University of Florida

2008 Spring Trial Garden

2008 Spring Garden Field day

Welcome to the 2008 University of Florida spring trial garden! Our trial season ran from April through early August, and we evaluated 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 850 cultivars, including 284 new introductions for 2009.

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 sq.ft. 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.


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. Insecticides were applied as needed for cuphea beetle control on fuchsia, cuphea, gaura, and oenothera.


Click here for monthly weather data

Field Days

Floriculture field day at the trial gardenThe 2008 Floriculture Field Days, hosted by the University of Florida and FNGLA's Floriculture Division, were held May 14 and 15 in Gainesville, FL for industry members. This event provided educational seminars, research displays, and field trials. The trial garden showcased plant material from our 2007-2008 winter trial and 2008 spring trial. This was the first opportunity to see many of the new varieties for 2009 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 16, provided educational seminars, research displays, and garden tours geared towards the home gardener.

Purple flowers

Contact Us