Minnesota 2015 Grass Trial Results

National Grass Trials 2015 data Minnesota
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The 2015 growing season was long and almost perfect for Minnesota. The 17 switchgrass and 5 little bluestem in the National Grass Trails were fun to watch. Data is in the link above.

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Variation in ‘Cheyenne Sky’

‘Cheyenne Sky’ switchgrass is a medium sized switch with a lot of purple foliage. It has been one of my favorites in the trials but this spring there is a lot of variation in the 4 plants we have. Thee of the four are opening and falling over (lodging), see picture below. Too much rain this year? Mary Meyer in Minnesota FullSizeRender-5

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2014 growth data and average ratings

Cultivar Avg width

(cm)

Avg height

(cm)

Avg foliage rating Avg plant form rating Avg floral impact rating Avg fall color rating Avg landscape impact
Dewey Blue 241 195 2.5 1 4.5 na 2.8
Badlands 119 149 3.5 3.8 2.3 3.3 3.8
Cheyenne Sky 76 101 4 3.8 3 5 3.8
Cloud 9 311 271 5 4.5 5 na 5
Dallas Blues 220 232 3.5 3.8 5 na 5
Dust Devil 88 116 2 4.8 2.8 1 3.3
Heavy Metal 162 140 2.5 4 3 na 3.8
Hot Rod 40 61 1.5 2.5 1 1.5 1.5
Northwind 122 165 5 5 5 na 5
Prairie Fire 85 95 3.3 3.3 2.7 2 3.3
Prairie Sky 171 122 2 1.3 2 1 1.5
Rehbraun 159 122 3.8 4.3 2.5 na 4.5
Rotstrahlbusch 131 104 3.8 4.5 2.8 na 4.6
Ruby Ribbons 82 85 3.3 3.3 3.3 1,.5 2.8
Shenandoah 82 113 4.8 4.8 2.5 4.3 4.8
Thundercloud 256 244 5 4.3 5 na 5
Warrior 198 143 3.5 3.3 3.8 3.6 4
Carousel 85 76 4.8 3 4.3 5 3.5
Jazz 31 61 1 3 2 2 1
Prairie Blues 122 85 5 3 4.8 4.8 5
Minn Blue A 119 116 5 5 5 5 5
The Blues 134 110 5 3.7 5 5 5
               
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2014 Update from Florida

The four test sites in Florida (Quincy, Balm-Tampa, Fort Pierce and Fort Lauderdale) saw significant losses in grasses from 2013-2014.  Spring survival in 2014 was very low at all test sites.   Winter 2014 survival based on the number of plants transplanted at each site in 2012 was: Quincy had 50% survival; Balm had 47% survival; Fort Pierce had 29% survival; and Fort Lauderdale had 4% survival.     It appears that as you moved south in the state of FL survival decreased.  The cultivars still growing in Quincy were ‘Cheyenne Sky’, ‘Cloud Nine’,  ‘Heavy Metal’, and ‘Prairie Fire’.  The cultivar ‘Cloud Nine’ also was growing well in Balm and Fort Pierce.  The only cultivar that was still actively growing well in Fort Lauderdale was ‘Shenandoah’.  Because of the significant losses in grass cultivars, it was decided to end the trials in FL

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Vermont trials 2014

Vermont continues to provide an extreme test site for these grasses on the cold end of the spectrum.  Last winter (2013-14) had a severe ice storm (1in. or more on surfaces), but ground temperatures remained fairly average.  This winter (2014-15) may prove a serious hardiness test, with 14 days in January soil temps. below 28F, and 6 at 25F or below– the coldest temperatures in 25 years of recording in this zone.  This past summer (2014) also was cooler than normal, with only 4 days 90F or above, the highest being 93F, and no days in August at 90F or above.  So while the Panicum grew more than the previous year, with several decent performers (Dewey Blue, Northwind, Prairie Sky, Shenandoah, Thundercloud), overall many still had quite a bit of variability and weak growth.  The bluestems were fairly uniform among a cultivar, but cultivars varied widely in vigor, only a couple being really acceptable, very uniform and typical (Blaze, Blue Heaven with this by far the best with excellent fall color).

NOGT-Vermont 2014 data

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Colorado State University Grass Trials Data, 2014

Here are the results from Colorado State University for the National Ornamental Grass Trials.

Colorado State University 2014 NOGT Data

CSU NOGT Sept.2014

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2014 Comparison of Ornamental Grasses at Longwood Gardens

Grass Trials LWG 2014 links to the data collected at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA as of September 2014.

Panicum virgatum 'Warrior'

Panicum virgatum ‘Warrior’

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