The North Dakota State University (NDSU) trials included 21 shade cultivars and 192 sun cultivars in 2016. The display gardens also include many perennials, including the first public display garden of historic daylily varieties in the U.S. This is also an official All-America Selections (AAS) display garden and, for the second year in a row, there was a separate bed highlighting specific AAS Winners.
All beds in the NDSU trials were planted May 31, June 1, and June 2. Plants were fertilized with Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed (12-4-8) on June 7, June 28, July 26, and August 26. Weeding was done by hand. There were no major insect problems. White mold was affecting the zinnia and gaillardia, so the plants were pulled and disposed of.
Weather Compared To The 30-Year Normal Of 1981-2010
June was slightly warmer and drier, and July was slightly warmer and wetter. August was warmer and drier. A hail storm on August 27 damaged Cannas, Tagetes erecta, Sweet Potato vines, and other large-leaved cultivars.
Plants were evaluated on July 29 and Sept. 2 for size (average height and spread) and given a 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) rating on bloom, vigor, and uniformity. Top cultivars received 5’s in all three areas for both evaluation times. They are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Amaranthus ‘Pony Tails’
Canna ‘Cannova Red Shades’
Canna ‘Cannova Mango’
Capsicum ‘Black Olive’
Catharanthus ‘Titan Mix Romance’
Celosia ‘Fresh Look Gold’
Celosia ‘Arrabona Red’
Cleome ‘Sparkler Mix’
Dianthus ‘Jolt Pink’
Gaura ‘Sparkle White’