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GardenSMART :: New All-America Selections for 2017

New All-America Selections for 2017

By Diane Blazek for All-America Selections
Photographs courtesy of AAS

All-America Selections, the only trialing organization for plants that demonstrate great garden performance throughout North America, presents the first five AAS Winners for the 2017 garden season.

Each of the following award-winning varieties was trialed in North America by professional, independent judges during one growing season. Each AAS entry is trialed next to one or two comparison varieties that are considered best-in-class among those currently on the market. 

This first group of AAS Winners for 2017 includes:

Celosia Asian Garden (National Winner)
Okra Candle Fire F1 (National Winner)
Pea Patio Pride (Regional Winner)
Squash Honeybaby F1 (Regional Winner)
Watermelon Mini Love F1 (National Winner)

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Celosia Asian Garden

Celosia Asian Garden (National Winner)

This spiked beauty claimed victory in North America’s trial sites to become the first ever AAS Winner from Japanese breeding company Murakami Seed. The judges gave this entry high marks in the greenhouse for the good branching, almost bushy growth habit and early-to-bloom flower spikes. In the garden, Asian Garden celosia continued to bloom on sturdy stems, keeping the bright pink color all summer long, holding up even through some of the first frosts of the season. The AAS Judges commented on the fact that this celosia was a pollinator-magnet, making this AAS Winner a sure bet for pollinator-friendly gardens. Bred by Murakami Seed Co., Ltd.

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Okra Candle Fire F1

Okra Candle Fire F1 (National Winner) 

A unique red okra with pods that are round, not ribbed, and a brighter red color than the reddish burgundy okras currently available. This high-performing AAS Winner received high marks for productivity, taste, texture and tenderness as well as the ornamental value of red pods on red stems. One judge noted that Candle Fire okra was quite maintenance free to grow, except for the frequent harvesting, which is a great thing! Candle Fire thrives in the heat and is disease resistant even in hot humid climates like the south where it’s perfect for traditional fried okra. Bred by Known-You Seed Co. Ltd.

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Pea Patio Pride

Pea Patio Pride (Regional Winner-Southeast) 

This compact beauty produces sweet, uniform pods that are very tender when harvested early. With only 40 days needed to maturity, Patio Pride can be one of your first spring harvests, or one of the last fall harvests from your Southeastern garden! This pea is wonderful when planted in containers and is ideal for succession planting yielding a consistent harvest over many weeks. Plant in patio containers with cool season flowers for a beautiful combination ornamental and edible display.  Direct seeding is recommended; seed 3-4 seeds every 6 inches then thin to one seedling every 6-8 inches. Bred by Terra Organics.

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Squash Honeybaby F1

Squash Honeybaby F1 (Regional Winner-Heartland)

Honeybaby is a very productive variety of winter squash producing numerous fruits on a compact plant. These shorter vines grow 2-3 feet in a semi-bush habit showing great garden vigor which results in healthier plants that resisted powdery mildew later into the season, especially in the Southeast. Short, wide fruits are slightly larger, sweet and nutty and more meaty than similar comparison varieties. Honeybaby is delicious steamed, baked or made into soups and stews. Plant as soon as soil temperatures reach 65 degrees to ensure maturity in 90-100 days. Bred by Seeds By Design.

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Watermelon Mini Love F1

Watermelon Mini Love F1 (National Winner) 

This personal-sized Asian watermelon is perfect for smaller families and smaller gardens. Shorter vines (3-4’) still produce up to six fruits per plant and can be grown in smaller spaces. Several judges commented on the crack and split resistant rinds, important for reducing crop loss. For culinary purposes this deep red-fleshed watermelon has a thin but strong rind that can be carved into attractive shapes for fruit salad presentations. Mini Love has a high sugar content resulting in sweet and crisp, juicy flesh that will be a true summer delight for watermelon lovers. Bred by HM. Clause.

A complete list of all AAS Winners since 1932 can be found here.

For more information, visit All-America Selections.


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