Are you new to gardening?
Far too many people actually do too much, in terms of making ‘adjustments’ – ‘fixing’ problems, etc. without really understanding the situation.
Whether with food gardens, or purely aesthetic flower/landscape gardens, I have seen people ‘doing things’ mostly for the sake of ‘doing’ … ‘puttering in the garden’, to make themselves feel as though they’ve accomplished something.
Watering, for instance: I’ve watched people water the garden with the hose – just enough to wet the dry surface to become a rich brown colour, as though they’re painting the ground. And, of course, the earthy aroma is satisfying. But, actually, such ‘light waterings’ are counter-productive by washing the surface nutrients away, and worse, by promoting shallow root growth the plants become ‘addicted’ to frequent ‘light waterings’. A society wrought with addictions imposing further addictions on the plants the people feel they control.
If you are continually adding conditioners, fertilizers, pesticides, etc., how can you truly know if your actions are beneficial; and if so, how can you be sure of the extent of the benefit(s)?
This is especially relevant if multiple ‘actions’ are taken concurrently. Any one of the ‘actions’ may indeed be helpful, but taken together, ‘two’ or more may cancel out or even be detrimental.
To be scientific … to really learn, it is critical to have a ‘control’.
The founder of ’statistical quality control’, W. Edwards Deming developed this field of study, and went on to teach the Japanese automotive industry through the 1950,1960s. A basic tenet, is to learn and understand a ’system’ and know it’s ‘natural variance’ … a system’s ‘variation’ may be within natural limits, and thus, any adjustments amount to ‘tampering’.
Know thy systems.
Of course, this is vitally important in business, economics and management … as a means of minimizing waste (seeking maximum optimization and utilization of resources). And, really, it’s a function of design: effective ‘whole systems’ process design, in which ‘quality’ is ‘designed-in’ through all aspects of a businesses processes.
Whether you’re new to gardening or just want to better understand, it’s worth taking the time to learn and understand of the gardening (eco) system. Allow things to just ‘happen’ with minimal adjustments, or none at all, and observe; learn.
Devote a season to maximize learning … and, reap the rewards of your efforts through the years to come.