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.
Mulch the borders of those in full bearing with some horse-droppings and fresh loam in equal proportions. Shut up early in the afternoon with sun-heat, rising to 85° for a time, and syringe the leaves with tepid water several times weekly. Look over the plants every few days, and stop young growths at every joint. The night-temperature should be from 72° to 75° at 10 p.m., dropping a few degrees lower by morning.
Plants that have been bearing all winter and spring will now be superseded by younger ones, and the former may be done away with, and the pit occupied with Melons or Tomatoes. Sow at the beginning of the month, to produce a batch of plants to be put into frames and pits after the tender flower-garden plants have been planted out. Give plants in full bearing occasional waterings of manure-water, and top-dress the border with fresh loam and manure, if the roots have come through the last dressing. Thin out old growths, and let young ones take their place.
Do not let the plants make rambling growths. Keep the growths well thinned out, and stop young shoots at every joint. Do not allow them to bear too many Cucumbers at a given time, or the plants will suffer. "Water copiously with dung-water, and syringe the foliage every afternoon when the pit is shut up. The heat may run to 90° for a time with sun-heat. Put a chink of air on for the night at 6 p.m.
Water those in full bearing with manure-water. Look over them twice a-week, and remove all superfluous growths, and keep young growths constantly stopped. Syringe freely on fine afternoons. Do not allow the plants to bear too many Cucumbers at one time, or the plants will suffer. Impregnate some of the most handsome-looking young fruits for producing seed.
Those that have been bearing all summer may now be partially cut back, removing all fruit, and leaving the young growth, and be top-dressed with some rich manure. If kept at 75° at night and moist, they will soon grow freely, and begin to bear, and give a supply of autumn Cucumbers. Look over those in frames, and remove all superfluous growths and leaves, and give them a dewing overhead on fine bright afternoons. About the middle of this month sow seeds of Telegraph or some approved sort for winter-bearing, or they may be produced from healthy cuttings at the end of the month. Either way they should be early enough to be well established while the days are comparatively long, and not much fire-heat is required.
Plants raised from seed or cuttings last month for winter fruiting should be planted out this month. A rather moderately light soil, and not too much of it, is best for winter Cucumbers. Expose them to as much light and air as possible, in order to produce robust plants that will stand the trying ordeal of dull damp weather by-and-by. Plants now in full bearing should be watered with liquid manure. Keep the heat from 70° to 75°, according to the weather. If the temperature is allowed to fall too low at this season, mildew is apt to be troublesome, and all symptoms of it should be checked by dusting the affected parts with sulphur.
Keep the temperature a little over 70°. Give air early in the day, and shut early to husband sun-heat, and lessen the moisture in the soil and air as the days shorten, but avoid an arid state of the atmosphere. Where the roots are near to hot-water pipes, mulch the surface with some old mushroom-bed manure, and be careful that no check arises from over-dryness. Stop young growing plants at every joint, and do not let the foliage become crowded nor the plants bear too freely until well established.
The nights are now long and the days sunless, conditions which are very trying to Cucumbers. When cold, keep the heat at 65°; when mild, 70° at night, with a rise of 8° or so by day. Water at the root must be more sparingly applied, and the air kept drier. (Jive a little air every day, and keep young growths regularly stopped and the leaves from getting crowded. Do not allow them to bear too many Cucumbers at once, or it will weaken them.
This is a trying month for Cucumbers. When the weather is mild keep the heat at 70°; when very cold a few degrees less will be sufficient. Add a covering of fresh soil to the mounds in which they are growing, as the roots extend, and keep them steadily and moderately moist at the root. Give air for a few hours daily, shutting up early. Do not much exceed the night-temperature by day in the absence of sunshine, or else the leaves will be thin and sickly. Do not allow them to bear very much this month; attend to the stopping of growing shoots, and do not allow the foliage to become crowded. Keep the glass clean, so that as much light as possible can get at them.