The Ohio State University (OSU) displayed more than 500 cultivars for evaluation this year at the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens in Columbus, OH. Several Cultivate’16 attendees took the opportunity to wander the trial grounds and evaluate in-ground entries and those in sun and shade containers and hanging baskets.
New for 2016, trial attendees had the option of evaluating plants through an online survey tool by Qualtrics, designed by Professor Tim Rhodus of the Horticulture and Crop Science department. The university posted trial results every 15 minutes for all to see in real-time. This was a welcome change from the cumbersome paper-and-clipboard method the university used in the past.
The OSU Cultivar Trials include four categories: in-ground beds, sun containers, shade containers, and hanging baskets. Master Gardener and Chadwick Arboretum volunteers conduct four evaluations throughout the growing season, rating the plants from one to five on how well they like them. The trial director and trial manager also do in-depth grower evaluations. You can get a taste of the trials here, and find more results and photos at hvp.osu.edu/trials.