In local demonstration gardens, new plant varieties and gardening practices are evaluated for suitability to our local growing conditions and soils.Gardening practices used in KCMGA's demonstration gardens include cultural practices (composting, mulching, soil testing, etc. ), integrated pest management and rainwater harvesting. Demonstration gardens differ from trial gardens (see below) in that they are restricted to a local area without the benefit of data from other areas. In addition, the data collection and record keeping associated with demonstration gardens is usually less formal than that required in trial gardens. Kaufman County Master Gardeners maintain several demonstration gardens at the Garden Learning Center and at several community gardens.
Trial gardens are grown specifically for the purpose of testing and evaluating plants in the natural conditions of a specific area. During trials, Master Gardeners are restricted to basic cultural maintenance like pruning and mulching. Additional water, fertilizer or pesticides cannot be used. At the end of the trial, which is conducted at a number of sites all around Texas, the data is collated and analyzed by scientists at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. A committee made up of horticulturist from Texas A&M and other universities and the horticulture industry then decides which of the tried varieties will be added to recommendation lists for each area. KCMGA participated in a 3-year trial for EarthKind® roses.