WREC Horticultural Program
A small fruit production project was initiated in 2003. In
cooperation with NDSU Plant Sciences, sixteen grape varieties
evaluated for winter hardiness.
Included in this trial are some of the
hardiest juice and jelly grapes; Valiant, King of the North, and the
wine grape E.S.12-18-86. These will
be compared with some less hardy but more desirable wine grapes such as LaCrescent, Prairie Star, E.S., Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Sabrevois, and Hasansky
Sladky, plus a table grape, Somerset Seedless and a juice grape,
Bluebell. Some unnamed varieties from U of Minnesota are also included
in the trial. This project was made possible with funds from APUC.
second portion of the project, everbearing and June bearing strawberries
, along with raspberries, juneberries and rhubarb were also planted.
These high value crops will be assessed for cultural practices, yield,
and quality of fruit for sales in both the fresh fruit market and the
emerging wine industry. Funding for this part of the project came from
Williston Basin RC&D and Wal-Mart.
Horticultural plantings at WREC include an All America
Selections trial garden, landscaping demonstration plantings of grasses
and drought tolerant plant species, a demonstration of three varieties
of echinacea and more than 150 entries of NDSU's historic world
collection of daylilies.
New shelterbelt plantings, established in 1997,
demonstrate three methods of tree weed control; clean cultivation,
natural mulches, and plastic mulches. In 2003, the trees in plastic
mulch were interplanted with warm season and cool season grasses to
determine whether grass or clean cultivation would be the best
maintenance practice in shelterbelts. A woody floral species
conservation planting was established in 2004 with a demonstration of
weed control fabrics. An apple orchard with conventional varieties and
new introductions and a soil conservation service planting of
experimental introductions complete the tree plantings at WREC.
Lorna Bradbury, Horticulturist
Williston Research Extension Center