Methods

Trial Garden 2012 - 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, interns 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.

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.


Maintenance

Once established, the Trial Garden received minimal maintenance. Staff irrigated the beds for the first two 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.

  <Top>

Evaluations

The UDBG’s nursery manager evaluated the Trial Garden plants bi-weekly from July 6 through September 28. 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.

 
Score
Foliage
Flowers
 
5
Excellent
Rich color; clean appearance
All plants full of flowers
 
4
Very Good
Good color; few imperfections
Most plants with flowers
 
3
Good
Good color generally; some minor problems
Some plants with flowers
 
2
Fair
Weak color; some significant problems
Few flowers on plants
 
1
Poor
Very poor color with sickly appearance
No flowers
 
0
Dead
All plants dead or almost dead-----------------------------------------------

<Top>

Weather

The following charts were generated from weather information obtained from Delaware Environmental Observing System Network at the UD Farm. Note: Temperature data unavailable from 6/14 - 6/27.

Summer Temperatures by Date

Summer Rainfall by Month

<Top>

University of Delaware

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