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.
These are much more easily grown than Melons, and any ordinary soil will suit, if it be rich, or made so by the addition of well-decayed manure. Less bottom-heat will do, although a bed the same as has been recommended for Melons is more likely to give satisfaction - more especially in cold or northern districts. In favourable localities in England, great breadths of the hardy "ridge" varieties are grown in the open air in the way we shall recommend for Vegetable Marrows. In such districts the finer varieties are grown with very little bottom-heat indeed during the summer months; but the great majority of growers are compelled to provide bottom-heat if satisfactory results are to be reasonably expected. Except in the matter of soil and training, the whole directions given for Melons will also suit the Cucumber. The training is a little different, and a greater amount of atmospheric humidity is advisable. Instead of training out a certain number of main growths to produce a sufficiency of fruit-bearing laterals simultaneously, as is necessary in the case of the Melon, the aim in Cucumber-growing is to provide for a successional supply from the same plants during the whole season.
For this purpose, plant either one or two plants in the middle of each frame, and lead away two or three shoots to the back and front of the frame. One-half of these shoots may be allowed to run on a bit, and the other half stopped at every joint at which fruits are produced. The unstopped shoots that have extended may be treated the same way, and then be quite removed after those early stopped growths have come up on them - always keeping the shoots thin, and not allowing the plants to bear too much at once. Keep the soil steadily moist; and should there be any signs of weak growth, through poverty or overbearing, give soakings of the liquid manure. The same insects that infest the Melon are also troublesome in the case of the Cucumber; but when raised on hotbeds, and not in hothouses among other plants, and when grown vigorously on a hotbed with plenty of moisture, they are seldom troubled with insects. The best varieties for the amateur are Volunteer, Telegraph, and Munroe's Duke of Edinburgh; but everybody has a certain favourite of his own.
The more recently introduced varieties may be better for exhibition, but those named are most prolific.