October 20, 2009

2009 Field Trials: Dallas Arboretum

Trials Managers: Jimmy Turner, Senior Director of Gardens and Jenny Wegley, Research and Greenhouse Manager Weather Conditions: All plant material was planted in full sun. All material is watered three times a week (unless it rains) for 15 minutes and is fertilized every other week with 21-7-7 at 400ppm Nitrogen. Annual material is planted from a 4″ container in a block of nine. Perennial material is planted from a 1-gallon container in a block of one to three (depending quantity of plants that we receive). As usual we had a hot summer. There was a recorded fourteen days in a row over 100 degrees. We did have quite a bit of rain fall that helped cool us off a bit, after the rains high percentages of humidity followed. Overall it was a hot and sticky summer. Top 5 Perennials: 1. Penstemon ‘Lilac Beauty’ (Ground) Sahin Planted: Spring 2008 A great perennial […]

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October 20, 2009

2009 Field Trials: Massachusetts Hort Society

Trials Manager: David Fiske, Gardens Curator Weather Conditions: We had a vary cold cloudy wet late spring early summer Planting Date: Plants were set out June 1 Best of Show: Millet Jade Princess by Ball Seed Top 5 Varieties:  Millet Jade Princess by Ball Seed Coleus Versa Lime Ball Seed Gomphrena Fireworks Ball Seed Lantana Lucky Rose Glow Improved Ball Seed Argeratum PatinaDelft Sygenta

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October 19, 2009

2009 Field Trials: Cornell University – Long Island

Trial Manager: Nora Catlin Trial Location: Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, Riverhead, N.Y.   Planting Dates: Nearly 200 entries were transplanted into 4-inch pots in the greenhouse throughout April and planted outside during the first week of June. Three 12-inch containers were planted with three 4-inch potted plants each.   Weather Conditions: June was rainy and cloudy. In general, the season was cooler than usual.   Best In Show: Petunia ‘Cascadia Noble Blue’ from Danziger and petunia ‘Supertunia Lavender Skies’ from Proven Winners   Top Five: 1. Alternanthera ‘Royal Tapestry’ from Proven Selections   2. Petunia ‘Cascadia Ann Wood’ from Danziger   3. Petunia ‘Littletunia Rose’ from Danziger   4. Petunia ‘Littletunia White Grace’ from Danziger   5. Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso’ from Proven Winners

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October 19, 2009

2009 Field Trials: Colorado State University

Trial Manager: Dr. James E. Klett Trial Location: Fort Collins, Colo.   Planting Dates: 1,200 entries and more than 700 containers were planted May 27 through June 17.   Weather Conditions: Weather conditions were a factor, especially in the early part of the summer. We had severe hail on June 7 that really damaged all the geraniums in the ground and in pots, as well as all the petunias that had been planted at that point in the ground. Two more hail storms with nickel-size hail occurred on June 10 and June 22. We had average rainfall in June and July with several major downpours.   Best In Show: Bracteantha ‘Strawburst Yellow’ from Syngenta Flowers   Best New Variety: Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ from PanAmerican Seed   Top Five: 1. Ageratum ‘Patina Purple’ from Syngenta Flowers   2. Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ from Proven Winners   3. Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ from Proven Winners […]

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September 9, 2009

National Poinsettia Trials In 3 States

The National Poinsettia Trials, collaboration of the research and trialing efforts of three universities (the University of Florida, North Carolina State University and Purdue University),  one commercial site (Homewood Nursery, Raleigh, N.C.) and five commercial breeders (Paul Ecke Ranch, Dömmen, GroLink, Selecta First Class and Syngenta Flowers) will take place this year at different sites. Open houses will take place: – Wednesday, December 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Homewood Nursery –Wednesday, December 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.–Friday, December, 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.–Tuesday December 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. The trials were established to provide an independent evaluation of the newest poinsettia cultivars being introduced. Individual poinsettia varieties require different production procedures in different regions, and these diverse trial location allow […]

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September 4, 2009

Visit Lucas Greenhouses For Mums

The industry is invited to attend Syngenta’s Yoder mums trials September 24 at Lucas Greenhouses in Monroeville, N.J. Mum breeder Mark Smith will be on hand to discuss new mum introductions and how they fit into existing mum programs. Attendees will learn about mum production and review best practices with technical staff, and George Lucas will be giving tours of Lucas Greenhouses. Two chrysanthemum white rust presentations will also be given. To RSVP for the event, e-mail [email protected] or call 800-344-7862 by September 10. On-site registration begins at 7 a.m. September 24, and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The trial garden is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lucas Greenhouses is located at 214 Whig Lane Road, Monroeville, NJ 08343. For driving directions, visit LucasGreenhouses.com. For more information about the event, go to SyngentaFlowersInc.com/Mums.

