Well I love tomato cages. I hate how they are pretty much on the list of items guaranteed to be garbage quality. This is our collective fault; as a society we go for the cheapest possible price, which turns items like these a rush to the bottom; nobody builds a $10 cage because everybody buys the substandard $5 cage. Still, a bit of sweat equity can make them work.
Here is my problem: strong winds on a regular basis. Bushes with canes suffer from sagging before they get a chance to lignify.
You don’t want to see my gooseberry bush…
But back to tomato cages. Of course about a third of the ones at the big box store already had broken joints. Probably another third were waiting to get at least one snapped before they even went into the ground. I start with the largest available one which usually has thicker wire; I can always cut it down to size.
While watching TV I wrap the joints with 12~14 gauge solid copper wire I strip from regular Romex electrical wire:
The bottom joints only get the wire wrap. On the top joints I take the extra step of a dab of solder. If the joint in the lower ones separate the wire is more than enough for structural integrity, the top could pop out so it gets that extra bit of loving.
Cutting it down to size with the angle grinder. Of course the joints you want to break will be the ones that will fight you…
The final product. This red Rovada currant can grow inside and outside of the cage, but if need be I can tie up the branch to the cage while it hardens enough to stand on its own. Better yet now the cage is built to last forever; it may take quite a bit of effort (most done while watching TV) but to me it is worth it.