California Spring Trials – Monday

Yesterday we visited Sakata Seeds in Salinas and Floranova in Lompoc. At Sakata, I was very pleased to see that they’ve added more varieties to their Petchoa SuperCal® series. The varieties in this nice series are crosses between Calibrachoa and Petunia. If you haven’t tried them growing them yet, you’ll want to in the future, because they exhibit all the best traits of both genera. The SuperCals have the flower power and non-sticky leaves of Calibrachoa, and the better pH adaptablilty and larger flowers of Petunias. New for 2013 are 3 varieties: SuperCal Artist Rose, Blushing Pink and Violet. SuperCal’s make great baskets and containers, but also have proven performance in garden beds.

We also spent time discussing the attributes of the sun-loving New Guinea Impatiens series called SunPatiens®. They’ve been on the market for a few years now and are increasing in sales momentum as growers, landscapers and home gardeners gain experience growing them. SunPatiens come in 3 different types: compact, vigorous and upright, so there is a place for them in just about every setting. We learned that the SunPatiens varieties are not only unique because they thrive in full sun, but also their root system differs from other New Guinea Impatiens. They form more of a columnar root that can grow down to almost 2 feet, helping them to become more firmly established. New in SunPatiens this upcoming year are Compact Electric Orange, Vigorous Blush Pink and an improved Compact White.

Floranova’s trial this year featured their recent foray into home garden vegetables with their Vegetalis patio vegetable product line. Be sure to check out Cayennetta Pepper, a 2012 All-American Selections winning cayenne chili pepper, a nice patio pepper that is loaded with colorful fruit. I was intrigued with the newest addition to their Ikon begonias called Ikon Bronze. The plants are vigorous and produce pendulous pink blossoms that nicely offset the dark bronze foliage. It’ll be a great item for large patio planters and hanging baskets.

Today we’ll be visiting Gro Link, Westhoff, Plant Haven, and PanAmerican Seed, all located in the Ventura area, so stay tuned!


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