Veggies rule: All-America Selections selects new batch of winners

2012-12-09T17:00:00Z 2012-12-10T03:08:36Z Veggies rule: All-America Selections selects new batch of winnersBy MELODY PARKER, melody.parker@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

All-America Selections has announced a second batch of winners for the 2013.

In July, the trialing organization announced that “South Pacific Scarlet,” the first FI hybrid canna from seed, and

Echinacea “Cheyenne Spirit,” a first-year flowering coneflower, had made the grade in garden testing.

In tune with America’s trend back to home gardening, three of the four new winners are from the vegetable category (although two are actually considered fruits and another one is debatable). The fourth plant on the list is a geranium.

According to AAS, each winners was trialed next to two or three other similar varieties that are currently on the market. AAS judges grew each entry and did side-by-side comparisons of growth habit, taste, disease resistance and additional characteristics to determine if these were truly better than those already available to home gardeners. Those entries with superior garden performance (and taste, for edibles) were honored with the AAS designation.

Consumers will find this seed for sale in the coming months as supply becomes available with catalog companies, in seed packets, from mail order companies and various websites. AAS winners also will be available as bedding plants this spring.

Here are descriptions provided by AAS:

Geranium “Pinto Premium White to Rose” — Not only is the flower coloration of white changing to rose unique and ombre-like but the numerous 5-inch blooms are long-lasting and slightly earlier than similar varieties. Judges liked the full, dense plants that are well-branched with dark green zone coloration on leaves. The geranium performed well in extreme heat. Bred by Syngenta Flowers, Inc.

Melon “Melemon” F1 — The earliness, high yield on healthy, strong plants and superior taste all contributed to this melon becoming an AAS winner. Judges related the taste of this melon to honeydew but with a surprising and delicious tanginess. A uniform fruit shape makes it perfect for market growers as well as home gardeners. Each personal-sized fruit has refreshing crisp flesh and a unique sweet and tart taste. Bred by Known-You Seed Co., Ltd.

Tomato, Cherry “Jasper” F1 — Excellent taste, a long harvest window and outstanding performance in the trials contributes to this tomato’s success. Judges liked the texture and sweetness of the tomato as well as the uniformity of the fruits that grow on vigorous, healthy plants. “Jasper” is a high-yielding variety with fruits that stay on the vine then hold well after ripening both on the vine and post-harvest. Vigorous vines require little or no fertilization. An added bonus is high disease resistance to Late Blight, Fusarium races 1, 2 and Early Blight plus the ability to overcome weather-related stresses. Bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Watermelon ‘Harvest Moon’ F1 — The first-ever hybrid, triploid seedless watermelon to win the AAS award. Similar to the popular heirloom variety, “Moon and Stars” “Harvest Moon” is an improvement in that it features healthy, shorter vines that produce medium-sized fruits and sweet, crisp pinkish-red flesh. The melon retains the familiar dark green rind with yellow dots, but is seedless, earlier to ripen, higher yielding and better tasting. This high-value item is great for bedding plant growers as a transplant item. Bred by Seeds By Design.

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