February 4, 2010

Conservatory Releases Field Trials Report

Coleus was king in 2009 at Franklin Park Conservatory’s field trials in Columbus, Ohio. Ball Horticultural’s newest coleus varieties ‘Trusty Rusty’ and ‘Redhead,’ as well as ‘Henna’ and ‘Mint Mocha’ were top performers, scoring excellent ratings for vegetative quality, flowering performance and overall presentation. Consumers also preferred coleus, making ‘Redhead,’ ‘Henna’ and ‘Mint Mocha’ three of the consumer’s choice award winners for 2009. When asked to choose three variety entries from the trials they would purchase, consumers routinely chose these coleus varieties. Also making the top consumer’s choice list were Ball Horticultural’s lantana ‘Lucky Pure Gold’ and Goldsmith Seeds’ rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye.’ In addition to annuals, perennials were trialed in 2009. Consumers chose Benary’s Physostegia virginiana ‘Crystal Peak White’ as the perennial they were most likely to purchase. ‘Crystal Peak White’ scored high marks in the trials for abundant blooms from mid-July through mid-August. Preliminary results for the perennial trials […]

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January 20, 2010

Dutch Flower Trials Crossing Into Germany

Flower Trials, a weeklong European event in June for pot and bedding plant growers, will now cross the Dutch border and have a presence in Rheinland-Westfalen, Germany. The Flower Trials launched in 2003 when five pot and bedding plant companies came together. Now, the Flower Trials incorporate 31 member companies. Crossing into Germany means the Euro Trials there will no longer take place. For more information on the Flower Trials, visit FlowerTrials.nl.

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December 28, 2009

Sakata Skipping Spring Trials

Sakata, breeder of genetics like the SunPatiens series, Profusion zinnias and Festival gerberas, is changing its approach to marketing trials. Sakata will not take part in the 2010 California Spring Trials and will focus on multiple events at venues in both North America and Europe. Here is a snapshot of some of the marketing events Sakata is planning in 2010. December 2009–January 2010: Sakata Primula Trial, The Netherlands June 2010: Sakata Week 24 European Flower Trials, The Netherlands June 2010: Sakata Warm Crops Focus Event, Southeastern United States July 2010: OFA Short Course, Columbus, Ohio July 2010: Sakata Lisianthus Trial, Nagano Misato, Japan August 2010: Sakata Warm Crops Focus Event, Midwestern U.S. August 2010: Sakata Gerbera Focus Event, Midwestern U.S. September 2010: Sakata Cool Crops Focus Event, West Coast, U.S. September 2010: Sakata Gerbera Focus Event, West Coast, U.S. October 2010: Sakata Pansy Event, Holland November 2010: Sakata Autumn Pack […]

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November 16, 2009

Webinar: Top Performing Annuals With Allan Armitage

Are the varieties you are growing and selling true performers? Find out and maximize your spring offerings by registering for a free webinar hosted by Greenhouse Grower. In the plant world, the key to repeat business is consumer success. That means plants that are easy to care for and will look great all summer. Greenhouse Grower’s resident varieties guru Dr. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia (UGA) will present the top performing annuals based on responses from hundreds of visitors to UGA’s trial gardens in 2009. UGA’s trial gardens have become the litmus test for plants that can withstand heat and humidity. Armitage will talk about annuals that have looked good for extended periods of time and award winners from the Trial gardens at UGA. As Armitage says, if the plant will perform well in Georgia, it will perform most anywhere. To register for the December 2 webinar, click […]

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November 10, 2009

One Way To Do Spring Pack Trials

A bus trip for greenhouse growers is being planned to next year’s California Spring Pack Trials from April 9-13, 2010. Dr. Mark Bridgen of Cornell University, along with Dr. Brian Krug of the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Roberto Lopez of Purdue University and Dr. Neal Mattson of Cornell University have organized an educational trip to several of the key Spring Trial locations. The trip is designed specifically for greenhouse growers and other horticulture professionals. Each day of the trip will begin early and continue at a fast pace late into the evening. Attendees should plan to arrive on Friday, April 9 and stay at a designated hotel near the San Jose Airport. The journey begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, when the bus departs from the hotel. That first day, the group will visit Golden State Bulb Growers in Watsonville, Syngenta Flowers/Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy, Speedling (along […]