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June 17, 2009

Visit C. Raker & Sons This Summer

The Raker Trial Gardens will be open to the public from July 15 to August 28 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The trial gardens, which cover more than three acres, consist of a variety of annual and perennial flowers used primarily for horticulture comparison trials. There are three main trials this year: annual comparison, container and hanging basket. The annual comparison trials feature more than 700 varieties of argyranthemum, basil, fibrous begonias, vegetative coleus, diascia, delphinium, gaura, annual and perennial salvia and scented geraniums. The container trials feature a large selection of 2010 new introductions and mixed culture varieties in large, 20-inch patio containers. The hanging basket trial is a collection of more than 300 varieties of vegetative trailing petunias In addition to being one of seven stops on Michigan State University’s Michigan Garden Plant Tour, the Trial Garden is also an All-America Selections bedding plant and flower trial […]

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June 2, 2009

California Pack Trials 2009 New Varieties Guide

Miss a year and you’d miss a lot. People often ask me if it’s necessary to go to the California Pack Trials every year. If your job is to be at the forefront of all the new developments in annuals, perennials, marketing programs and global supply, then I would say yes. Fortunately for me, it is my job and we look forward to presenting you with comprehensive coverage each year and are always looking for new ways to do just that.  My traveling companions were our Contributing Editor Dr. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia and our Group Publisher Bob West. We had a great time filming about 100 Flip videos we’re still sorting through and editing. Many are already posted on GGTV. We visited nearly 30 flower breeders and propagators from all over the world between San Jose and San Diego, March 28-April 4. In addition to American […]

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June 2, 2009

Michigan Garden Plant Tour Is In August

Greenhouse growers are invited to attend the sixth annual Michigan Garden Plant Tour from August 3-14 this year. This year, seven growers are participating with Michigan State University (MSU). They are: – C. Raker and Sons;–Duwayne’s Greenhouses;–Four Star Greenhouse;–Mast Young Plants;–Pell Greenhouses;–Walters Gardens; and–Zylstra Greenhouses. Each young plant producer showcases its plant specialties and product lines in outdoor gardens. It’s a great way to evaluate garden plant performance in a variety of outdoor settings and in containers. Growing operations are open Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Participants are asked to contact the operations in advance so they know you’re coming. There is no fee to visit the participating companies. The MSU Garden Plant Showcase educational program is also part of the Michigan Garden Plant Tour, and it will take place on Tuesday, August 4. The educational program fee is $35 per person and includes lunch. This year, the […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Kieft

Kieft One month after Pack Trials, Kieft Seeds was sold to Ball Horticultural Co. Kieft’s strengths in seed perennials, gerberas and ornamental grasses fulfill needs not currently being met through Ball’s PanAmerican Seed. The sale resulted from strategic distribution moves in Europe. Ball sold its distribution arms in Germany, Holland and France to Florensis in exchange for a stronger position in the United Kingdom. Florensis had an ownership interest in Kieft. Florensis is vertically integrated as a breeder, young plant producer and distributor. Vegetative varieties on display at Kieft’s trials include Glow petunias, which have been well received by growers for uniformity and daylength neutrality. New seed perennials from Kieft include the green-leaved heuchera ‘Malachite’ as a companion to the burgundy-colored ‘Melting Fire.’ Scabiosa ‘Blue Note’ is a compact alternative to ‘Butterfly Blue.’ Salvia is another genus Kieft is working on. INTRODUCTIONS –Astra osteospermums–Dark Copper, Light Copper–Carex ‘Phoenix Green’–Cosmos ‘Antiquity’–Gallo […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Proven Winners

Proven Winners For those looking for something completely new, Proven Winners did not disappoint. In fact, you could say lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ was the belle of the Pack Trials. Plants produce billowy clouds of white flowers in baskets, combination plantings and beds. Unlike seed alyssum, ‘Snow Princess’ is a breakthrough in heat tolerance and extended season performance. Another unique introduction is ‘Pretty Much Picasso,’ a petunia with green and magenta bicolor blooms. Plants are vigorous with a trailing habit. On the retail side, Proven Winners has relaunched its certified garden center program as iGarden Certification. In addition to educating garden center employees about Proven Winners’ products, there will be a series of general gardening knowledge modules addressing the most common consumer problems: watering, fertilizing and soils. Also new for retailers is the Bloom Box–all a retailer needs to host a container gardening event at retail. The seminar in a box […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Selecta First Class

Selecta First Class This is the last year we’d visit Selecta at Dramm & Echter in Encinitas because next year Selecta’s lines will be incorporated into Ball Horticultural Co.’s trials in Santa Paula. For 10 years, the German breeding company owned by the Klemm family has made great strides introducing innovative varieties to North America. A new distribution alliance with Ball is expected to lead to even greater market share. While unrooted cuttings will be ordered exclusively through Ball, growers can still purchase liners through a network of rooting stations and brokers. Selecta’s greatest success is the MiniFamous calibrachoas, including the MiniFamous Doubles, which received our Industry’s Choice award in 2006. The series continues to be refined and improved. New doubles are Magenta, Lemon, Amethyst and Orange. One of the most interesting introductions was the drought-tolerant groundcover petunia from Anthony Tesselaar, ‘Soleil Purple.’ The more you neglect it, the better […]

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