Many of the 2010 field trial managers and coordinators reported temperatures above normal, especially during August. Precipitation wasn’t as much of a concern, although some locations did report extremes with too much or too little rain. On the pest and disease control front, a number of trial sites reported problems with Japanese beetles.
Heavy rains in early summer followed by high temperatures in August put a lot of mildew pressure on plants at the C. Raker and Sons trial gardens in Litchfield, Mich.
University of Guelph, Guelph Turfgrass Institute, Guelph, Ontario
Planted: May 24
Weather conditions: Early summer weather warm and wet, late summer warm and dry.
Pest/disease problems: Usual problems of white mold, powdery mildew and aphids. For the first time, they had damaging numbers of Japanese beetles.
Agastache: Bronze Foliage
Cyperus: King Tut
Echinacea: Warm Color Shades and Razzmatazz
Eustoma: ABC 1-3 Misty Blue
Kniphofia: Peachy Cheeks
Lantana: Landmark Sunrise Rose
Petunia: Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso
For more: Rodger Tschanz, University of Guelph, Department of Plant Agriculture, email@example.com.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Planted: Started May 27, finished June 18
Weather conditions: Cooler than normal June. Warm July and August with quite a few days hotter than 90°F.
Bulbine: Yellow Compact
Calibrachoa: MiniFamous Compact Orange
Impatiens: Fiesta Purple
New Guinea impatiens: Super Sonic Magenta
Petunia: Littletunia Sweet Pink
Rudbeckia: Denver Daisy
Zinnia: Zowie! Yellow Flame
For more: James Klett, Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, 970-491-7179; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.flowertrials.colostate.edu.
University of Georgia, Athens
Planted: Mid-April to mid-May
Weather conditions: From early June through September, the plants were subjected to above 90°F and often above 95°F with even higher heat indices. Sporadic rain fell, but irrigation was often required.
Pest/disease problems: Root rots in geraniums and vinca. Late in the season, the usual aphids, mites and caterpillars came calling.
Angelonia: Alonia Purple
Begonia: Super Olympia Pink Improved and Gryphon
Calibrachoa: Mini Famous Compact Saffron and Lindura Light Blue
Geranium: Caliente Orange
Impatiens: SunPatiens Compact White
Osteospermum: Crescendo Yellow
Portulaca: Pazazz Pink Glow
Scaevola: Outback Fan Dancer
For more: Meg Green, University of Georgia, 706-542-2471;
Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens, East Lansing
Planted: May 17 through June 16
Weather conditions: Heavy rainfall in May and June. One storm in June had 70 mph winds. July was very dry and very hot. A lot of days in the high 80s and low 90s. Very little rainfall.
Pest/disease problems: In August, started to see some mildew on plants including zinnias.
Acalypha: Tiki Island Sunrise
Angelonia: Angelface Blue Improved
Argyranthemum: Flutterby Yellow
Begonia: Solenia Salmon
Cleome: Senorita Rosalita
Gaillardia: Arizona Red Shades
Impatiens: SunPatiens Spreading Corona
Petunia: White Ray and Cascadias Violet Skirt
Verbena: Empress Dark Red
For more: Katie McCarver, Michigan State University, 517-355-5191 Ext. 1329; email@example.com; http://trialgardens.hrt.msu.edu.
Penn State University, SE Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Manheim
Planted: May 18-20
Weather conditions: Consistently high temperatures above 90°F with many days at or near 100°F. Little rain fell for weeks, then sudden downpours of 2-3 inches occurred along with winds exceeding 40 mph.
Pest/disease problems: During the hot temperatures in July, western flower thrips became a problem. Aphids were also a problem. Alternaria blight on petunia and calibrachoa.
Cuphea: Mellow Yellow
Echinacea: PowWow Wild Berry
Geranium: Savannah Hot Pink Sizzle and Moonlight Pink
Nemesia: Sunsatia Lemon Improved
Impatiens: SunPatiens Spreading Corona, SunPatiens Compact Blush Pink and Sunpatiens Compact White
Pennisetum: Jade Princess and Vertigo
Petunia: Littletunia Purple Blue
Portulaca: Pizzazz series
For more: Alan H. Michael, Penn State Cooperative Extension – Dauphin County, 717-921-8803; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.trialgardenspsu.com.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Planted: Annuals planted May 27, perennials planted in 2009.
Weather conditions: April and May showed usual weather patterns, with temperatures in the mid-80s and the normal amount of rainfall. June arrived and temperatures started to rise to the mid-90s with very little rainfall. No rain in July and temperatures rose into the high-90s with little relief after sunset. Since Aug. 1, temperatures were above 100°F with no signs of rain or a break in temperature.
Alternanthera: Little Ruby
Echinacea: Hot Papaya
Euphorbia: White Manaus
Gerbera: Drakensberg Daisy series
Lobularia: Snow Princess
Penstemon: Red Riding Hood
Petunia: Soleil Purple
Rudbeckia: Denver Daisy
Salvia: Wendy’s Wish
Scaevola: Surdiva Blue
For more: Jimmy Turner, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 214-515-6580; email@example.com; www.dallasplanttrials.org.