NDSU Extension - Griggs County

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January 5

 The Extension Connection

By Megan Vig

Our mailbox at home has been packed these past weeks with holiday greeting cards and nursery catalogs. While the holiday cards are reminders we are still in the middle of the winter months, the nursery catalogs carry my imagination forward to feelings of sun warmth and gritty soil between my fingers. As you peruse your nursery catalogs, consider reviewing the North Dakota home garden variety trial results to make wise purchasing decisions for your 2018 garden. The first step in growing a successful garden is to select a superior variety.

The results generated from the trials are from a team of volunteer gardeners in North Dakota and surrounding states. The volunteers evaluated vegetable, herb and cut flower varieties. Participating gardeners compared two varieties per trial they selected for germination rate, plant health, earliness, yield and quality of harvested product. Further, gardeners were asked which of the two varieties they preferred and which, if any, they would recommend to other gardeners. Annual reports are generated from their feedback and available to North Dakota gardeners looking to make wise variety selections for their gardens.

Home garden variety results date back to 2008, with a report and summary available for each year. This information can be found at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/homegardenvarietytrials/results. Recommended vegetable cultivars for North Dakota can be found at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ homegardenvarietytrials/documents/recommendations2018.pdf; use this report to compare your seed list to. Promising cultivars are listed for asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, melon, okra, onion, pea, pepper, potato, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash, sweet potato, swiss chard, tomato, turnip, and watermelon.

All gardeners are welcome to join the team of backyard researchers. Visit www. ag.ndsu.edu/ homegardenvarietytrials/ to find information on what will be available for trials in 2018.

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