash that create long vines, it might be worthwhile to build row cages. These long cages are constructed out of galvanized wire and rebar and provide sturdy support for all plants in the row. It is a simple DIY project. Just make sure to buy fencing that has holes large enough to get your hand through so you can easily pick produce when it’s ripe.

Help Your Plants Stay Strong With DIY Cages and Supports

Now, ready to DIY your own Plant Support?