Day 168– 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – Speed of Corrections

The cucumber seedlings looked dead. I stared down at the “seed starting system” my sister had given me and realized I’d made a mistake. It was basically a plastic black pan with a clear plastic cover with a wicking material to allow the plants to receive all the water they needed.

The problem was that the temperature was over 90 degrees that day and had turned what should have been a comfortable temperature for supporting growth into a straight up sauna.

That morning, I’d had the start of germination – green shoots with leaves together like hands in prayer. By that evening, it was clear those leaves would never open. The stem went from pale green and pale yellow and flopped in its cell.

There are a couple of options at this point. I could have just waited to see if the cucumber seedlings recovered. It was possible. I’d found the problem quickly and decided to remove the plastic covering. The plan was to test four different varieties of cucumbers. My favorite, Marketmore 76, was already in the ground and I think I’ll be able to harvest some cucumbers from the plants this week.

I don’t need to plant any cucumbers. I’m the only person in my household who eats them regularly, but the summer has just getting started and I have room in the garden. I planned to plant 3 plants of 4 different varieties to compare taste and viability. After all, if something can survive the Georgia heat, then those seeds are worth keeping.

These seeds had only been planted for 7 days. But I had additional seeds so, I just went and planted some more. Worse case scenario is that I wind up with 6 cucumber plants. These are an heirloom variety, so they’ll breed true. If I have too many, I’ll just let them go to seed earlier. It’s honestly a win-win.

What I’m taking from this is the speed of how quickly I made changes. The first was removing the plastic cover of the “seed starting system” which I should have done earlier. The intent for the kit was for seed starting during early spring when it’s too cold to plant outside. People use heat mats and grow lights, so a mini greenhouse would make sense.

That’s not the position I’m in. It’s summer. My concern is protecting my plants from the sun and keeping them hydrated. Therefore, my strategy needed to be different.

The second was deciding to start more seeds immediately. Like, when I saw a cucumber beetle on one of my plants this morning. I squashed the beetle and then checked the leaves immediately for any eggs. I’ll keep a close eye on them.

I used to let things have time to see how they go. Now, I’m looking to see how to compress that time. For example, I’ll try a lot of different classes I’m interested in to see what I enjoy and then double down on the classes where I feel comfortable and are fun.

In the case of the garden, I can compress learning by growing more and testing different strategies. Like, I can grow 1 variety of cucumber each year for four years, or I can grow 4 varieties of cucumbers in 1 year and test growing and pest control methods.

I’m testing something in my writing that I’ve noticed other writers do. If I start getting more acceptances or personal rejections, I know I’m on the right track.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you’ll probably like my weekly newsletter. You can sign up here:

About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
This entry was posted in 2,024 Words A Day, Blog and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *