Mission


The Georgia heat trial, Hidden Gardens, was established in order to assist breeders in the early stage selection of heat tolerant breeding material, as well as the screening of potential commercial cultivars.   Plants trialed here are subjected to the most rugged and unforgiving outdoor conditions the Southeast has to offer, with soaring temperatures and extreme humidity.  Average temperature readings of well over 90F can be expected for 70-80 days each summer with overnight lows hovering in the 70's.  It is under these conditions that plants are evaluated for characteristics including earliness to flower, flower size, flower retention, habit, uniformity, and disease and insect resistance.  Research and data collection can be specifically tailored to the needs of your organization. 


Deliverables


Shipping of rooted cuttings for each season begins in February/ March.  As many as 700 test cultivars representing many genera are received as rooted cuttings, potted into 4" containers, and grown in the greenhouse until after risk of frost.  Plants are transplanted in mid-April to ground beds and/or 7 gallon pots, and evaluated through the entire growing season on a bi-weekly basis.  Plants are rated on a scale of 1-5 (5= excellent, 1= very poor) for number of flowers and overall appearance.  Evaluations begin in June and continue through the end of October.  Current competitive commercial cultivars are included whenever possible for commercial performance comparison.  Breeders receive real time updates on the test varieties they submit for trialing. Both performance data and photographs of cultivars are sent as they are collected throughout the summer.  Final results on each cultivar are compiled and presented in a user friendly, graphical format accompanied by photographs to demonstrate full season plant performance. 


Sample Data (Can not be viewed on mobile device)


 
           




















Geranium Cultivar
Data Point
6-12-12
6-21-12
7-10-12
7-27-12
8-7-12
8-30-12
Experimental 

Geranium

Number of

umbels with

at least 1

floret open

2
7
25
4
4

5


Petal Burn

none- 0%

some-33%

a lot- 50%

severe- 75%

none
some
some
some
none
none

Leaf Yellowing

(Y/N)

n
some marginal
slight marginal
marginal w/ a small amount due to Botrytis
n
some due to Botrytis

Visible Disease Symptoms

(Y/N)

n
n
n
small amount of Botrytis
n
small amount of Botrytis

Oedema on Leaves-

none-0%

some-33%

a lot- 50%

severe- 75%

none
none
none
none
none
none

Insect Damage
no
no
no
no
no
bud worms

Overall Appearance: Rank 1-5 (1= very poor, 5= very good)
3.5
4
4.5
3.5- plants look healthier than most at this time, but not much color
3.5
3.5

Our Services


    6-21-12                         7-5-12                            7-19-12                           8-2-12                           8-23-12


Comments (tub)8/7 filling pot and spilling over the sides; very good vigor and flowering all the way up the stems; very healthy; light red color; 2nd best red in this group Comments (ground)6/12 vigorous; poor branching; healthy foliage; not terribly floriferous and not too many buds 6/26 uniform; healthy; some fading, but a lot of flowers are holding color; larger flowers
8/7 plants are healthy with good vigor; just beginning to vine out; large flowers with small leaves, but the majority of the flowers are at the bottom of the plants

   Bloom Detail

          6-21-12                      7-5-12                       7-19-12                       8-2-12                     8-23-12

Research and Development is synonymous with quality assurance!