2017 North Dakota State University Field Trials

The 2017 bedding plant trials at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND, included 200 full sun and 18 shade cultivars. Most of the cultivars are seed started; the only vegetatively propagated entries are recent All-America Selections winners. The beds were planted May 31 and June 1.

Pre-emergent weed control was put down June 6. Hand weeding and glyphosate were also used for weed control.

A foliar fertilizer (12-4-8) was applied June 21, July 13, and August 24.

The weather in Fargo for June, July, and August was mostly warmer and drier than the 30-year averages.

Aphids were a pest on the ornamental peppers but no control was used. Aster yellows was a problem on the French marigolds and white mold showed up on some of the zinnias. Affected plants were pulled out and disposed of.

Plants were evaluated July 26 and September 6 and 7 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. Here are 10 of those top performers:

Top Performers

Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’
Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Flower)
Celosia ‘Arrabona Red’
Celosia ‘Ruby Parfait’
Pennisetum glaucum ‘Copper Prince’
Pennisetum villosum (Feathertop)
Tagetes erecta ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’
Verbena bonariensis
Verbena ‘Endurascape Pink Bicolor’

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