So how might we make the use of annual plants more sustainable? Could we perhaps use better more appropriate soils with healthy biology? Soils with moisture holding characteristics that slowly release water to the plants and extend the time period between watering. How about supplemental watering gained from rainwater harvesting systems and the use of composting on site? The University of Minnesota Sustainable Urban Landscape Series provides some good practices for herbaceous plant maintenance.
Another source or reference looking at the production and growing of plants is VeriFlora. Like SITES – a focus is placed on ecosystems and protection of our resources. VeriFlora is an agricultural sustainability certification and eco-labeling program recognized as the gold-standard in the floriculture and horticulture industries according to their web site .
As sustainable landscapes become a larger segment of the landscape market place we need to continue looking at all aspect of the landscapes and explore techniques to enhance the sustainability chain. These are a few of the resources to make your colorful annual plantings a little more sustainable in practice.
by Keven Graham