AHS Promotes Soil Sustainability at River Farm Headquarters
In line with its focus on sustainable gardening, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) is employing Earth-friendly gardening practices at its River Farm headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
This winter, AHS’s horticultural team is applying Bloom — a locally produced sustainable soil amendment that enhances soil and plant health — as a soil building material and top dressing for River Farm’s gardens, including the Certified Wildlife Garden, children’s garden, shade garden, and beds containing various annual and perennial plants. Bloom is designed to add organic material to soil, increasing its water retention capacity and slowly releasing nitrogen and micro-nutrients back into the soil.
“There are many excellent soil amendments available to gardeners, including homemade compost and mass-produced commercial products,” noted AHS’s associate director for horticulture and River Farm, Dan Scott. “At the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm, we produce our own compost from material collected onsite, but the volume isn’t great enough to fulfill all our needs. Bloom is an ideal supplement,” he added.
This year, AHS’s River Farm is expanding its on-site composting capability with the addition of a three-bin compost system to its nearly completed Teaching Garden. The Teaching Garden also features a keyhole garden built around a compost bin whose contents will provide nutrients to the vegetables grown there.