Whenever possible, perennials should be chosen over annuals. Perennials confer a wide range of advantages over annuals, such as:
- High return on investment – One planting that provides yields for many years maximizes return on input.
- Deep soil penetration – Annuals do not have enough time to establish their root systems that allow for breaking up of stubborn soils as they have to more conservatively balance root growth with reproductive and photosynthetic activities. Perennials have the ability to establish over a longer time and develop root systems that can repair the soil and mine minerals well below the surface that are returned to the topmost layers of soil.
- Climate resilience (drought and flood) – Due to the short window that annuals have to establish and reproduce, they are susceptible to the vicissitudes of sporadic weather events brought on by climate change and may die more easily and before yielding. Perennials, due to a larger root system and ability to procure minerals from a more established network as well as mechanisms to reduce water needs, are better suited to future climate unknowns.
- Microclimate enhancement – Because of size and complexity of perennials, they are able to better provide unique conditions within their immediate surroundings that act to cool or shade, dry or moisten soil conditions, etc.
- Structural yields – Benefitting from age and size, perennials are able to develop more robust structures that can produce more flowers, food, etc.
- Human health enhancement – Many of our most potent naturally-derived medicines and nourishing foods come from perennials.