By Dave Harrison
Dec. 11, 2014, Downers Grove, IL — Want help picking next year’s garden winners?
The National Plant Trials Database has over 15,000 plant ratings for the horticulture industry’s use in planning for 2015.
Each year since its inception in 2012, the number of varieties and ratings have increased, making the database an ever more useful tool for flower brokers, buyers and sellers.
To view the trial data, industry professionals can simply go to www.planttrials.org and click on the “Register to View” button.
Trialing details by year:
• 2012 – 1,655 varieties with more than 5,600 ratings from 8 trial grounds.
• 2013 – 2,463 varieties with more than 9,400 ratings from 12 trial grounds.
• 2014 – 3,651 varieties with more than 15,500 ratings from 19 trial grounds.
The initial idea for an online repository of trialing data came out of a collaboration between All-America Selections and the University of Georgia. After identifying and establishing standardized trialing protocols and scoring, the system was built in 2012 and is currently supported by the following breeding companies:
• American Takii
• Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm
• Dummen Group
• Ernst Benary of America
• Floranova Ltd.
• PanAmerican Seed/Ball Horticultural
• Proven Winners
• Sakata Ornamentals
• The Suntory Collection
• Syngenta Flowers
After three trialing seasons, the Plant Trials Database now includes more 30,000 ratings on thousands of varieties of annuals. This is expected to grow tremendously in the near future as additional breeding companies participate and as additional categories, such as perennials and edibles, are added to the system.
Jardin Daniel A. Sequin and the University of Guelph were among this year’s 19 trial sites throughout North America.
With trialing data and ratings on such a large number of varieties, brokers, growers and garden retailers will find this information useful when making purchasing decisions.
The data can be accessed by going to www.planttrials.org and filling out a short application form. Within a short time, applicants will be notified of their user credentials.
At this time, information is available only to the industry but eventually will become a tool for home gardeners as well.