Heirloom 1842. According to the 1936 James Vicks Seeds catalog: “Of the black spine type, growing 12-13” long and 3” in diameter. Very popular for slicing and salting when mature, and when small, much esteemed for pickling.
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-85ºF
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2-1" deep
Sowing Indoors: 3-4 weeks before last frost. Provide 70-85ºF soil temperature. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Sowing into individual biodegradable peat/cow pots reduces root damage when transplanting. Transplant 36-48" apart after last frost.
Sowing Outdoors: Sow after last frost when soil temperature is over 70ºF. Sow a few seeds every 36-48".
Harvest: Check and pick every day to keep the harvest flowing.
Tips: Plant in fertile soil, amended with compost or well rotted manure and keep well watered. Trellising the vines allows for good air circulation, takes up less space and provides shade for heat sensitive crops like lettuce. They benefit from growing on black plastic and by using row covers for weed, insect control, and more rapid growth.