Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist 2

Remove and Clean Tomato Supports

This Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist 2 makes it simple to put to bed your veggie garden for the winter. 

Your first step was to clear out tomato plants.

(See Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist Part 1 for how to go about removing spent tomato plants.)

Now, you need to get all those tomato stakes, tomato trellises, and tomato cages out of your garden.

It’s not brain surgery.

But it’s an important step to take so that you are ready to plant tomatoes next spring. Here’s why.

Fall Cleaning Checklist 2:
Tomato Supports

Step 1: Remove Tomato Supports

During the cold, gray days of autumn you may be tempted to leave your tomato stakes and cages in the garden. DON’T. Take a few minutes to pull out tomato stakes, trellises, and tomato cages. Dispose ties. Remove leftover bits and pieces of vines and leaves. Scrape off excess soil from supports that have been sunk into the ground. 

Why? 

  1. Prevent wear and tear. Winter can be tough. Give a stake a break. Bring it inside!
  2. Get rid of lingering fungi and bacteria. Which leads us to step 2 …

Step 2: Clean Tomato Supports

Remove Tomato Stakes, Cages, Trellises in Fall from Tomato Dirt

Disinfect supports so they will be clean and ready to go next season. This is especially important if tomato plants have had any diseases – even a hint of early blight, late blight, Septoria leaf spot, or any kind of wilt. Fungi can overwinter and reappear on your new plants next year. Help prevent that now.

Make a 10% bleach solution by mixing together 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Use a pump sprayer to apply the solution to the supports. Allow supports to air dry, either in the garage or covered area if weather is inclement or in the sun. 

Step 3: Store Tomato Supports

  • Bundle together tomato stakes with a sturdy rope. 
  • Roll or stack cages and trellises.
  • Stack disassembled remesh cages. Unhook ends, unroll cages, and lay remesh flat – one cage on top of the other. 

Store tomato supports indoors to prevent rodents from using them for nests. Find a dry, cool corner of your garage, under the deck, or in a shed or barn. Cover the supports securely with a tarp.

Re-Use Conical Tomato Cages During the Holidays

This tomato garden fall cleaning checklist 2 would not be complete without this fun tip: let your conical tomato cages have a second life after growing season by using them to make decorations during the holidays.  Conical cages, when inverted, are the idea Christmas tree shape. Set tomato cages in containers or on a flat surface. Cover cages with lights, burlap, or ribbon to match your other holiday décor.

Tomato cages also make great decorative Santas!


Get more ideas for Tomato Cage Crafts on our Pinterest Board.


More about Fall Garden Clean Up

How to Get Started with Fall Garden Clean Up ...

Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist, Part 1: Clear Out Tomato Plants

Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist, Part 3: Burn, Turn, Mulch

How to Take End of Season Notes about Your Tomato Garden ...


Return from Tomato Garden Fall Cleaning Checklist 2 to Tomato Dirt home

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.

FREE! 10 Must-Know Tomato Growing Tips: 20-page guide
Get yours here: