2013 North Central Trial Garden

The 2013 opening of the N.C.T.G. was delayed almost a full month due to May snowstorms and Spring rains no gardener could appreciate. Drenched and soggy soil necessitated experimenting with the no-till method this year. The tiller-tractor couldn’t get in the garden, and the plants could not be left in the greenhouse any longer.

Our perennial soil compaction problem from work teams and public traffic would be even worse with the super-saturated earth. After weed mats were placed in the main aisles donated, 12-foot wood planks were laid down between rows for walking. The plants were nearly full-grown at planting time the last weekend of May! The buffers were planted June 9th, and we were OFF—Finally!!

Lo-Joy (MS-RD) took the award for the garden’s first bloom June 14; followed closely by Lo-Redeye   (MS-DB) that thrilled the container gardeners with its season-long, eye-catching color and floriferousness. Doodlebug swayed the judges to garner the highest score in the garden (91.1). Garden visitors were again drawn by the “WOW-factor” of size. Ayers Glory (AA-ID-FL), Clearview Edie (A-SC-WH), AC Shitake (B-SC-BR) and ADS Centennial (B-ID-OR) were also among our top scoring seedlings. However, the real “public-magnet” award this year seemed to belong to Clearview Audrey (BB-ID-LB) for its profuse soft, pastel blooms on neat, uniform, mid-sized plants.

Frost held off until mid-October, and the trial garden was put to bed October 26th with sweet dreams of next year’s potential winners. Please consider NCTG for your evaluation needs.

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Author: Karen Zierdt

Trial Garden Judging Coordinator Judges Accreditation Committee member

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