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Gardeners Invited to Help Test New Varieties

A North Dakota family plants seeds in their home garden to help test new varieties. (NDSU Photo) A North Dakota family plants seeds in their home garden to help test new varieties. (NDSU Photo)
This program is great for those who enjoy gardening or have an interest to start gardening.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is looking for families to help test new vegetable, herb and cut-flower varieties in their backyard gardens. More than 200 families have participated in this program in past years, making this one of the largest research networks in America.

“Over 50 trials are available,” says Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension’s horticulturist for western North Dakota. “The best way to identify the finest varieties for gardeners in North Dakota is to test the varieties in the gardens of North Dakota.”

All gardeners are welcome to participate, including children.

Each trial consists of a comparison of two varieties. For example, the green bean trial compares the most popular green bean in the state, Bush Blue Lake 274, versus the new 2017 Bean of the Year award winner, Inspiration.

“The trials are easy to conduct,” says Kalb. “We want to know which variety germinated better, matured earlier, produced higher yields and tasted better. We want to know which of the varieties gardeners would recommend to other gardeners in our state.”

There is a fee of $1 per trial and seeds can be ordered online. To look at the seed catalog and learn more, search online for “North Dakota Home Garden Variety Trials” or visit

NDSU Agriculture Communication - May 3, 2017

Source:Tom Kalb, 701-221-6865,
Editor:Kelli Armbruster, 701-231-6136,
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