CUCUMBER

Sow one pip in a thumb (smallest pot) in March and plunge in hotbed. When the plants are in early leaf, admit air and finally plant in rich turfy loam. Frame-grown plants should be on mounds from which the shoots will radiate. The ridge varieties should be sown first week of May in gentle heat or under a cloche (which remove when seedling grows against the glass), and gradually hardened off, planting out in June on ridges of manure surfaced over with about 1 ft. good turfy loam.

The top of a spent hotbed will do, but still add the loam. The secret of success depends on allowing nothing to check rapid growth. The temperature should not fall below 60 ° F. at any time. Never allow roots to get dry, and always water copiously. Do not let plants run riot. Allow 3 stems to get 2 ft. 6 in. long, then stop by pinching. It is essential to pick off the male flowers; the female one is swollen, being the potential fruit. Fruits should be allowed on side shoots and not main stems. In greenhouse culture prevent overcrowding by breaking out shoots as needed, and when roots show above soil add more top dressing of rotted manure and loam. Keep the house shaded in sunny weather and damp down the floors.

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