1) Put crawlers/climbers together.
We planted the cucumber plants with the bell peppers and it choked one bell pepper plant, and stunted the others. The melon snared my lemon-verbena herb plant, so now some branches are down.
2) Trellis for #1 and train them to climb up. Be diligent in cutting out secondary and tertiary stems (?). If you don’t, they can get wild!
3) Know what you’re planting.
Our tomato plants were gifted to us. The giver couldn’t remember what kind they were. The plant got bigger and we were not prepared when the fruits came out. We have cracked tomatoes, fallen/down branches, and half-eaten tomatoes on the vine.
4) Herbs are better in pots than the ground. (See #1)
5) For best results, plan well to plant better.
Overall, it wasn't such a bad season for first timers like us. We were just really shocked that we didn't kill any of them from the beginning!