VEGETABLE MARROWS Cucurbita pepo ovifera)
Vegetableare easily-grown plants which are frequently used to cover an unsightly corner of the vegetable garden. They are raised usually under glass from sowings in April, and planted out towards the end of May.
The best way is to plant them out over a bed made up of stable manure and covered with 6 or 9 in. of good. If they are wanted to grow over rough rubbish heaps, etc., each plant should be planted in a large pocket of soil over a foundation of manure.
An excellent plan for giving the marrows an early start is to plant them out in the middle of May, and to invert a large flower-pot or similar protective cover over them each night, removing it in the morning.
Seeds can be sown singly in 3-in. pots in February for the earliest supplies of the plants, which are grown under glass. But marrows are such a cheap vegetable in the markets, that few amateurs care to occupy their frames and greenhouses with them except in the early seedling stage.
If a good variety ofis grown one season, it is perfectly satisfactory to save some seeds from one of the later marrows, which has been left to ripen on the plant, and to sow them the following season.
Extra Large Fruits
Numerous devices are adopted by exhibitors all over the country for increasing the size of marrows, and while the practice still obtains of offering prizes for the largest marrow at local shows, there will still be keen competition in this matter.
One common device is to arrange strands of thick wool leading from a jam jar of water to the marrow stalk, the wool being threaded through the stalk, which is first pierced. The effect of this is to allow the fruit maximum supplies of water, so that it swells to a large size. It is an interesting experiment to treat two apparently identical fruits in the garden, one in this manner, and one left to grow normally, so that the difference between the two can be seen.
Apart from these special classes for large marrows, it is a mistake to stage heavy marrows on the exhibition table. Small marrows, which are young and tender so that the skin could easily be pierced by a slight pressure of the nail, are the best for the kitchen, and will command most points from judges at shows.
If the fruits are ready before the show day, they can be kept fresh by cutting them, and standing the stalks in a little water.
Innumerable good varieties are obtainable both in green and white colourings.