The North Central Trial Garden came to life again May 27, 2017 with 24 entries planted under the new leadership of Larry Bagge With Larry’s growing expertise and interest in soil science and organic methods the garden was given a second chance to rebound from previous years of struggle with virus and soil/water issues. The stakes, weed mats and walking planks were never removed. The main focus was to move toward minimal till and less disturbance of micro organisms in the soil. The garden responded with healthy, vigorous plants and a kaleidoscope of blooms that wowed both the general public and professional photographers alike.
In a continuing effort to reduce a possible source of virus contamination into the garden member- donated plants for buffers were not used. Instead rows of dahlia seeds were planted with the added benefit of anticipation over perhaps discovering the next great Derrill Hart winner! WHO KNOWS?!
This year NCTG began using the Sign-Up Genius app and found this to be a valuable tool with which to tackle the perennial difficulty of securing help for garden maintenance. It allowed helpers to sign up for one or any days they might be available rather than commit to one team’s 4-month schedule that may have conflicting dates that result in No -Shows at the garden. The auto-generated reminders were also a time saver. Kudos to one of our members whose husband signed her up for every weekend either by mistake/unfamiliarity with the program or on purpose! Either way she worked every weekend at the Trial Garden— that’s really diggin’ dahlias. Thank you, Joan!
Top-scoring dahlias in NCTG: Allen’s High Voltage B ID PR Manuel 90.8 Baron Sylvia OT WH/wh-wh Miner 90.6 Allen’s Blackbeard BB LC DR Manuell 90.3 Spoiled Rotten B ID DB PR/YL 89.3 Nicholas Gitts Hollyhill Confetti MB V PR/WH Kennedy 89.0 OMG AA ID FL RD/YL Nicholas Gitts 88.9