Last year, I freaked out over every insect and mark on my plants. I watered my plants daily and often twice a day if it was really hot. I fertilized them with chemical fertilizers as the labels directed. I sprayed and sprayed for aphids, which solved nothing until I finally got ladybugs.
I probably loved my plants too much.
This year I’ve been a lot lazier. As soon as I saw those aphids, I got them with a soap/oil solution. As soon as I saw caterpillars, I knocked them off. The grasshopper nymph below? He got knocked off after I took the photo.
But I water much, much less than last year (which seems to be preventing the fungus gnats I think I had last year). I don’t take heat wilting as actual wilting, and I don’t water as soon as I see it. I whack off herbs, only being sure to not take more than one-third of the plant. I mixed vermicompost in with the soil when I planted, and I’ve soaked some vermicompost in the water before watering, but other than that and the slow-release fertilizer in the potting soil? Nothing.
I think I love my plants just enough this year, and they seem to be doing better because of it.
Pepper Plant Symmetry