We had some serious trouble last year with our tomatoes. Both the cherry tomatoes and heirloom/eating tomatoes got so large and heavy that they quickly wound up dragging on the ground and entangled in a huge mess. Sure we used tomato cages, but quickly found that the small tomato cages are useless, the large "sturdy" ones are a bit better but they still collapse under the weight of all the delicious fruit by mid summer.
The solution? Homemade tomato cages, with a large side dish of John overkill.
*These are famous last words of mine. "Having a system" always seems to work theoretically but usually loses some of its efficiency in practice. I can't remember how many times I've "had a system" only to find that the system isn't as great as I thought. It may even be that once I declare I "have a system" that I officially jinx myself and the universe must forcefully readjust the size of my britches since they have obviously grown too large for my own good. Thanks universe.
The end result is less of a tomato cage than a tomato maximum security prison. I'm pretty sure that a tree could fall on these things and they'd be fine. Yeah I feel pretty awesome. We'll use the old regular tomato cages for the peppers this year, they aren't as heavy but still benefit from some support. I may also experiment with using a tomato cage on the cucumbers that like to climb a bit.
We'll see how the new cages work as the summer progresses and the plants start to set heavy amounts of fruit. I promise to update you with any successes or failures on the new tomato cages.