2013 UW-WMARS Annual Flower Evaluations

The 2013 season is over and the results of our annual flower trials have been compiled. This year we conducted evaluations on 182 flower cultivars in our general trial and an additional 85 cultivars within our CFGW (Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin) trial. Starting in July we conducted evaluations a total of three times, approximately one month apart.  This data is used by seed companies, commercial greenhouse growers, and the public to better select varieties that will succeed in our region of the world. We thank all participants including student evaluators Deanna Delfosse and Rachel Peters.

2013 UW-WMARS Flower Trial

2013 CFGW Flower Trial

2012 Annual Flower Evaluations

Some of the 2012 Annual Flower Trials

This year our flower trials included 388 cultivars of annual flowers. Three times during the season (Jul. 7, Aug. 6, and Sept. 10) we make careful evaluations of each. We look to evaluate the seed companies claims about the plant. We note consistency of size, habit, flowering, and color. We also note disease issues, insect pressure, and weather tolerance.Our evaluations are compiled with weather data and provided to the individual companies as well as the public.

In addition to our general trials we conduct a specific trial for the CFGW (Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin). With their financial support we trial up to 130 cultivars of one or two types of flowers a year. This year we conducted evaluations on sun loving impatiens and osteospermum. The goal of the trial is to provide this industry group a better understanding of which varieties thrive in conditions here in Wisconsin. This data helps Wisconsin growers provide consumers with varities better suited to our climate and soils.
Follow the links to this years annual flower evaluations:

2012 WMARS General Trial Evaluations

CFGW 2012 WMARS Field Trials-Impatiens

2012 CFGW Trial Evaluaitons – Osteospermum

Irrigation

Full scale irrigation on 6/25/12

The dry weather that started last summer has continued through the winter and spring and now into the summer of 2012. Since April 1 we have received only 6.25in of rain. The lack of rain in combination with the high temperatures and strong winds last few weeks has put some of the plants under stress.

At the University Display Gardens we are lucky to have access to irrigation. Our water is from a onsite well. Near the top of the gardens we have connections to a water line. To this we connect a series of 30 ft aluminum pipes, each with an elevated sprinkler head. We connect enough pipes to reach desired beds.

We try to maintain an equivalent of 1.5inches of rain each 7-10 days. With our irrigation system in place this takes approximately 1.5 hrs for each run. We then have to move the pipes to the next rows. All together irrigation is an all day affair. It takes a lot of work. So in essence we are always hoping for rain. There is no substitute for rainwater to make plants grow.

The garden is planted!

The Verbena, Lantana, and Geraniums in this picture are a few of the 388 cultivars of flowers being trialed this year.

The University Display Garden is planted and freshly mulched. This year we are trialing a total of 388 cultivars of annual flowers and approximately 127 varieties of vegetables and other food crops. With the help of irrigation the plants are settling in nicely. We continue to hope for rain.

Please come and see our selections grow throughout the summer.

Lasagna garden planting 5/31/12

Lasagna Garden Installation 5/3/12 -Roger Reynolds and volunteer

On May 3, 2012 garden staff assisted in the creation of a Lasagna Garden at the University Display Gardens. This demonstration garden will showcase a new and popular method for homeowners to convert existing lawn or overrun garden area into a productive garden space.

The process starts by laying a layer of cardboard on the ground and covering with 18in of clean alfalfa hay. In total about 3300lbs of hay was added on top of our 16 x 40 ft bed. We applied the hay on May 3, 2012 and in the past three weeks we have kept it wet to encourage the decomposition process. On May 31, 2012 the garden will be planted by project coordinator Roger Reynolds. Roger has done many of these gardens around the state and will be  planting the bed in a mix of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. It is intended to demonstrate that a garden can be both decorative and functional.

Join Roger on May 31, 2012 as he plants his Frank Loyd Wright inspired design. He will be in the garden from 2-6pm to answer questions and give advice on this system of gardening.

2011 Annual Flower Evaluations

Whisper Star Rose - PetuniaThis summer we trial hundreds of annual flowers.  Those annuals that we evaluated are listed on the two sheets you will find below.   The sheet labeled Commercial Flower Growers is the rating for over 50 different petunias that have been produced through vegetative propagation rather than seed.

We trialed these petunias for the commercial growers in Wisconsin so that they could could determine the best petunias to sell for the 2012 growing season.  Many of the petunias preformed very well and given our highest rating….5.

Angelonia

Angelonia

We also trialed seed propagated annual flowers for many different companies.  The results are listed as Annual Flower Evaluations.  Enjoy reading the evaluations and we hope the evaluations help you choose next years summer annuals.

 

CFGW Evaluations

1. 2011 CFGW WMARS Evaluations

General Flower Trial Evaluations

  1. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Ball FloraPlant
  2. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Ball Seed
  3. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Grimes
  4. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Burpee
  5. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Harris Seeds
  6. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Johnny’s
  7. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Kieft
  8. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP PanAmerican Seeds
  9. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Proven Winners
  10. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Seedway
  11. Annual Flwr Eval 2011WP Syngenta

2010 Annual Flower Evaluations

Are you receiving new seed catalogs?  Are you already itching to visit your local greenhouse to see what’s new in annual flowers for 2011?  Before you begin to make your list, check out the evaluations of all the annual flowers completed by the University Display Garden’s student interns and Master Gardener Volunteers. Links found at bottom of page.

Cyprus 'King Tut' with Supertunia 'Vista Bubblegum'

Cyprus ‘King Tut’ with Supertunia ‘Vista Bubblegum’

Two evaluations are completed each summer for our annual flower trials.   You will find those links below.  One evaluation is for the date 8/5/2010 and the later is for 8/31/2010.  In addition to our annual flower trial, we trialed over 100 varieties of annual geraniums. You will find that link below,also.

This year, due to the tremendous rain and high humidity, many of the selections performed well until about mid-July.  Root rot and foliar disease resulted in damage to numerous varieties.  Please review each evaluation so you may have a complete overview of each varieties performance throughout the summer.

General Flower Trials

Sweet Caroline Series of Ornamental Sweet Potato Vines

Annual Flwr Eval 8/5/2010

Annual Flwr Evaluation 8/31/2010

CFGW Annual Trial Evaluations

Geranium Evaluation 2010 – Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin Geranium Trials

Striking Growth

With the period of dry weather in the last week the soil has began to dry and plants are really beginning to fill out. We have been measuring a particular squash vine for growth. Between Monday and Wednesday morning it grew 17 inches.

The flowers and ornamental plants are also thriving. Pictured are new varieties of Sweet Potato vines. The contrast between varieties  is striking. Please come see the beautiful display of Petunias and Day Lillies which are in full bloom. The garden is open dawn till dusk 7 days a week.