Sunday, January 1st, 2012

OVERWATERING.  "Patience and fortitude conquer all things."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Patience is not one of my virtues.  Last week I planted a bunch of seeds.  It's been hot here in California and even though it was still December, I felt some measure of Spring Fever.  I wanted to check on our Bloomers! know + grow Seeds and make sure that they sprout properly before I start selling them.  That may seem obvious but when you're trying to launch a company, sometimes you're too busy to accomplish even the obvious things.  I also have a variety of planting products I'm trying out to possibly include (or hope to) as Bloomers! know + grow licensed products.

One set of seeds I germinated a couple days earlier in a wet paper towel and an old cottage cheese container.  One set I just planted.  I wanted to see which ones grew faster.  I pulled out some little coir pots with soil pellets I got from Wonder Soil®.  I watered the pellets according to the directions.  They exploded into rich soil, (which I never get tired of watching), and I planted both sets of snow pea seeds.  I then watered them some more and put them on the windowsill to sprout.

And that started the waiting.  I've probably checked on them fifty times in the week since.  And it's not like I don't have a million other things to do.  Granted, they're on the kitchen windowsill a place that I'm probably looking at, at least twenty times a day.  But really, what is my problem?  Am I that impatient?

Yes.  I am that impatient.

Which leads me to my point:  because I am impatient, I try to hurry things along.  I overwater my plants.  It is my biggest gardening sin.  My faulty thinking goes like this:  if I water my plants more they'll grow faster.  If they grow well watering them once a day, then watering them four times a day must be better.

One of the most beautiful things about gardening is that it forces you to be patient.  You cannot make things go faster than they're going to go.  Not that I don't try.  I learned the same thing about raising children.  You cannot make things go faster than they're going to go.  You can help things along a bit, but not much.  And if you try to help things along too much, you risk "over watering."  That can really screw up your Bloomers in a variety of ways.  

I've had a bit of an epiphany while writing this post.  I am at risk to "overwater" in all areas of my life.  Yep.  I do the same thing with the business I am trying to grow.  If putting in ten hours is good, then working fourteen hours has got to be better.  

In economics there is a common production theory called the law of diminishing marginal returns which states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower per-unit returns.  And eventually it can lead to a decrease in total production.  This is just a fancy way of saying overwatering is not good.

To apply this theory to my life, adding the right amount of water to my plants will increase their growth.  But if I add more than the optimal amount, (while holding the amount of plants, soil, etc. the same), my plants will grow at a slower rate.  At a certain point, adding more water will actually decrease their growth.  And if I drown them they'll die.  Or in my business, putting in more hours may lead to more work getting done, but it will take longer and longer to accomplish the same amount of work.  And I may be so tired that I will make mistakes and my production will actually go down.  

I cannot make my Bloomers (snow peas) appear any faster.  I can only add the right amount of sunshine, soil, fertilizer and water.  For Bloomers! Edutainment (my business), I am working to figure out the optimal amount of work, resources and creativity and contribute that and then stop and smell the Rosey Poseys ;)  For my Bloomers (my kids), I am trying to give them what they need to grow, hope they don't overwater, then wait to see the fruits of their labor realizing that it may take them awhile to bloom.

I am learning to be patient.

What are you overwatering?

P.S. Gardening is great for teaching your Bloomers patience that will serve them exceedingly well in life.  The Bloomers! know + grow Organic Garden Complete Set, and Seeds are now offered for sale in the know + grow Store.  (CLICK HERE)  


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