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Tomato cages: Readers see red over pros' picks

June 19, 2012 |  8:08 am

Tomato fight

This is what happens when you ask gardeners to vote on their favorite tomato cage. Well, maybe not this bad. But close.

Tomato cage Florida weaveAfter we asked six garden pros to reveal their favorite ways to support tomato plants -- from cheap Home Depot wire cages to somewhat pricey and chic catalog buys -- we asked readers to chime in too. (This is where things got a little messy.)

No frenzy of tomato flinging. Not yet. But tomato lovers did let us know they have some strong opinions.

Some of you slapped your head and wondered why none of our experts suggested the Florida Weave, a system in which plants are propped between twine strung between posts. The Florida Weave may sound like a bad hairpiece, reader Linda Ly said, but it works.

SFlorida weave illustratedhe supplied a photo, above right, and even an illustration, below right, to elaborate.

As she wrote on her Garden Betty blog: "This is an aerial view of what the Florida Weave should look like. The top illustration shows my current setup of three plants across an 8-foot bed. The bottom illustration shows an efficient setup that can be repeated for longer rows."

Glendora reader Tom Matkey seconded the effectiveness of the Florida Weave but also sent photos of his PVC cages, declaring that "the circular, cone-shaped cages are virtually worthless."

Matkey said he has used his PVC design, below, for more than 20 years and never had any problems.

Tomato cage PVC

If you'd like the pie fight to continue, we welcome more votes and more photos sent to home@latimes.com.


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-- Craig Nakano

Photo: Participants in the sixth annual tomato fight festival called Tomatina on June 10 in Sutamarchan, Colombia. Credit: Fernando Vergara / Associated Press