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Gardening is scientific – Does that make me a scientist?

Do I have to be a scientist to garden?
Do I have to be a scientist to garden?Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

We all know the process of growing things is based in science and nature. I'm an avid gardener. Does that make me a scientist? Good heavens, no! Do you have to be a scientist to garden? Once again, good heavens no! Thankfully, Mother Nature (God, if you wish) is kinder than that. Otherwise we would all starve. Nope. I don't have to be a scientist to be a good gardener. Neither do you. Here's why. (Or not.) You be the judge.

Nature is random at times.

I've done all the right things and had nothing sprout up from a garden row. I've also seen bumper crops rise from my absolute neglect and lack of knowledge. One of the great joys of gardening is the element of surprise. Sometimes the beauty of gardening can be found where you least expect it. It's more about appreciation than science.

So, no, I don't need to be a scientist to garden. Or do I?

What comes first, the gardener or the scientist?

Sure, I could earn a degree in the various sciences behind gardening. It wouldn't make my plants grow any bigger, faster or better until I put it into practice. Basically, what I'm saying is when it comes to gardening, I must become a gardener before I can become a scientist. After all, if I don't do the work, how can I analyze the results? But wait, if I don't know how to do the work, how can I do it? I might need a little scientific knowledge, I guess. Sigh....

OK, The scientific principles behind gardening do come in handy.

Gardening far exceeds the depth of science.

At least, it does in my garden. If all I worried about was growing things that are supposed to do well in my area, in the right soil, with the right amount of water and the proper fertilizer, I'd have a pretty dull garden. Heck no. That's not for me. I try everything and then some. I boldly go where most scientists would strongly suggest I not dare. Who cares how it turns out? Gardening is about the adventure.

Of course, every successful adventure requires a little scientific knowledge.

Scientists are adventurous too.

I'd hate to slight them. After all, scientists make great discoveries every day. So, maybe I am a bit of a scientist in the garden. I just don't like to admit it. I'm too much of a rebel for that. Plus, I'm not into fancy titles. Yup, I'm happy in my silly straw hat and blue jeans. You can keep the lab coat and the ID tag. I'm a gardener, plain and simple. That's the way I like it.

Wait, what kind of fertilizer do I need for this?

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.