So, I've seen how well a store-bought tomato cage holds up to a health tomato plant, and it's just pathetic. I came across a few ideas for heavy-duty tomato cages - including this wonderful blog about how to build a heavy duty tomato cage with update on how well it worked out!
My only gripe about these tomato cages is the rust. I'm not a fan of rust. I have heard suggestions that you can actually coat the remesh with a rust resistant paint - but I'm not totally sold on the idea. So, I kept searching and found that you could also build a Super-Sturdy Tomato Cage with cattle panels - but it is more costly. So, if the rust doesn't phase you - read on! - Stephanie
The original creator of these tomato cages was John B. Cummings. He posted 4 different blogs which outlined the Creation, 2 Updates (Update 1 & Update 2), and the Final Outcome of this project after several years.
What John did was use contruction grade remesh which you can buy in a 50-foot roll from Lowes for around $70.00.
Then he took some Baling Wire, and Heavy Duty Wire Cutters to make heavy-duty tomato cages that last year after year, when the store bought tomato cages give out.
I have also heard that Hog Rings make an excellent alternative to the baling wire.
After gathering all of the supplies, the remesh is cut down size. John indicated that he used 4-foot or 5-foot sections of the remesh, but you can adjust the length of the remesh to fit your needs. Then connect each end of the remesh using either the Baling Wire or the Hog Rings.
Finally, cut off the bottom horizontal wire of the remesh, to create stakes that can be pushed into the ground for support. The end result is a heavy-duty tomato cage that will hold up to anything, and will last for years.
You can see the original article(s) and images of the project by John B. Cummings, as well as updates after their creation at the following links:
Homemade Tomato Cages (Originally Posted June 14, 2011)
Homemade Tomato Cages - Follow Up (July 18, 2011)
Tomato Cage Update (October 1, 2011)