Eugene Blythe, assistant research professor of Horticulture Coastal Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University
February (for petunias)
April (for all other spring/summer trials)
October (for winter trials that include pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage, kale, etc.)
The climate in Southern Mississippi features mild winters and hot, humid summers. This year, the area had an unusually hot, dry spring, followed by a typically hot summer with normal rainfall.
In 2011, Mississippi State had approximately 150 varieties among its trial periods, including seed-grown and vegetative flowers, and a handful of vegetables. Its trials have been gradually expanding every year. Mississippi State also has AAS flower trials and an AAS display garden.
Comments submitted by Blythe.
Best In Show–ornamental corn ‘Field of Dreams’ (Floranova). “It’s easy to grow, can be sown in pots or directly in the ground. Colorful variegated foliage made this variety quite unique. An added bonus is the colorful, ornamental corn cobs that can be saved for fall displays. Plants grew well in our heat and humidity.”
In addition to ‘Field of Dreams’ ornamental corn, 10 top performers were:
– Plentifall pansies (PanAmerican)
–Sorbet series viola (PanAmerican)
–Kauai series torenia (PanAmerican)
–’Wasabi’ coleus (Ball FloraPlant)
–Archangel series angelonia (Ball FloraPlant)
–’Suncatcher Pink Lemonade’ trailing petunia (Ball FloraPlant)
–Salvia farinacea ‘Evolution White’ (Benary)
–Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ (Benary)
–Zinnia elegans ‘Queen Red Lime’ (Benary)
–Accent Premium impatiens (Syngenta Flowers)