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How to build a DIY wooden tomato cage

If your garden is starting to go crazy, you need to learn how to build a DIY wooden tomato cage that will support all of your climbing veggies this summer!

Our garden is doing really well again this year and we keep adding more and more plants to it. Yes, it’s a problem how many tomatoes and peppers we plant.

Each year, we seem to add some sort of new veggie or fruit garden to our backyard. This year, we added a raised bed with a modern trellis for blackberries and raspberries and built a garden bench to put in the middle!

But over in our original simple raised bed garden, we have a bunch of tomato plants that are all thriving. They love the spot we have where they get a lot of daytime sun.

The problem is that in the last couple of years, we haven’t had great luck with keeping our tomatoes upright. We’ve tried using bungee cords to hold them up against the fence, installing cheap metal cages, and making a lean-to with sticks from the woods.

So this year we decided to finally make a tomato cage that will last a long time and keep everything sturdy and upright.

These cages are certainly great for growing tomatoes, but are actually great for any climbing vegetables. If you want to grow cucumbers or pole beans or anything that needs a trellis, this DIY garden trellis will work for all of them!

How to build a DIY wooden tomato cage - Charleston Crafted

DIY wooden tomato cage

Vegetable gardening is a great past time for homeowners like us all spring and summer long. Sure, there’s the joke that you are spending a lot more time and money than just buying $0.40 vegetables at the grocery store, but it’s all about the hobby.

If you have tomatoes sprouting up big or want to grow cucumbers on a trellis, this is a great DIY wooden veggie cage to keep things held up.

Here’s how we made a cucumber trellis with lattice if you plant cucumbers in your garden!

DIY tomato cages in raised bed

Materials needed to make a DIY tomato trellis

One of the great things about this DIY wooden tomato trellis is that you don’t need a ton of materials to make one. It’s also highly-scalable, so if you need two, three or 10 of them, you can make them easily.

We built three trellises for our tomato garden, but the following materials are what you need for how to build one.

You can get the full material list in our woodworking plans! The plans also include the full cut list and step-by-step full instructions with computer model imagery.

Wooden tomato cage woodworking plans

You’ll also need a miter saw, table saw or circular saw, brad nailer and a tape measure for this project. Make sure you have proper safety equipment when using these tools, like safety glasses, ear protection and a dust mask.

Wooden tomato cages in yard

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Remember to also always use safety equipment while woodworking and using tools. Make sure you have proper eye protection, ear protection and a good mask to keep yourself safe.

DIY tomato cage design

There are a few ways to make a tomato cage. We chose to make a pyramid style cage so that it would stand up and be really sturdy, no matter what.

A triangular pyramid design helps with making sure the base is really sturdy and doesn’t topple over when your veggie plants grow tall. If they get too tall and top heavy, other designs could fall over.

Other tomato trellis ideas can be like a column with four straight up sides that would go around the tomato plant on all sides or an arch trellis that goes up and over the plants.

Here’s how we made a garden arbor arch that can grow plants up and over the top!

You can also choose to use stakes with chicken wire, but I feel like that limits the way the plants can grow. In general, you want to make sure your design provides good air flow and a place for the tomatoes to grow well for the best crop yield.

Finished wooden tomato cages

What type of wood to use for a DIY tomato cage

Selecting the right wood for any outdoor project can be difficult, especially when working with gardens.

Some people say that you shouldn’t use pressure treated wood for gardens or trellises because the chemicals can possibly leach into the veggies you’re growing. How accurate that is, I don’t know.

In general, we choose to use pressure treated wood because it will last and stand up to the elements.

If you have cedar available, that’s going to be the best choice because it is naturally rot-resistant without chemicals or stain. However, it’s more difficult to find.

You can also add an outdoor stain and sealant to untreated wood, but I feel like that would have the same risks as the treated wood.

Tomato trellises in raised bed garden

How to make a DIY veggie garden trellis from wood

Here’s how to make a DIY tomato cage that works for all climbing vegetables. We’ll have the whole overview here with some great pictures to show you what we did.

Remember, if you want to make one of these for yourself, make it easy and grab our tomato trellis woodworking plans that include the full material list, cut list and step-by-step instructions!

Wooden tomato cage woodworking plans

Step one- Cut boards

Start by making all the cuts for the trellis. It’s much easier to make all the cuts first and then build it quickly in one go, especially if you are making several of these!

Step two- Build sides

Start by building the two sides for the tomato cage. These are made by connecting two 2x2s together with progressively smaller strips of 3/4″ wood.

We thought about making compound miter bevel cuts on the ends of each of the 2x2s, but since this will be in dirt in a garden bed, we realized it doesn’t need to have a perfectly flat base on the legs.

Each side has four levels of horizontal strips going up the legs that get progressively smaller and hold the legs together.

Everything is held together with wood glue and brand nails to make it extra secure!

Then we built a second side that mirrored the first and did it exactly the same height for the horizontal boards.

Nailing sides of tomato trellis together

Step three- Connect sides

Once we had two sides built, we connected them using horizontal boards that lined up at each of the four horizontal boards on the sides.

Attaching sides of tomato cage trellis

We placed the two side pieces on their sides and then used a dot of wood glue and a nail to attach each of the boards up on side.

Then we flipped it over and did it again to complete the frame of the trellis.

Tomato trellis standing in construction

Step four- Adding the cap

You can really finish off your DIY wooden tomato cage however you want, but we added a small square of wood across the top where the four legs met up and glued/nailed it into place.

Then, we drilled a small hole in the middle of that board and threaded a wooden table leg from Home Depot onto the cap and secured it with glue.

This leg looks like a finial and adds a little extra element to the trellis to make it look complete and done.

How to build a DIY wooden tomato cage - Charleston Crafted

Step five- Put them in the garden

We added the tomato trellises to the garden and put them where the tomato plants were already sprouting up pretty good.

Garden veggie trellises in raised bed garden

These are big enough that you can work several tomato plants into the inside as well as have them support plants on the outside.

We built three of these (yes, there’s only two pictured) and they took up most of the space in our raised bed, so now all the tomatoes should get support.

This year we went with just peppers on the other garden, but we’ll probably add more of these as a DIY cucumber trellis next year when we go back to growing cucumbers.

Tomato plants growing in DIY wooden cage

Tomato cage woodworking plans

Do you love the look of this DIY veggie garden cage and want one for your garden? Well you’re in luck because you can build our exact design with our woodworking plans!

Wooden tomato cage woodworking plans

Our plans come with a full material list, cut list and step-by-step instructions with computer model imagery. Our plans have full details on each step, including exactly where to nail in each of the boards and how to make them perfectly.

DIY wooden tomato cage recap

A wooden tomato cage is a great way to help tomatoes, cucumbers or other trailing fruits and veggies have a stable place to grow all growing season. Grab our woodworking plans to get started on your build and enjoy your garden all year!

How to build a DIY wooden tomato cage - Charleston Crafted

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