VEGETABLE MARROW

Sow seed 3 in. apart on a gentle hotbed early in May; when strong enough to handle, pot off singly, carefully harden off and finally plant out 15 in. apart in June or end of May if forward enough and the weather is mild. Seeds may also be sown singly in 3 in. pots under glass a month earlier. Sow in the open late in May, and protect with hand-lights until frost is past. The plants succeed best in very rich, heavily-manured soil and should be plentifully supplied with water during hot weather. An occasional application of liquid manure will also be beneficial. Allow plenty of room for the long, trailing stems, see the young marrows do not rest in damp grass; a hurdle and some pea sticks for the shoots to rest upon are excellent. When marrows are about 10 in. long cut for use, as larger specimens are very ‘seedy’ and lacking in flavour; the other fruit on the stem can then develop more freely.

It results in more and finer marrows if the stems are not allowed a greater length than 6 ft.; it also results in forming fruit setting with greater certainty. The bush sorts are treated in the same way; they are not of trailing habit. It is best to pollinate each kind as the flowers are not bisexual. The male flower has a thin stem, but the female shows a swelling (the marrow-to-be) below the blossom, as illustrated under CUCUMBER. Good varieties of the trailing type are Long Green, Long White and Rotherside Orange. Little Gem has fruits about the size of a large orange, which should be either cooked whole or halved while still green. The bush kinds include Pen-y-Bed and Moore’s Vegetable Cream. Marrows for storing should be placed in boxes in single layers in a room where the temperature is not less than 55 degrees F.

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