Standardized Trialing Protocol

Trial grounds will:

  • Provide a healthy and well-maintained growing environment
  • Fertilize as needed and/or directed by the breeder’s culture sheets
  • Spray for pests and diseases at the discretion of the trial manager. It is neither mandatory nor banned. Any plants sprayed for pests and diseases must be noted.
  • Dead-heading of flowers is neither mandatory nor banned but at the discretion of the trial manager.  However, plants such as pelargonium, and most daisies (zinnia, gazania, gerbera, dahlia, rudbeckia, etc) benefit from dead-heading.
  • Irrigate as needed, drip-irrigation is recommended where appropriate, but manual watering is acceptable.
  • Plants may be trialed in-ground, in containers and/or in hanging baskets; however the specifics must be noted in the online database, which will offer a 3-option drop-down menu.

 

Minimum Standard Trialing Requirements:
Trial managers will:

– Take a visual evaluation/score at least 3x per season.  The data should be taken by the same individual every time to reduce variability in scoring.

– Note the first score two weeks after planting and then at least two reasonable times later in the season.  Some trial gardens do many more data points, and all data points can be put on the site, however, three is the minimum.

– Use a 0-5 scale for providing a “horticultural rating”

  • 5 = excellent
  • 4 = above average
  • 3 = average
  • 2 = below average
  • 1 = poor
  • 0 = dead or nearly dead

– All the following traits will be considered when giving the rating:

  • Uniformity of habit and flowering
  • Flower numbers relative to others.  Flowers need not be counted, but “floriferousness” should be taken into account.
  • Insect resistance
  • Disease resistance
  • Uniqueness
  • Additional data
  • Height at least once during the season.
  • Provide at least one photo from the peak growing time

Results will be uploaded to the PlantTrials.org within a week of recording the trial results.