2002 Annual Report

Horticulture Section

Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue
Dickinson, ND 58601

Nicotiana 'Avalon Bright Pink'
courtesy of All-America Selections


Barbara A. Laschkewitsch
Trial Garden Coordinator

Dr. Ronald C. Smith
Extension Horticulturist

Department of Plant Sciences
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND



Click here for:

Star Performers
Top Performers
Height & Spread Measurements
Visual Observations
Seed Source List

Site Information
Field Days



The Plant Sciences Department conducted performance trials on over 400 annual bedding plants during the 2001 growing season at three locations across North Dakota. In Fargo, the main trials are located in the plots on the west side of campus off 18th street north. The garden in Dickinson is located at the Dickinson Research Extension Center on State Avenue while the Williston plots are at the Williston Research Extension Center on the west side of Williston. The Williston and Dickinson sites have similar sandy, light soil while the Fargo plots consist of a heavy, clay soil. The weather in the western part of the state also tends to be drier and warmer than in the eastern part of the state. Some cultivars grow equally good (or bad) at all three locations while others show definite differences in performance between the three sites.


Cultivars were seeded in the horticulture and forestry greenhouses on the NDSU campus January through April. When at the proper stage, seedlings were transplanted in cells packs containing a peat-based growing media. Six to twelve plants of each cultivar were transplanted into the field at the Fargo plots on May 30 - June 5; in Dickinson on May 23, and in Williston on May 24, 2001. All plants were immediately watered in with Sterns Miracle-Gro® (15-30-15) (1) water soluble fertilizer.

Overhead irrigation was applied as needed in Fargo and Dickinson while Williston had drip irrigation in place.

Weeding was done by hand at all three stations but Round-up and Surflan AS were put down in Fargo for long term weed control.

Site Information


As stated earlier, the main trial garden is located in Fargo on the west edge of the NDSU campus off of 18th street north. The soil is heavy clay and irrigation is applied with overhead sprinklers when needed. The beds are in full sunlight so shade has been provided with shade cloth draped over conduit forms. A new shade/lathe house is in the plans for 2002 to provide a structure with easier access and better viewing. Table 1 shows weather data from Fargo in 2001.

Table 1. 2001 May - August Average Temperature and Precipitation for Fargo, ND.

Temperature (F) Precipitation (inches)
Average 2001 Average 1971 - 2000 Totals 2001 Average 1971 - 2001
May 58.5 57.4 2.61 2.61
June 66 66.0 2.31 3.51
July 73 70.6 3.36 2.88
August 71.5 69.0 2.26 2.52


The Dickinson trial garden is located on the site of the Research Extension Center off of State street. The soil here is a lighter, sandier soil than Fargo. In 2001, raised beds were added that had a nice, composted soil in them. These raised beds were located in both full sun and shade. Begonias and impatiens reacted well to the raised beds located in the shade. Table 2 shows weather data for Dickinson in 2001.

Table 2. 2001 May - August Average Temperature and Precipitation for Dickinson, ND.

Temperature (F) Precipitation (inches)
Average 2001 Average 1971 - 2000 Totals 2001 Average 1971 - 2001
May 56 53.4 1.59 2.24
June 62 62.4 6.29 3.57
July 71 68.1 3.60 2.20
August 72 67.3 0.02 1.65


The newest addition to our trial program is the site at Williston, ND. The garden itself is located on the grounds of the Research Extension Center west of Williston on Highway 2. The soil here is also lighter and sandier than Fargo and drip irrigation was used to provide supplemental water. Table 3 shows weather data for Williston for 2001.

Table 3. 2001 May - August Average Temperature and Precipitation for Williston, ND.

Temperature (F) Precipitation (inches)
Average 2001 Average 1971 - 2000 Totals 2001 Average 1971 - 2001
May 57.5 57.1 0.52 2.09
June 62.5 65.7 4.17 2.72
July 70.5 71.1 2.98 2.45
August 72 70.2 0.05 1.63


Plants were evaluated twice over the growing season for height, spread, vigor, uniformity, and overall appearance. In Fargo, the first evaluation took place on July 18 and 19 while the second one was August 30 through September 11, 2001. The Dickinson evaluations took place July 11 and August 24 and 25. In Williston plants were evaluated July 12 and August 24. The July evaluations in Dickinson and Williston took place during field days at the Research Extension Centers. Top performers from each site during each evaluation time are located on pages 5 through 9.

Field Days

The fifth annual flower, ornamental grasses and turfgrass field day was held Saturday, August 4, 2001 at the Fargo plots. The Williston and Dickinson Research Extension Centers conducted tours of the horticulture research areas in conjunction with field days at each of the stations.

The trial garden at NDSU is an official All-America Selections display garden and is open to the public throughout the growing season. Also on display are over 300 miscellaneous perennials that are evaluated over the season for bloom, vigor, winter hardiness and general overall quality. There is also an official display garden of the American Hemerocallis Society. Currently, there are over 1100 varieties of daylilies in this garden.


We would like to thank official supporters of the 2001 display gardens: Ernst Benary of America, Inc.; Grimes Seeds; All-America Selections; Ball Seed Co.; Pan American Seed; Bear Creek Gardens (Jackson and Perkins Wholesale); and Daehnfeldt, Inc. We hope the results from our trial gardens are beneficial in their research for new and improved cultivars.

Thanks also goes out to the following: Jeanne Brandvold, our student help in Fargo who's been a wonderful asset to our program for the past five years; Jerry Larson, county extension agent for Billings and Stark counties in western ND; Kris Ringwall and the staff of the Dickinson Research Extension Center; and Lorna Bradbury and the staff of the Williston Research Extension Center. The trial gardens would not be a reality without the help of these talented and dedicated individuals.

(1) Disclaimer- Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by NDSU or the North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station is implied.

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