1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vegetable Marrow

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VEGETABLE MARROW, Cucurbita Pepo, var. ovifera, the most important of the gourds (q.v.), used as an esculent, furnishing in good seasons a very large supply for the table. They are best when eaten quite young and not over-boiled, the flesh being then tender, and the flavour sweet and nutty. The Custard Marrow, or crown gourd, bears a peculiar-looking flattened fruit with scalloped edges, which has a sweeter and less nutty flavour than the true marrow. A very distinct form known as Pen-y-Byd has a delicate creamy white nearly globular fruit, with a firm flesh. The bush marrows are more bushy in habit and taller and more sturdy in growth.

Vegetable marrows require a warm situation and a rich soil free from stagnant moisture. They do well on a rubbish or old-dung heap, or in a warm border on little hillocks made up with any fermenting material, to give them a slight warmth at starting. The seeds should be sown in a warm pit in April, and forwarded under glass, but in a very mild heat; the plants must be shifted into larger pots, and be gradually hardened previous to being planted out, when the mild weather sets in in May or June. The use of hand-glasses makes it possible to transplant earlier than would otherwise be advisable. The seeds may be sown early in May in pots under a hand-glass, or towards the end of May in the open ground, if heat is not at command. The true vegetable marrow bears fruit of an oblong-elliptical shape, about 9 in. long, pale-greenish while young, with whitish flesh, and scarcely any indication of ribs; when mature it is of a pale yellow colour. There is a variety which is more oblong, grows to 15 or 18 in., and has the surface slightly marked by irregular longitudinal obtuse ribs. The shoots may be allowed to run along the surface of the ground, or they may be trained against a wall or paling, or on trellises. As the gourds cross readily, care is necessary to keep any particular variety true. One of the best vegetable marrows is called Moore’s Vegetable Cream.