Trial Garden 2008 - Methods

Bed Preparation & Planting

A 10,000 sq. ft. area behind the Fisher Greenhouse was rototilled in May. The soil was not amended, and the beds were mulched prior to planting with a 3-inch layer of wood chips.

Staff and volunteers planted the selections on June 5. Seven plants of each variety were planted 1 ft. apart in rows, with 24-inch spacing between rows. The rows were organized into seven 8 ft. by 100 ft. beds. Staff covered one bed with cloth that provided 62% shade; plants grown in this section are noted in the results.

The plant selections were organized in alphabetical order according to their botanical name, and identified by white labels listing their botanical name, selection, and supplier.

Once established, the Trial Garden received minimal maintenance. Staff irrigated the beds for the first three weeks, and applied an all-purpose soluble fertilizer (21-5-20) twice during the first two weeks. No supplemental watering or fertilizer was provided for the remainder of the summer, nor were insecticides or fungicides applied. Staff hand-weeded as necessary. None of the trial plants were dead-headed or pruned.




The UDBG’s nursery manager evaluated the Trial Garden plants bi-weekly from July 15 through September 23. For each of the dates, the manager awarded each plant two scores: one based on flowering and the other based on foliage, taking into account attractiveness, pest and disease resistance, habit uniformity, and overall ornamental value. The overall scores for flowers and foliage represent the average of all individual scores for each category.

Rich color; clean appearance
All plants full of flowers
Very Good
Good color; few imperfections
Most plants with flowers
Good color generally; some minor problems
Some plants with flowers
Weak color; some significant problems
Few flowers on plants
Very poor color with sickly appearance
No flowers
All plants dead or almost dead-----------------------------------------------



The Results pages offer information about each selection, including botanical and common names, supplier, flower and foliage scores, and its light conditions.

Images. All photos were taken in mid-September. The left image shows the habit of the plant growth, with all photos taken from the same perspective. The right image shows a close up of the plant during mid-September, regardless of whether it was in flower. Click on the images to enlarge.

Charts. The average foliage and flower scores for each month are shown. If the flower and the foliage scores are the same, only the flower score will show.

Light conditions. A sun icon is shown for plants grown in full sun; a cloud icon is shown for those grown under 62% shade cloth.

Comments. A clipboard icon appears when the evaluator provided comments for the selection. Move your mouse over the clipboard to read the comments, or click to open a PDF that lists comments for all selections.



The following charts were generated from weather information obtained from Delaware Environmental Observing System Network at the UD Farm.





University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153