Floriculture Field Day attendees view annual flower trials at Bluegrass Lane. Larger image.
Background. We are now in the fourth year of our "annual" evaluation program. We provide valuable information on plants that are currently available, as well as those not yet released. This information is used by the industry to develop better plants for consumers. Better plants mean happier consumers, and potentially more sales. Varieties were entered from 9 sources:
Seed, plugs, or rooted cuttings were grown in 4-inch pots in the spring, and transplanted at the Bluegrass Lane Research site in early June. Maintenance was minimal (mulching, weeding and some grooming). Fertilizer was applied as a dry feed in mid-June(Osmocote). Irrigation was via subirrigation. Ithaca (Zone 5A) had a rather normal season as far as temperatures. June's average 66F, July's was 67F, and August's was 68F. Precipitation amounts were close to average, with 3 inches of rain in June, 5 inches in July, and 3 inches in August. Additional weather information can be found at The Ithaca Climate Page.
These numbers were then averaged across all raters, for all evaluation dates, giving an overall seasonal average. Thus, the Average of "overall" criteria is the average of 120 individual ratings (the 4 items listed above, each from 5 people, on 6 different evaluation dates). In the table, we have grouped plants together, then sorted alphabetically. The individual cultivar profile pages also list comments made by the raters and pictures.
Thanks are expressed to the breeding and supply companies who provided plant materials and financial support for these trials. These trials would not have been possible without the great efforts of Ron White, JC Mosher and Louise Gray of the Cornell Turfgrass and Landscape Research Lab, my Trial Garden Coordinator Melissa Kitchen, undergraduate students Cheni Filios, Abby Nedrow, Beth Clark and Rachel Habermehl.
Recognition. Due to requests from the industry and to facilitate use of this site by the public, this year we are implementing a recognition system.
Two classes of recognition are being employed--- "Best Overall" and "Best in Category." These titles will be used to highlight the top ten performing plants of the season ("Best Overall"- ) as well as the best performing plants within individual plant categories ("Best in Category"- .) View pictures of the 'bests'.
The 2007 categories are:
Awarding of titles is based on a numerical score that reflects the plants performance throughout the entire growing season. Plants were subjectively rated, as described above in Evaluation criteria above. It should be indicated that some plants peaked at certain points in the growing season, while the performance of others was continually strong. As our research site is in full sun, some plants might have performed better in part shade conditions. Lastly, these comparisons and conclusions are made based on the entries that were independently submitted by participating companies.
2007 Bluegrass Lane Annuals 'Crew'