If you have been Gardening or Farming for sometime, you must have realized that it is really akin to parenting. When you sow a seed and watch them sprout, when you watch as they hold themselves up to grow, when you worry if they don't get enough water or sunlight, when you observe as they flower and fruit and watch out for those pests...... those are the moments you realize the plants are like your children. You want the best for them.
As with human parenting styles, there are many when it comes to gardening as well. There are those that obsess and get the best for their kids while there are those that mostly let nature take its course. I belong to the latter. While I do ensure my plants get the nutrients they need, I don't really go out of my way to protect them from every single thing that affects them. It could be a mealy bug, it could be aphids, it could be ants - I just let them be for a while, observing their antics and hoping my plants can fight them back themselves while sending out signals to attract the beneficial insect and the pest predators. It does get out of hand sometimes though - when a particular plant is not too disposed to fight back, when the weather doesn't really cooperate, or when I don't have much time to pay attention and give my daily dose of love to them.
Those are the moments I panic, when the parenting guilt bites and I go behind those pests with a vengeance - but the tools I use are not deadly by any measure :) It will be usually a lead/Tobacoo based pest control liquid, neem based preparations or even panchagavya.
So what kind of parenting style do you follow in your garden?
A depiction of "My Garden" by Tot 1
A new born at my Balcony (Malabar Spinach)