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by Carole Schwalm The sun rising between two peaks with a deep red sky.

A two day harvest of cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes gathered in a basket on the counter. On the left: a two day harvest of cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

To reap, of course you have to sow, but you also have to water every day. Your plants and crop can suffer if you miss two days. Have a trustworthy plant-sitter who will water for you if you plan a holiday either in July or August. The plants are producing and that takes lots of energy; feed them at least once every 7 to 10 days. Make sure that cucumbers and tomatoes are properly staked. Remove the tomato suckers. You might want to add a little new compost as well by top-dressing.

Make sure vents are open. Warm, summer nights vents should remain open. Shading helps keep the temperature down, especially for cucumbers in blossom. Note whether some of the taller plants in the front need blinds to protect them from intense sun as well.

A greenhouse filled with plants growing on shelving inside with its roof vent open to cool it down. Right: The rooftop greenhouse vents are open and the door is also propped. There is also a vent at the floor you can see, but it is not only open, but also has a screen covering to discourage hungry, small visitors. An inside fan helps circulate the air. It is turned on at 11 AM, remaining on until early evening as it naturally gets cooler. The picture was taken in late June in a cooler early summer here. Top shading was installed within a few days after the picture was taken. A thermometer is one of your best purchases, helping you monitor dangerous degrees.

Share your summer greenhouse gardening experience or if you'd like more information.