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Annual Flower Research at Bluegrass Lane, Ithaca, New York
Background. 2013 was the tenth year of our "annual" evaluation program. Our goal is to 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 customers and potentially more sales. You can review pictures and data from previous research in our Archives section. This research effort is headed by Dr. Bill Miller (email@example.com), Horticulture Section, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Sponsors. This year we were happy to have nine sponsors, listed below. Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get the details.
Evaluation criteria. The plants were evaluated on the 15th and 30th of each month by at least four people, including a mix of staff members and interns. Plants were given a rating from 1 to 5 (1=awful, 5=great) on the following attributes:
Evaluations also included written subjective commments and photographs. At the end of the season, we average the numbers across all raters, for all evaluation dates, giving an overall seasonal average. View data in an Excel spreadsheet. Photographs are compiled into a timeline of performance throughout the season. (Unlike most years, we did not take pictures on June 15, and started our photo documentation instead on June 30.) View the 2013 Gallery.
Maintenance. Seed, plugs, or rooted cuttings were grown in 4-inch pots in the spring, and transplanted to the Bluegrass Lane Research site in early June. Maintenance was minimal (mulching, weeding and some grooming). Fertilizer was applied as a dry feed in early June (Osmocote). Subirrigation was available for short periods during the growing period, but was usually inactive due to adequate precipitation.
Weather. Ithaca is located in Zone 6a (average minimum low temperature -10F to -5F), according to the recently revised USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
April started out fairly normal, But May was several degrees warmer and somewhat drier than average. June had regular intervals of adequate rain, but July and August each had several inches more rain than the average. July was also much hotter than normal.
Average temperatures were 64.4F, 71.3F and 65.7F respectively, for the months of June, July and August. Rain amounts were 4.12", 6.95" and 5.23" respectively, for the months of June, July and August. See graphs below.
Thanks. 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 Eric Shatt, JC Mosher, and Louise Gray of Cornell's Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Center, my Trial Garden Coordinator Melissa Kitchen, and students David Harris, Shiyi Li, and Monika Leck.
2013 interns: David Harris, Monika Leck, Shiyi Li
Horticulture Section, 135 Plant Sciences Bldg, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org | 607-255-4568/1789 | Fax, 607-255-9998/0599
© 2007 Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University