CSU’s Annual Flower Trial Garden aims to help Colorado gardeners

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Growing plants in Colorado is difficult for many gardeners due to the state’s hot, dry and unpredictable summer weather that can also include hail and monsoon rains.

“It definitely is a challenge to grow in Colorado,” said Jim Klett, professor of horticulture at Colorado State University.

Klett helps run the Annual Flower Trial Garden at CSU.

“The trial garden here is to trial annuals and perennials to see how they perform in the Rocky Mountain and High Plains region,” said Klett.

More than 1,300 varieties of annuals and perennials are planted at the garden. They are evaluated on overall growth, bloom and hardiness. Then, they are judged.

Klett says judges include “industry folks from greenhouses, nurseries, seed companies, vegetative companies, plus master gardeners.”

Once the best flowers are selected, the information about what grows best in Colorado is distributed.

“The information we gather today will go out to our growers,” said Klett. “Then, we will also get it out to the consumers in the spring when everybody is all enthusiastic about gardening.”

The results from this year’s garden will be made available for free in mid-September.

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