On The Management Required In The Culture Of The

Hand-glass Cucumber. The best time to sow for the hand-glass cucumber is from the middle of April to the beginning of May; though they may be sown from the tenth of April until the middle of May; and the plants may be grown

in the early cucumber or melon beds. When they are potted off, put three plants in each pot, being particular in not filling them more than three parts full, as they are very liable at this time of the year to draw up long in the stem. Merely cover the roots with mould at first; in the course of two or three days add a little more; and in about a week fill up the pots to the brim. It is necessary to give them as much air as possible; and to have them placed at the back of the bed, as near the glass as convenient. They must be well supplied with water, and let them be topped at the first joint. By this mode of treatment, you may have strong stuggy plants, fit to put under the hand-glass in three weeks; at all events, they should not be kept in the pots longer than a month, as there is a probability, if that time is exceeded, of their being stinted in the growth. The soil best calculated to ridge them out in, is a light rich earth. If the soil is of a strong loamy nature, add some leaf mould or rotten dung to it, and mix it up well together. Dig a trench about a foot in depth, and three feet wide, and let the bed be made up about a foot above the level, that is, two feet from the bottom of the trench; tread it down well, level it, and apply some water if it is dry; then put the mould on, and let it be dug a spit deep, and eighteen inches wide on each side of the trench; afterwards put some dung or leaf mould on, and dig it in. Level the mould down, so that the bed will be about six feet wide, and nine or ten inches deep, taking care to leave it a little higher in the middle, where the dung is placed, in order that the mould may not settle, and become lower in the centre, which will have a tendency to injure the plants by absorbing the water, which is most required at the outsides. It is an excellent plan, if the ground is disengaged two or three months previous to the time it is wanted for the cucumber bed, to mark it out six feet wide, and put in six inches of dung or leaf mould, and lay it up in ridges of two feet six inches in width, and a foot in depth. When wanted for use, level it down, and dig a trench three feet wide for the dung, levelling it as before directed. This method, if it can be conveniently attended to, is certainly preferable to the other, as it allows an opportunity of incorporating the dung and mould together. If hot dung cannot be easily obtained, it may be dispensed with, provided the seed is not sown earlier than the month of May. Let the ground be ridged up as before directed, and when wanted for use, level it down; then mark out six feet wide beds for each, and three feet alleys; afterwards place the line to the middle of the ridge, and mark out three feet six inches, which must be the distance from the centre of each glass. Take out two spadesful of the mould, level it on the ridge, and put one spadeful of light rich earth in its place, for the purpose of receiving the seed. If the natural soil is light and rich, take out one spadeful, making it round and hollow, about eight inches wide; then sow the seed from eight to twelve under each glass. If the mould is dry, apply water to the seed, place the glasses on, and shut them down close, observing as they become dry, to sprinkle them with water. After the seed has been up about a week, it will be necessary to thin them out, in the proportion of six plants to each glass; and in the week following reduce them to three, which is the proper number to be grown together finally for a crop. When they are thus divided, put some light mould round the stems of the plants, which should be done at two different times, allowing a week to elapse between each application, and filling up the hollow that is left. As soon as they have made two rough leaves, top them at the second joint. This is a plan which may be adopted with success. Hot dung is also of great advantage, as it will cause them to come into bearing nearly a month sooner than would otherwise be the case. After the plants have been topped, as above directed, let them run to six joints, and then top them again, when they will show fruit, which may be topped at the first joint. If the hand-glasses are large, fruit will be ready to cut very early. Be particular in not suffering them to run to too much vine; six joints is quite sufficient at the first, and afterwards always keep them topped at the first or second joint. By strict attention to this mode of treatment, you may ensure a more abundant crop, and much finer fruit, than can be calculated upon from the usual method of suffering the vine to grow to a considerable length, which tends materially to weaken and exhaust the plant. Let them be kept under the glasses as long as possible, without danger of injuring them, admitting a small quantity of air in the day-time, when the weather is warm, by means of a piece of wood, in the form of a wedge, about seven inches long, five inches wide, flat, and about three inches at the top. This will enable you to rise or fall the glass according to the quantity of air necessary to be admitted. Before placing the vine outside the glasses, it will be necessary to admit a larger portion of air, both night and day, for three or four days, in order to harden the plants; then mulch the bed all over with litter, which will cause the fruit to be kept clean, and the roots moist, an essential requisite in the culture of cucumbers. Though moisture is so extremely necessary, yet at all times in the application of water you must be regulated by the temperature of the season. If the weather is hot and dry when they come into full bearing, from three to four gallons of water will be required to each glass every two or three days, if the soil is light, but if of a strong loamy nature, less will be sufficient. Lay out the vines regular, peg them down, and place four half bricks, that is, one to each corner, under the frame of the glass; or another method may be adopted, in raising the glass to the south by means of a piece of stick, about the thickness of a broom-stick, a foot in length, with three notches cut in it, about two inches apart, for the purpose of resting the glass upon. This plan is far preferable to the former, in materially accelerating the growth of the fruit, by preventing too great a current of air; besides possessing the advantage of easier access to the plants, when there is a necessity for examining them. It is, however, requisite when this method is adopted, that the ridges should always front the south. If the above directions are strictly attended to, and the season is in any degree favorable, a plentiful crop of fine fruit may be expected.

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