So this year I’ve decided to try staking my tomatoes vs. cages. Mostly because I saw a staked tomato garden and it was so trim and tidy, I nearly wept. It appealed to my inner minimalist. I also saw the benefit of extra air space in my already crowded garden. Which brings me to today’s post stakes or cages. There are pros and cons to each and I’d like to name a few to help you decide which option more suits your garden personality.
Stakes
Pros
  • As I mentioned it takes up less garden space
  • Because they are aggressively pruned with this method you will get earlier, often larger fruit
  • Open and airy means fewer hiding places for pests/fungal to invade
  • Easy to pick during harvest and weed around throughout the season

Cages

Pros
  • Good 360 support
  • Minimal Pruning or training required
  • Good leafy cover to protect fruit and the soil from drying out
Stakes
Cons
  • Labour intensive, pruning required regularly
  • Inconsistent pressure from improperly placed or too few ties can result in weak spots and fractures
  • With the extra exposure to wind and other elements more frequent watering may be required
Cages
Cons
  • Cages when they tip are very difficult to pick back up
  • Harvesting can be very tricky buried in leaves and behind wires
  • More foliage can make the plant more susceptible to blights
  • They take up more space