The trial garden at Young’s Plant Farm was implemented as a part of its production operation in order to effectively test both current and newly released plant varieties in a garden setting. It gives the operation the ability to adjust its production varieties to include those that perform best in the mid-south. This helps ensure the highest success potential for the company’s consumers, who purchase Young’s Plant Farm’s products from regional garden centers.
The trial garden is located in Auburn, AL, (Zone 8) and consists of 26,400 square feet of raised beds, which include both sun and shade conditions. During a seasonal trial, Young’s Plant Farm can evaluate 432 individual annual varieties, 180 combination planters, 56 combination hanging baskets, 33 landscape solutions beds, and an All-American Selections (AAS) garden.
Plants in the trial garden reflect what the consumer would observe if they planted a quart annual and maintained it with reasonable care. Plants are evaluated every two weeks. Data and photos can be viewed on the Young’s Plant trial garden website.
Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
Ipomoea Spotlight Series
Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Memories’
Vinca ‘Soiree Ka-wa-ii Lavender’
Lantana ‘Evita White’
Coleus ‘Flame Thrower Chili Pepper’
Comments on Top Performers From Research & Development Coordinator Penny Merritt-Price
Gerbera ‘Garvinea Sweet Memories’ flowered all summer long with large, bright-pink flowers held high above the foliage. It performs well both in-ground and in containers.
Vinca ‘Soiree Ka-wa-ii Lavender’ is an excellent summer performer. It produces a mass of small lavender flowers that completely cover the plant. Kawaii lavender is very heat and drought tolerant.
Lantana ‘Evita White’ started blooming soon after planting in April and never stopped. It has a nice compact, round plant habit and was covered in flowers all summer long.
Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’ is exciting because it is from seed, lasted all summer long, held its deep purple-red color, and is compact in size. It is perfect for the front of a landscape bed.
Ipomoea Spotlight Series performed as well as the popular SolarPower series from last year, but it was even more compact and manageable, which is a commendable characteristic for Ipomoea in the South.
Coleus is always a top performer in our garden. The following varieties topped the list in 2016: Coleus ‘Flame Thrower Chili Pepper,’ Coleus ‘Colorblaze Apple Brandy,’ Coleus ‘Color Clouds Honeybear,’ and Coleus ‘Party Time Pink Berry.’