Make sure plants stay watered, but don't over-water. Hardeman uses a "poor man's" irrigation system -- a plastic milk or orange juice jug with pin holes on the sides near the bottom. Fill it with water, and place it on top of the soil near the plant. It can also be used to disperse liquid fertilizer.
If birds have been a problem in years past, cover the plants with bird netting.
Support the plants with stakes driven into the soil beside the container, not into the container.