2023 Trial Garden

Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society Trial Garden Report for 2023

By Debbie Hatt, Secretary

We could go on and on about the weather, but we won’t.  Only to say that we saw something this year that we never have seen before and that was ‘sunburning’ on the tops of the dahlias.  Thrips and other bugs cause an ethical dilemma for most of us; we can spray and potentially kill the beneficial pollinators or grind our teeth in frustration when we look at the damage.  The organic solutions have only a minor effect and generally you must re-apply them every day.  I’m not sure what the solution is.  I have assuaged my conscious by only applying an insecticide in the two weeks before show time but I still feel guilty.

Our Trial Garden in Alberta has been on the private property of Lorne & Marilyn McArthur since its inception and we have decided to move it to a more public location.  We have a committee who has scouted a couple of locations and we hope to have the trial garden moved by the 2025 growing season, perhaps to one of the local colleges.

Part of the benefit of having the Trial Garden is the opportunity to teach through workbees and judging classes. The new learning modules on the ADS website have been a great hit with our members and we have an active group working their way through the judging program. We are very fortunate to have some very experienced and learned members (Lorne & Marilyn McArthur, Ken Jensen and Eileen Grant, Reg Powys-Lybbe) who guide us along.  We have work bees every Wednesday where members can learn hands-on while tying, disbudding, weeding and judging.  The work bees also include potting and transplanting the tubers in the Spring and digging and storage in the fall. In 2023 we started having ‘Mini-lessons’ following the work bees with handouts and discussion groups. You can learn a lot in thirty minutes!

Trial Garden by Year

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