NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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North Dakota Home Garden Variety Trials

North Dakota Home Garden Variety TrialsThe recent warm weather stretch has the snow melting and the area looking more like spring every day.  Are you getting Spring Fever and beginning to think about your garden this summer?  The first step to growing a great garden is to choose the best varieties suitable for North Dakota. 

Each year Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension horticulturist, organizes the North Dakota Home Garden Variety Trials.  These trials allow home gardeners to compare two different varieties of a particular vegetable or fruit.  The seeds are provided to growers for a small fee and in turn they must take notes throughout the growing season on the similarities or differences such as germination, diseases, yields and taste and submit the results at the end of the year.  Last year alone, 320 families tested promising varieties in their backyard gardens.  I participated in a few different trials in my garden last summer and found it quite enjoyable to watch them grow and discover which variety I preferred.  These trials not only provide a reasonably priced option for growers to plant known varieties to North Dakota it also helps gardeners make the best choice for future varieties. 

The 2020 full report from gardeners across the state can be found online, which is what is used to make the recommendations for 2021.  I print this off every year before heading to the garden center to purchase seeds for my garden.  If you are looking to try something new this spring, consider participating in the Home Garden Variety Trials through NDSU Extension.  To participate in the trials or for more information visit: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/homegardenvarietytrials.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/seeds-sow-garden-cross-gardening-1302793/  (downloaded 2/26/21)

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