University of Florida

2007 Spring Trial Garden

2007 Spring Trial Garden

Welcome to the 2007 University of Florida spring trial garden! Our trial season runs from April through early August, and we evaluate cultivars for their ability to perform in a hot and humid environment and to withstand the increased disease pressure that comes with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. This year we evaluated over 650 cultivars, including 234 new introductions for 2008.

Garden Information

Bed preparation

Two inches of mushroom compost was added to all beds before tilling. Bed pH was adjusted to 5.8 using iron sulfate and Osmocote 18-6-12, 8-9 month formulation, was applied at a rate of 25 lbs/1,000 ft2. Beds were tilled the first week of March. Beds were watered by drip irrigation once daily initially, and then less frequently as plants became established. Two inches of aged pine bark (provided by Graco fertilizer) was spread a week after planting. A single application of Peters 20-10-20 at 150 ppm was applied two weeks after planting.


Plugs and vegetative liners arrived weeks 8-10 (late February and early March) and were transplanted into 80 mm Jumbo Ellepots (provided by Knox Nursery). Plants were grown in the greenhouse for approximately three weeks and transplanted into the gardens in late March and early April. Each plot contained nine plants in a 3x3 configuration and spaced 12" on center.


Most plants were pinched once prior to transplant in the gardens. After planting, the plants were not pinched or deadheaded during the season. Pesticides were not routinely applied. Sevin was applied as needed for cuphea beetle control on fuchsia, cuphea, gaura, and oenothera.

Field Days

2007 Field DayThe 2007 Floriculture Field Days, hosted by the University of Florida and FNGLA's Floriculture Division, were held May 16 and 17 in Gainesville, FL for industry members. This event provided educational seminars, research displays, and field trials. The trial garden showcased plant material from our 2006-2007 winter trial and 2007 spring trial. This was the first opportunity to see many of the new varieties for 2008 at an independent trial site. Thank you to all the sponsors who made this event a huge success!

The Master Gardener Field Day, held May 18, provided educational seminars, research displays, and garden tours geared towards the home gardener.

Purple petunias

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