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Hot Off the Vine! What We're Harvesting This Month

July is the month gardeners dream about: Lush, green plants are bursting out of raised beds and vining around trellises. And all of the crops that needed months of TLC are ripe for recipes now.

While you enjoy the fruits of your labor, it's time to perform simple maintenance. The plants supported by our arbor and trellis designs are begging for assistance to stay in bounds. Fertilize them with a plant food high in bloom-boosting phosphorus. In the coming days of summer, check irrigation; you may need to increase drip or frequency in high heat. Patio containers dry out quickly and could use daily water. And for the thirsty gardener, nothing beats an ice-cold drink while looking over the day's progress, picking fresh produce for dinner.

Cucumber and trailing nasturtium


'Suyo Long' cucumber

Tomatillos are larger, branching plants that can reach 5 feet tall and—with the pollinating help of a second tomatillo plant nearby—produce fruits 1 to 3 inches in size. Tomatillo selections can be purple or green, lending an acidic crunch to fresh salsas or sweeter notes when roasted. We put tomatillos to scrumptious use in a charred okra side dish.

'Black Vernissage' tomato

Loosely tie up escape artists with soft twine to help support branches.

Try your tomatoes in these delicious recipes: