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Vines full of leafy greens can be yours this summer when you plant this spinach.

A Malabar spinach plant in a home garden.
daoleduc/Getty Images/iStockphoto
If you're short on space but your garden or raised bed gets plenty of heat and sun, consider vining vegetable varieties like Malabar spinach, cucamelon and Red Noodle pole beans.

Unique vining vegetables can add abundance to your spring and summer dinners and they grow well in the right garden spot.

Choose the sunniest corner with room for the veggies to climb. Vining vegetable plants live up to their name and need to climb up as they grow, so add a trellis or wire fence so they can grow vertically.

One variety to try is a vining zucchini called trombochino. This vegetable plant can grow 10 to 15 feet long and will need a trellis or wire fence to climb.

The zucchini fruits grow long with thin necks and bulbous bottoms. The zukes themselves can reach three feet long, though you might want to pick them sooner, when they are closer to a foot.

This type of zucchini's neck is all solid and not seedy, so you can add it to soups and stews or roast it without the veggie breaking down.

An added benefit to planting trombochino is that this variety is resistant to the squash vine borers.

Another vining veggie to plant this year is the cucamelon. This resembles a cucumber plant and produces small, one-inch diameter round or oval shaped fruits that look like little watermelons.

They taste like a cucumber with a bit of lime flavor to them and the plant produces an abundance of fruit so make sure you have room for them in your garden!

The cucamelon plant does best growing up a 45-degree angled trellis.

And if you want to branch out of your current bean plant choice, try planting a fun variation of the "yard-long bean" known as "Red Noodle."

This plant has burgundy red beans that could grow to be a yard long, but you want to pick them when they're closer to a foot. These even hold onto their burgundy color as you cook them.

And then finally, plant a new leafy green like the vining Malabar spinach.

This plant is a tropical vine with familiar spinach-like leaves with red stems. These leaves are more waxy and thick, so you might enjoy them more cooked than raw but you can eat them either way.

Malabar spinach grows well and loves the heat as do all of these other vining vegetables.

Best practice is to start these plants indoors early, about a month before the last frost date. And then plant in your gardens or raised beds in June. By August and September, you'll have an abundance of produce.

Q: I've heard you speak of using horticultural oil on apple trees at this time of year so I went to get some. I was surprised to find out that it wasn't as straightforward of purchase as I thought. Could you please tell us exactly what to buy? - Diane, in Poultney

A: Horticultural oilis also known as dormant oil, which refers to the time of year you use it.

This produce is usually a petroleum-based oil that you can spray on dormant trees like apple trees and other fruit trees.

Spraying the oil coats the branches and suffocates any kind of overwintering insect eggs or insects in different stages.

You'll want to spray your tree on a warmer, calm day when temperatures are above 40 degrees for a day or two.

Spray the oil on both sides of the branches and coat them really well.

As for purchasing the oil to treat your trees, the most common kind of dormant oil is petroleum-based and available at your lawn and garden center.

But if you'd rather not use a petroleum product, there are other kinds that are vegetable-based, like neem oil.

For pest control on some evergreens, make sure to read the label, as some like cedars and junipers do not do well with neem oil sprayed on them.

Q: I'm looking for help with tiny gnats in some of my house plants. We'll be starting garden seeds in the near future and hopefully we'll be able to protect the seedlings. Are there any natural deterrents? - Neomi, in Perkinsville

This sound like fungus gnats, which can get into the potting soil of houseplants and lays eggs.

Thankfully, these gnats don't really harm the plants. This pest is actually eating the organic matter in the soil.

The easiest fix to get rid of them is to repot your houseplants with some fresh potting soil. Also, clean out the pots really well, even using a bleach solution, to kill any eggs that might be in there.

If repotting all your plants is too big of a project, try putting sand on top of the potting soil. The adult gnats will lay their eggs in this sandy layer, then dry up and die.

One final remedy is a commercial product called, Gnatrol and you can drench the soil and it'll kill them in their larval stage.

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All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a messageor get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.