University of Florida

2008 Winter Trial Garden

2008 Winter trial garden

Welcome to the University of Florida 2007-2008 winter trial garden! The objectives of this trial were to evaluate cool season crops for the following characteristics: (1) winter and spring flowering, (2) cold tolerance, and (3) season-extending performance. This year we evaluated approximately 200 cultivars.

Garden Information

Bed preparation

Beds were tilled mid-October and Osmocote 18-6-12, 8-9 month formulation, was applied at a rate of 25 lbs/1,000 sq.ft. Beds were irrigated by drip irrigation once daily initially, and then less frequently as plants became established.


Plugs and vegetative liners arrived week 40 (October 1) and were transplanted into 80 mm Jumbo Ellepots (provided by Knox Nursery) week 41. Plants were grown in a 30% shadehouse for five weeks and transplanted into the garden week 46 (November 12). Each plot contained nine plants in a 3x3 configuration, with plants spaced 12" on center.


None of the plants were pinched prior to transplant in the garden or during the trial season. No insecticides or herbicides were applied.


This year we had a period of unseasonably cold weather in early January, with 22 degrees F as the lowest recorded temperature. This was enough to kill some trial plots and cause severe dieback on others.

Click here for monthly weather data.

Field Days

Floriculture field day at the trial gardenThe winter trial beds were showcased during the 2008 Floriculture Field Days. This two-day event, hosted by the University of Florida and FNGLA's Floriculture Division, was held May 14-15, 2008 in Gainesville, FL.

The trial garden showcases plant material supplied by leading industry companies and is one of the first sites for the industry to see new varieties at an independent trial site. Thank you to all who made this event a huge success!


Best of Trial

Plant Supplier
Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Dreamsicle’ Proven Winners
Carnation ‘Garden Spice Fuchsia’ Fides North America
Chrysocephalum 'Flambe Yellow' Proven Winners
Delphinium 'Mistral Star'
American Takii
Diascia 'Wink Pink Imp'
Ball Horticultural Co.
Erysimum 'Citrona Yellow'
Ball Horticultural Co.
Erysimum 'Variegatum'
Proven Winners
Petunia 'Potunia Pink' Dummen
Snapdragon 'Solstice Burgundy' Ball Horticultural Co.
Viola 'Penny Deep Blue Imp' Goldsmith Seeds
Viola 'Penny Denim Jump-Up' Goldsmith Seeds
Viola 'Starry Night' Ball Horticultural Co.

Fuschia and yellow flowers

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