About The Garden

This trial garden was implemented as a part of our production operation in order to effectively test both current and newly released plant varieties in a garden setting. It gives us the ability to adjust our production varieties to include those that perform best in the mid-south. This will help ensure the highest success potential for consumers who purchase our product from regional garden centers.

Our trial garden is located in Auburn, AL (UDSA zone 8) and consists of 26,400 square feet of raised beds which include both sun and shade conditions. During a seasonal trial, we can evaluate 432 individual varieties, 180 combination planters, 56 combination hanging baskets and landscape bed trials.

Contact

Penny Merritt-Price
Research and Development Coordinator
trialgarden@youngsplantfarm.com

Garden Map

Trial Garden Map

Evaluation Methods

Data and photos are collected biweekly from planting until the end of the growth season. All evaluations are performed by our Research and Development Coordinator who holds an MS in Horticulture and has over 20 years of experience in the horticulture industry. Rating Scale: All are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 is lowest, 5 is highest, 0 is dead plant, n/a if not applicable)

The individual varieties are rated on the following criteria:

  • Flower Quantity: Subjective evaluation based on percentage of color present in variety replication and as compared to other cultivars of the same variety.
  • Bloom Quality: Subjective evaluation based on duration of blooms without color fade, spotting, degradation or necrosis.
  • Vegetative: Subjective evaluation of growth habit and plant vigor.
  • Uniformity: Uniformity in size, shape and color.
  • Resistance: Subjective evaluation of resistance to insects and diseases as well as overall plant health.
  • Overall: Average based on 5 components listed above.

Hanging Basket and Container Combinations are rated on the following criteria:

  • Flower Quantity: Subjective evaluation of how well varieties bloom in unison.
  • Bloom Quality: Subjective evaluation of how well blooms interact with one another aesthetically.
  • Vegetative: Subjective evaluation of growth habits and how individual plants interact with one another.
  • Resistance: Subjective evaluation of resistance to insects and diseases as well as overall plant health.
  • Overall: Average based on 4 components listed above.
Trial Garden