Suburban Sell Out? – Tomato Rings & Veggie Cages

A few weeks ago I got an email from a man who imports some  American gardening products – Tomato Rings and Veggie Cages – into Australia.  He had emailed me to ask if I would like some samples.  I have to say I was both flattered – that he had chosen to email me (he probably emailed many others but ignorance is bliss so to speak), and a bit conflicted.  If I said yes (which given they were free and an exciting gardening product was my preferred option), would that mean I was ‘selling out’, giving in to a commercial imperative and compromising the integrity of the blog.  I sat on the email while I thought about it (actually this makes me sound more considered than I actually am – the truth is I kept forgetting to ask the couple of friends I thought I’d sound out on the issue.).  In the end I decided that really it was all too pompous to worry about the blogs integrity and that I really wanted some Tomato Rings to see if they worked.

I duly emailed him and he must have dispatched the rings the next day as in no time at all I found these on my doorstep.

alongside this:

I have yet to do anything with the Veggie Cage as I need to get some more tomato stakes first (a job for tomorrow perhaps…) but I have used both tomato rings.  I have to say they do look very promising.  The idea is that they eliminate the need for plant ties.  You attach them to a stake and then use them to support the plants (kind of give the plants a cuddle so to speak), moving the ring up the plant as it grows.

I do like the simplicity of the design but I would have preferred they didn’t have plastic parts.  Having said that my hose fittings are plastic as are many of my pots so perhaps this me being a bit ‘ideal’ rather than ‘real’ world.  Otherwise I think they look good and so far they are effectively supporting the plants.  Only time will tell if they continue to perform their function for the rest of the season.  I will give an update later on, as well as a report on how the veggie cages work when I use them.  In the meantime if you are interested in acquiring some you can order them via

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15 Responses to Suburban Sell Out? – Tomato Rings & Veggie Cages

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be reassured that the plastic bits are made of recycled material? As long as you give an honest opinion of the products, I don’t see any problem with writing about them on your blog. They actually look quite good…

    • Liz says:

      I did email him saying that I couldn’t guarantee them a good review. Having said that I probably would feel a bit guilty writing a negative review. Hopefully they will be wonderful and I wont have to. So far they are performing well.

  2. I agree with Mark – we all recommend things we think are as good products and as long as he wasn’t paying you off to say something was good that wasn’t where’s the problem.

    I’ve reviewed things in the past when asked on the understanding that if it is no good then I’ll say so!

  3. I’ll be interested to see what your review is once you have used them for a bit! 🙂

  4. I agree with all the above, no issue as far as I can see as long as you give an honest review which we all know you will. I must say those tomato rings look like just what I need, I’m hopeless at staking tomatoes and keeping them tied back well. I’ll wait and see what your verdict is, but they could be put on my garden wish list very soon I think.

    Oh and how healthy do your tomatoes look! Very green and lush.

  5. Anna says:

    They look okay, but can the wire handle the weight or will it cut into the plant? My husband uses an old t-shirt to cut into strips. Recycled and works perfectly.

    • Liz says:

      Regarding the wire it will be interesting to see – because it is not just touching the plant at one point and isn’t tight I don’t that will be too much of an issue, but its early days. The plants I don’t have tomato rings on are all tied to their stakes with old tights cut into strips – I do like the t-shirt idea as well. They do work well, you just need lots of them.

  6. L says:

    Well I’m impressed! Absolutely not a sell out – I’ll be interested to hear how they go.

  7. Danielle says:

    I’m considering purchasing some of the tomato rungs and veggie cages, so I’m interested to know how you found them? Will you be using them again this summer?

    • Liz says:

      I much prefered the rings to the cage. The cage seems a bit small for tomatoes, but its providing some decent support for my beans this year. The rings I am using again for tomatoes. I found them good last year. I also used them for broad beans to reasonable effect. I think with the rings, you can move then up for a while, but they probably work best having a couple of rings per stake. One that you move up gradually until the plant is about a metre high, the other for growth above a metre. One thing I should say is that my tomatoes last year weren’t particularly vigorous so it would be interesting to see how they would cope with a really vigorous plant.

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