A slideshow of lilies currently under evaluation at Valley K Lily Ranch resides on this page.  To make a good garden lily it must have:

  • Hardiness
  • Strong stems
  • Lots of flowers
  • Disease resistance
  • Longevity

sticks now, after massive hail pummeled these liliesWow, can Mother Nature be wicked when she wants to be! See the damage in photos here, all taken 12 and 16 hours AFTER the actual storm hit. I wasn't home when it happened - not sure if that's a good thing or not! I probably would have cried if I had been though, so perhaps it's a blessing.

 

Myke soil additiveWe did trials on some of our lily beds with this product in spring 2002, and the results were overwhelmingly positive! Our results were very comparable to what the company reports, most noticeable was the size of plant above ground and the root system below - larger than those planted without MYKE. Worthy of noting is that in Summer 2002 we experienced extreme drought conditions at our location, despite this the lilies planted with MYKE at their base that spring outperformed those planted without. Also, in Spring 2003 we established another new bed of lilies, and despite late spring planting these lilies were spectacular. Again, our location was suffering from very dry conditions until mid June that season. Many experienced lily growers were astounded to learn this new bed had been planted only months before.

 

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EXPERIENCES WITH GROWING THE NEWER LILY VARIETIES ON THE PRAIRIES (2002)

lily gardens at valley k

November 2003

I am very pleased to report that our hardiness trials over the winter of 2002 showed that the following interdivisional hybrids (Northern Star, Northern Beauty, Northern Carillon, Northern Sensation, Starburst Sensation, Easter Morn, Easter Dawn, Scheherazade , Leslie Woodriff, Catherine The Great, Creamy Belles, Fiery Belles, Ivory Belles, Silky Belles, Arabesque, and Silk Screen) mentioned in our previous article were hardy, with exception of Catherine The Great. I am most disappointed that Catherine didn't make it, despite spring planting and heavy mulch, as she was a particular favourite of mine. I will give up on Catherine now, and sell all remaining stock and remove her from our propagation schedule and catalog listing.

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THE CHALLENGES

The 2004 gardening year was a challenge, and quite disappointing for us, to say the least. The most outstanding (almost bizarre) point I found, was that our heavily mulched lilies were the first to sprout up, a full two weeks sooner than those not mulched. I find this bizarre because typically, the mulched areas sprout a full two weeks LATER than unmulched areas. The only reasonable explanation I have heard for their contradictory behavior comes from my husband, who says there was no frost under the snow at all, throughout the winter, as we received a heavy snowfall early in the winter which provided a cozy insulating blanket for the lilies all winter long. As he does excavation for a living on a year-round basis, he is completely familiar with ground, soils and all their charactaristics. His explanation is the only plausible one; the heavy snowfall insulated the ground well enough to keep it from freezing at all this winter.