This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Should mildew appear on the foliage of these, as it often does in autumn, dust the affected parts with sulphur, and keep the house warm and airy. Those that are yet in full bearing will now be the better of a slight mulching of horse-droppings and loam. Keep them moderately moist, and with a night temperature ranging from 70° to 75°. Those sown last month will be ready to plant out soon after the middle of the month. Give them soil composed of turfy rather light loam, enriched with a little old Mushroom-bed material. Grow them on with a good supply of air, so that they may make a strong firm growth, and be the more able to go successfully through the duller and damper weather which awaits them.
Do not allow the heat to sink below 70° at night. Keep up a genial growing atmosphere, and keep the plants moderately moist at the roots. Do not let young plants bear many Cucumbers at one time, or it will weaken them for the winter. Lessen the moisture in the atmosphere and in the soil as the season becomes more dull and the nights longer. Stop them at every joint, and do not let the foliage become crowded. Give air on all fine days, and shut up with sun-heat early in the afternoon.
Proceed to force cautiously, now that the days are short and sunless; from 65° to 70°, according to the weather, will be a high enough night-temperature, allowing 5° more by day. Keep the glass clean, to admit as much light as possible. The water at the root, and in the air, must be decreased in proportion to light and heat. Put on a little air every day. Do not allow the plants to bear many Cucumbers at a time, or it will cripple their energies. Continue to stop young growths at every joint, and remove deformed fruit at once. Green-fly frequently makes an attack at this season, and it must be destroyed by two or three weak fumigations, instead of one stronger one. Mildew sometimes shows itself at this time also; dusting with flower of sulphur is the best remedy for it.
Regulate the heat for these according to the weather, and apply coverings to the glass during cold and windy weather. 68° at night is high enough for the present. Increase the heat 5° or 8° if dry, and give more or less air daily. If they are grown in soil under which there are hot-water pipes, see that they do not suffer by getting too dry at the root; and always let the water be at 85° when applied. Avoid heavy cropping at this inactive season. Stop the young growths at every joint. If green-fly appears, kill or remove it if possible with the hand instead of smoking with tobacco just now. Sow for succession in a temperature of 70°. Keep the young plants near the glass, and grow with as little water as possible.
Sow and treat the young plants as directed for Melons. Plants that have been bearing through the winter will now be the better tor being stimulated as the light increases. A mulching of old mushroom - bed dung, and a little loam mixed with it, is a good top-dressing for them; and an occasional watering with clear soot or guano water puts colour and substance into the foliage. Keep the temperature at from 65° to 70° at night, with a rise of 10° by day. Increase the moisture in the air as the light increases. Should any signs of mildew appear, use Speed's Eradicator, which is the most instantaneous remedy for mildew we ever used.
See last month's directions. Increase the heat slightly, and chiefly by day. Early plants will be ready to plant out this month. Use a rather light soil, with a fourth part of well-rotted manure. Do not give too much soil at first, but rather increase the quantity by degrees as the roots show at the sides of the hills. If the weather be frosty, air will have to be carefully given, so that no breath of frosty air reaches the foliage. Bearing plants will now require more moisture, both at the root and in the air.
See that those now bearing freely do not suffer for want of water, especially if grown with bottom-heat supplied from pipes, and without a layer of leaves and litter between the pipes and the soil. Water them with manure-water in a weak state; and if the roots appear on the surface, top-dress with equal parts horse-droppings and loam. Examine the plants twice weekly, stopping young growths, and regulating and removing such as are not required, and all ill - shaped Cucumbers. Do not allow them to bear too many at one time, or it will weaken the plants. Range the temperature to about 70°, with 10° or 15° more on the afternoons of bright days.
Mulch those in full bearing with horse - droppings or old mushroom-bed manure, and look over them several times weekly, stopping young shoots at every joint, and removing all deformed fruits and any old foliage that is crowding the newer. Shut up early in the afternoons, and syringe the foliage several times weekly. Be careful to keep a moist atmosphere and a sharp look-out for thrip and red-spider. The night temperature will be sufficient at 70. Attend to more recently - planted crops as directed in former Calendars.
Top-dress with loam and rotten manure, in about equal parts, plants that have been bearing freely for several months. Remove all small and dead fruits; thin out the growths, and keep them warm and moist for some time, and they will soon furnish themselves with young bearing shoots again. Early spring-planted ones will now be in full bearing, and should have generous treatment. Now is a good time to plant more plants for autumn supply. The syringe should be freely used every fine afternoon, and the house shut up so that the heat stands at 90° for a short time.