About a month ago I posted a short story on OurFigs. Some suggested that it would make a good post on Higher Octave, but I totally forgot about it. Then yesterday my fig cuttings got destroyed by hail. This little setback reminded me of my prior one. So, in the hopes that you can learn from my mistakes, here it is…

This rooting season I was determined not to repeat the hundreds of cuttings like last year. A couple dozen seemed reasonable. A few cuttings here and a few cuttings from there. And more than just figs. I was able to easily fit all the cuttings on a single 4′ wire shelf. And all were quickly looking as they should. Healthy green leaves began to emerge. I was quite pleased.

As it turned out, I kinda exceeded my limit of a couple dozen cuttings. A few opportunities came along to acquire a few more, and a few more, and a few more. Not an enormous amount, but enough that my single 4′ shelf became insufficient. All the cuttings came in at once and I found myself scurrying to setup another shelf. I dug out some additional grow lights from the closet, got’em installed, potted up the cuttings and observed with great satisfaction my growing collection.

Then, all of a sudden, horror of horrors, things began to take a turn for the worse – much worse.

No new growth. All of the lush green growth was looking sad. Leaves began to drop. I knew I wasn’t overwatering or letting them dry out. I was perplexed. If I had done a more thorough assessment sooner, more could have been salvaged. But it wasn’t until I had entirely given up on one of the cuttings that the underlying problem revealed itself. Some of you may already be smiling at my naïveté, knowing exactly what was happening. When I removed the pot with the clearly rotten cutting, a noticeably warm sensation began to permeate my hand. It was only then that it hit me – my newly installed grow lights were cooking the cuttings on the above shelf.

A little re-arranging of the grow lights and their accompanying rootings quickly resolved the problem, but not without a few mortalities and some serious set back for the survivors.

Things are now progressing again. Even some of the cuttings that were previously on the edge of death are now slowly peeking out some green shoots. So all is not lost, except maybe a little pride.

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