This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We have often seen cucumbers in England, that measured twenty .three or four inches, and the flower on them, which is a sine qua non for exhibition with English amateurs. There are "Cucumber Societies'? around London, the special object being the early production of this fruit. But recent improvements in the heating of forcing houses in that country, renders it easy to have them in plenty all through the winter, in every place where attention is given to a hot-house, and consequently the societies are now only the remains of times gone by, when the fight for a good cucumber in April, was winter's frost on one side, against plenty of good stable manure and careful gardening on the other. Market gardeners around London, grow cucumbers early in the year, on an extensive scale, in frames of many hundred feet in length, heated by hot water pipes running through them, upon which some faggots of wood are first laid, and the compost upon the latter. The faggots serve to distribute the heat equally beneath the soil in which the plants grow, and thus yards and yards of frames are heated by a pipe 3 or 4 inches in diameter, through which one small boiler and a moderate fire kee]»s up a circulation of the hot water.
We hare to acknowledge the receipt, from William Bright, gr. to J. S. Lovering, Esq., two enormous cucumbers, fit almost for a club for Hercules, and such as are handed round uncut at dinner-parties in England. They are of remarkably good color and consistence, and deserved the premium received at the Horticultural Society, where they were exhibited the evening previous; they are highly creditable to the grower.
(C, of Brooklyn.) Quite too late for this number.
Allow me to offer a few paragraphs on the cultivation of this generally accepted kitchen edible; and first, of soil and situation. The Cucumber delights in a rich and loose vegetable mould - consequently, decomposed leaves or vegetable refuse will furnish a good manure. Barnyard dung is the next best substitute, but this ought not to be rank or unfermented, as, in such state, it produces too exuberant a growth of plant and paucity of fruit, with a subjeetness to canker and gangrene in the stems. The situation ought, in all cases, to be open to the. son, and, if possible, screened from the action of violent winds.