Last year I used metal cages for tomatoes. They held up okay, but I think the tomatoes could have grown taller if they hadn’t overtaken the cages so quickly. This year I searched around for other ideas and came across this trellis idea–the basket weave (PDF).
I used the same twine and 6-foot stakes that I used for the pea trellises, except I’m adding layers of twine as the tomatoes grow, rather than creating the entire trellis from the outset. It seems to be working well so far. Several tomatoes have appeared, and there are blossoms everywhere.
Now I just need to keep vigilant over a small aphid infestation. So far I’m addressing it with blasts of water, lots of hand squishing, placing some mint plants nearby (which supposedly repel aphids) and some neem oil. The plants don’t appear to be suffering yet. If they do, I could apparently order ladybugs online, but I’m nervous about suddenly and artificially importing hundreds of new bugs to the backyard.
Here are a few more pics of the tomato trellises…