Whether you find raising your plants holistic, scientific or a combination of each, it will boil down to ‘doing it right’ or finding the compromising solution that works best for our situation.
Feeding For Simplicity
Examples of feeding for simplicity is to water/feed the plants only as they need liquid, or once a day throughout the entire season. Unfortunately, a simple program can lead to marginal yields because regular abundant nutrition in quantities that can be absorbed for maximum growth are not met..
Feeding For Productivity
This is plain obvious-we feed the plants as much as they can intake to grow near the maximum rate. This can be a program like watering seedlings in 72-cell flats a couple of times per week with 1/4 strength solution and 2-3 per week when transplanted as 4-6 week old plants.
After that, we could switch to a daily feed in the spring which turns into multiple daily feeding during the intense hot months of summer when the flowering kicks in and veggie production is on the rise.
With top-feeding drippers, we can really give good feedings without salt build up, or overdoing it; especially if we flush the medium each week with plain, de-clorinated water.
The Battles – weeds, bugs, animals and weather
Many of our battles can range from minor to time consuming. For example, if we do not kill weed seeds with a good soaking of hydrogen peroxide/water or bleach/water before transplanting, the seeds from the previous year can wreak havoc.
Bugs can me minimized if we use decoy plants and grow plants above the ground(raised beds and vertical gardens). Predators like slugs can be avoided if we use landscape fabric on the ground in combination with a ring of copper tape on the conduit pole which supports the pots.
Animals will often target certain plants so we can avoid growing what they like, or add the appropriate controls like fencing.
Weather we cannot do much about except monitor the long term forecast so we can transplant during frost-free conditions, pick food before flash rains or frost appears and grow our plants in a well fed media that does well in all weather.