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How To Plant Annual Plants More Sustainably in 3 Easy Steps

Posted Jul 19 2010 3:19pm

Marigold Row.jpg

Shawna's front lawn vegetable garden surrounded by prolifically blooming African Taishan Marigolds.

Gardening more sustainably begins with utilizing less water. Planting annuals in the soil can be done more sustainably by using a couple techniques described below.

#1 - Prepare the soil. Add composted manure, compost, or organic soil with water retaining qualities such as Organic Mechanics Soil   to help hold water.

#2 - Plant non-drought-tolerant annuals with water crystals and mycorrhiza added in their planting hole whenever possible. Water crystals help retain water. Mycorrhiza is a fungus that helps roots association with its surrounding soil, strengthening the plant. (To learn more about mycorrhiza, please go to this link .)

#3 - Mulch. Retaining water is easy when you add a mulch as a  top dressing around the plants. My recommendation is a wood chip or compost mulch. Never use that dreaded artificial black plastic cover mulch. "Real" mulch allows an exchange between the soil and the mulch which is nutritive for your plants and good for the soil condition.

In the video below you see before and after examples of two annuals I planted this season which have grown very well with my planting techniques. I surrounded my vegetable garden with African Taishan Marigolds and Wave Petunias .

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