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Nothing is more rewarding for this city girl than growing my own food. I did it! I actually harvested homegrown tomatoes from container pots and I barely spent any money to do it. Look at those beauties below!
I made inexpensive dowel rod tomato cages instead of buying the plastic-coated or metal variety. Here’s the awesome, cost-saving breakdown:
Because I bought the Jet Set tomato plant for $1, vegetable soil $6, and three dowel rods per pot $.80 each, I’d say that’s pretty inexpensive since I’m still harvesting tomatoes and it’s only mid-July. Since I split the bag of vegetable soil between two large pots, I spent about $6 per container pot.
After you add new soil and a tomato plant, you will need the following items purchased from a local hardware store to make DIY: Dowel Rod Tomato Cages.
1 DIY Dowel Rod Tomato Cage:
- 3 dowel rods cut to the length you need
- 1 rubber band
- jute twine
First, I used a handsaw to cut each dowel rod down to the length taller than each plant to allow for growth. Second, I inserted each dowel rod around the circumference of the container pots interior as if I was building a teepee. Third, I used a rubber band to bring together the tops of the dowel rods. I recommend using an extra-strong rubber band like the ones that come with your store-bought broccoli if you’ve got one in the kitchen junk drawer.
Lastly, to give the tomato leaves something to grow around and to enhance the strength of the dowel rods, I wrapped twine tightly around the outside of each cage in two places.
That’s it! I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I haven’t needed to reposition the dowel rods or twine even after moving the pots several times. I think you’ll agree that this do-it-yourself method for building a tomato cage is not only inexpensive but incredibly easy to do.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. A platter of Caprese salad made from homegrown tomatoes and basil with mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic and olive oil is calling my name.
Someone recently told me that their favorite summer fruit is…the tomato. I don’t blame them! Yep, it’s actually a fruit. It’s such a versatile ingredient whether used fresh like in a salad or stewed in a pasta sauce like my Dutch Oven Bolognese Sauce.
If you’re in love with tomatoes this season, peel the skin and juice them to create a Michelada with Lime (think Bloody Mary made with Mexican beer) or used stewed and diced tomatoes inside Lone Star Turkey Chili with Sour Cream and Chives for tonight’s family dinner.
Happy tomato harvesting to you! I hope your container garden yields dozens of tomatoes this season. Let me know what DIY outdoor project you’re working on in the comments section below. Since you love to garden, so be sure to also check out How to Grow an Indoor Garden and How to Properly Fill a Raised Garden Bed!