The 2013 season will soon be upon us and looking back on last years field trials I am hoping for moisture. We have taken some time to review last years field conditions and the outcome of the Vegetable Trials. Please visit the following link which includes a review of the 2012 season and an overview of top performing veggies.
The seedless table grape trial at the station, in the garden, began in 2007. Fifteen varieties were planted in early June. We were all optimistic and had great hopes that at least four or five of the varieties would over-winter and produce a great crop of seedless table grapes. The hardiness zones for the grape varieties ranged from Zone 6 to Zone 4. Only one selection was rated at Zone 4. Most fell in the range of 5a or 5b.
Now five years later, we know that 12 of those original 15 varieties have over-wintered, and produced abundant fruit that ripens in our climate, and each has a unique and unusual taste.
Our annual seedless table grape report for 2012 has a detailed account of the varieties that have over-wintered, and a description of each variety. Please check the link below for the annual report.
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:
Over the past week we have enjoyed fairly good planting weather. Although dry and warm we were able to get a lot of plants in the ground. All in total we have planted nearly 150 varieties and nearly 1500 plants for our annual flower trial. We are looking forward to rain and hopefully some cool temperatures next week. The rest of the garden is in full bloom with many varieties of peonies at their peak. The garden is open to the public from dawn till dusk 7 days a week. We encourage all to come enjoy our beautiful gardens.
Follow this link to the 2011 Vegetable Evaluations: 2011 Vegetable Evaluations
The 2009 CFGW flower trial evaluaitons: