The Seed-bed For January
To be sown in the beginning of the Month.
As this is the season in which Gardeners in general sow seed for
cucumbers, it will be necessary to take notice of a few directions which
vary from the October seed-bed.
At this time of
the year young plants are much slower in their growth,
and more difficult to be reared than in October, consequently they
require a stronger bottom bed, though made in the same manner as above
directed. The dung must undergo the same process in working, but should
be six inches higher; it will also require more wrapping and covering,
particularly if the weather is very cold; in this, however, as before,
you must be guided by the temperature of the season; taking care not to
cover too much at first. For the first fortnight a double mat will be
sufficient; and after that, if the weather is intense, increase the
covering, by adding hay to the thickness of six or nine inches, with a
mat over it. Air should be admitted night and day, according to the
state of the weather; but they may be closed down for about an hour,
before covering up, after they are a fortnight old.
The plants should be ridged out young, at least when they are a month
old; but be very particular in having the fruiting-frame perfectly sweet
before they are placed in it, as it is much better to keep them in the
pots a week, or even a fortnight, beyond the time, than to ridge them
out before the bed is in a proper condition.
Be careful in keeping a good heat; in having the lining applied in
proper time; and in well wrapping them up. The lining will be required
when they are three weeks old at the back and front. It should be two
feet wide about half way up the bed, and lined with litter to the width
of six inches, for the purpose of keeping the lining in a proper
condition: wrap it up also within three inches of the top, drawing it in
gradually to about eighteen inches wide. With the exception of the
foregoing directions, the method of treatment must be exactly the same
as given in the Seed-bed for October.
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