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October 26, 2009

2009 Field Trials: Taking The Field

Each summer, leading horticultural universities, Extension agents and botanical gardens put new and more established varieties to the test in field trials. While many are in traditional plots and raised beds, others are in landscapes and large containers, which have become more popular with vegetative varieties. Growers, garden retailers and the public can see true performance in their region. While most new introductions look beautiful at the California Pack Trials, which varieties can really take heat, humidity, heavy rains or even hail?  Special thanks to the dozen trials managers who submitted their top performers to us.  Colorado State University Cornell University–Ithaca Cornell University–Long Island Dallas Arboretum University of Illinois Iowa State Massachusetts Hort Society Michigan State University The Ohio State University–Columbus The Ohio State University–Springfield Oklahoma State University Texas A&M University University of Illinois View Field Trials in a map. Click on the map tabs below to see results from […]

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October 23, 2009

2009 Field Trials: University of Illinois

Trial Manager: C. Diane Anderson Trial Location: Miles C Hartley Selections Garden, University of Illinois Arboretum, Urbana, Ill. Planting Dates: From May 28-June 20, 883 varieties were planted in rows, design beds and mixed 6-inch or single-variety 14-inch containers. Weather Conditions: Except for a hot, humid week at the end of June, Urbana was cooler than average, with generally low humidity. We received several multiple-inch rainfalls that resulted in beds that were slow to dry. Heavy rains resulted in poor petunia growth. Best In Show: Angelonia ‘Carita Raspberry’ from Syngenta Flowers Top Five: 1. Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ from PanAmerican Seed 2. Dahlia ‘Grande Toluca’ from Proven Selections 3. Zinnia ‘Profusion Yellow’ from Sakata Seed 4. Pennisetum ‘Jade Princess’ from PanAmerican Seed 5. Coleus ‘Indian Summer’ from Ball FloraPlant

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October 23, 2009

Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’

Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ is suitable for field or garden cut flower production. It features more blooms per plant than other gomphrenas plus its unique “scaffolding” habit gives ‘Fireworks’ the exceptional flower power that makes it sparkle at retail, then explode with color in landscapes and containers. Vigorous plants are topped by hot pink flowers. Drought-tolerant and low-maintenance ‘Fireworks’ resists weather damage and provides an attractive architectural element for the landscape. Easy to produce on the bench, ‘Fireworks’ stays compact as a plug. Well-suited to high-margin gallon programs. Supplied as coated seed. For more information, contact PanAmerican Seed.

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October 21, 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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October 21, 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 21, 2009

2009 Field Trials: The Ohio State University – Columbus

Trial Director/Trial Manager: Claudio Pasian and Bart Hayes Location: Columbus, Ohio   Planting Dates: The 2009 Summer Annual Trials has been a record year with 716 entries from 22 companies all over the world. Plants were installed May 12.   Weather Conditions: Spring and early summer temperatures were normal with rainfall at seasonal averages. July brought drastically lower temperatures with highs 15 degrees below normal. In August, temperatures increased but were still below seasonal averages, as were rainfall amounts. The season ended with rainfall returning and continued below-average temperatures.   Top Five: 1. Euphorbia ‘White Manaus’ from GroLink   2. Ornamental pepper ‘Purple Flash’ from PanAmerican Seed   3. Coleus ‘Versa Crimson Gold’ from PanAmerican Seed   4. Vinca ‘Cora Deep Lavender’ from Goldsmith Seeds   5. Petunia ‘Sanguna Lipstick’ from Syngenta Flowers

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