Most activities work better when there is a grand scheme guiding them than when they just sort of happen in a haphazard way. There's no doubt that an overarching design is absolutely necessary when it comes to complex projects like building a house or manufacturing a cell phone. When it comes to seemingly simpler projects like food gardening, however, it can be tempting to just "wing it" and hope there will be a positive outcome.
Food gardening takes up valuable time, so that time should be put to its most efficient use. I have yet to find a successful food gardener that does not have a grand scheme or system. And by successful I mean someone who, first and foremost, produces better quality than supermarket veggies. And secondly, who consistently, week after week, feeds her family from the food garden with a healthy variety of crops.
What's more, I have yet to find a successful food gardener who uses exactly the same system as everybody else. And by "everybody else" I mean the one-shoe-fits-all food gardening approaches you'll find in the media. The successful food gardener continuously adapts her system to suit her time constraints, her garden and her personality.
When you "wing it" you are prone to three dreadful food gardening maladies. The first is the dreadful "worse-than-supermarket" quality and prices. Next is the debilitating "feast-or-famine syndrome". And lastly there are the destructive pest and disease invasions. These three maladies almost always occur together. They almost always destroy the food garden, and the food gardener's spirit.
Where and when do you wing it? What is the price you are paying for winging it? What can you do to stop winging it?