On The Management Required In The Culture Of The
The proper time to sow for late cucumbers, that is, such as are grown in
boxes and lights, and have no necessity for linings, is from the middle
of March to the middle of April; and after that time seed may
be put in
for the hand-glass.
Those that are sown in the middle of March will require stronger beds
than those sown a fortnight or three weeks afterwards, and should be
made from two feet six inches to three feet high; while the latter will
not require beds higher than two feet.
Let a trench be dug the size of the frame, about eighteen inches deep,
and if the soil is light and rich that is thrown out, the bed may be
formed of it; but if a strong loam it will not answer the purpose.
As soon as the bed is made tread it down well, make it even, and let it
have about six inches fall from the back to the front; then place on the
boxes and light; and when the heat rises, admit from one to two inches
of air. In about a week it will be necessary to put the mould in for the
hills in the proportion of a barrow-full to a light. This must be
levelled about an inch all over the bed to prevent the rank steam from
injuring the plants. On the following day they may be ridged out, when
the mould must be pressed with the hands close down round the roots of
the plants; and water applied, which should be at the same time
sprinkled regularly all over the bed. Add now plenty of air, night and
day, until the bed becomes perfectly sweet, which is generally the case
in about a week; after which they may be shut down at night.
Let the topping be the same as directed for the Seed-bed in October; if
the soil is light and rich, have a bank on the outside about a foot or
eighteen inches wide, and as high, or even higher than the bottom of the
box. This will prove a great support to the plants; be the means of
producing an abundant crop of fruit; and obviate the necessity of
laying; which must otherwise be the case if this plan is not adopted, or
the boxes are unusually large. Should laying, however, be preferred,
great attention must be paid to it, and the same method adopted as
prescribed for the early cucumber.
Particular care is requisite in the culture of the late cucumber to
preserve it from the canker; the best means that can be adopted to
prevent this injury is to keep them thin of vine, and always apply soft
water. This should be given in the morning, or, if not then convenient,
never later than three o'clock in the afternoon, when the vines will
have an opportunity of drying before night: a fine day should always be
taken advantage of for this purpose, which will tend considerably to
accelerate their growth. Admit a double quantity of air for a quarter
of an hour before watering; and while the nights continue cold, be
careful in keeping them covered up. In some seasons, when the weather is
inclement, it will be necessary to observe this even until Midsummer.
By strict attention to the foregoing directions, no danger need be
apprehended from the canker, as it generally proceeds from a cold chill;
suffering the plants to grow too thick of vine, which keeps them
continually moist; and not admitting a sufficient quantity of air
necessary to harden them.
In ridging out the plants, put two in small lights and three in larger
ones; and when the roots appear through the hills, add mould to them;
observing, that they will require moulding up much quicker than those
grown at the early season: in fact, after they have been ridged out
about a fortnight or three weeks, it will be necessary to mould them up
If the weather is fine, from one to two gallons of water for each light
will be necessary every two or three days.
Keep them pegged and laid about once a fortnight; and be particular also
in having them thin of vine, topped at the first joint; then allowing
them to run four, and afterwards topping them again at the first, as
before mentioned in the January sown plants. By observing these
directions, a good crop of fruit may be ensured, which will be ready to
cut in about a month or five weeks after they have been ridged out.
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