Archive | November 8, 2013

Nine Additional All-America Selections Winners!

Reprinted with Permission of the National Garden Board:

All-America Selections
Announces Nine Additional
Winners for 2014


DOWNERS GROVE, IL – November 8, 2013

All-America Selections (AAS) judges have again finished a rigorous year of trialing and now the AAS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the newest AAS Winners. For the first time in AAS history, the organization is recognizing regional performance and granting an AAS Regional Winner designation to five new Winners:

The Regional Winners are:
Penstemon ‘Arabesque Red’ F1 (Heartland, Mountain/Southwest and West/Northwest)
Sunflower ‘Suntastic’ F1 (Great Lakes)
Cucumber ‘Pick a Bushel’ F1 (Heartland and Great Lakes)
Pumpkin ‘Cinderella’s Carriage’ F1 (Southeast, Great Lakes and Mountain/Southwest)
Tomato ‘Mountain Merit’ F1 (Heartland)

The entries that did well in a majority of regions are designated as traditional National Winners and those are:
Petunia ‘African Sunset’ F1
Pepper ‘Mama Mia Giallo’ F1
Tomato ‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ F1
Tomato ‘Fantastico’ F1

All of these winners were trialed next to similar varieties that are currently on the market. The AAS Judges do a side-by-side analysis of growth habit, disease resistance and more to determine if these entries were truly better than those already available to home gardeners. Only those flower entries with superior garden performance or the vegetables with superior taste and garden performance are given the AAS stamp of approval.

A complete list of trial grounds and judges can be found here:

A complete list of all AAS Winners since 1932 can be found here:
NEW! Website feature: AAS Winners are now sortable by either National or Regional Winners. Prior to 2014, all Winners were National Winners.

Penstemon ‘Arabesque Red’ F1
AAS Regional Flower Winner
(Heartland, Mountain/Southwest, West/Northwest)

Another AAS Winner for the pollinator garden that the hummingbirds will love! Plus, the first ever penstemon to become an AAS Winner in more than eighty years of trialing. This beauty is a season-long repeat bloomer with large tubular blooms almost one inch across on strong vigorous stems. ‘Arabesque Redä’ is best started indoors then transplanted for a longer bloom time. Great for combination containers and can be used as an annual or as a perennial for gardens in zones 6-9. Bred by Syngenta Flowers.

Growers looking for a unique item for the “after-bedding” season should consider this penstemon. Judges said this product is great for greenhouse or field container production. Retailers will be thrilled with the impact the bright red and white flowers make while on display.
Sunflower ‘Suntastic’ F1
AAS Regional Bedding Plant Winner

(Great Lakes)

‘Suntastic’ is a new dwarf sunflower perfect as a cheery long-blooming potted plant or window box accent or maybe to add a burst of color to a sunny garden bed. Gardeners will love the number of flowers each plant produces: up to twenty 5-6 inch flowers per plant in three successive blooming periods. ‘Suntastic’ will bloom in less than 65 days after sowing so by starting indoors, sunflower lovers can get their favorite bloom fix early in the summer. Bred by Clause S.A.

Cucumber ‘Pick-A-Bushel’ F1
AAS Regional Vegetable Winner

(Heartland, Great Lakes)

This Regional AAS Winner is great for northern areas because it is early to set fruit, offers a prolific quantity of fruit and is a compact bush-type cucumber spreading only about 24 inches. ‘Pick a Bushel’ offers a sweeter tasting light-green cucumber with a nice firm texture, perfect for pickling when harvested early. Fruits left on the bush-type vines longer can get up to 6” long and can be enjoyed fresh in salads. For those gardeners looking for a cucumber that can be grown in patio containers, ‘Pick a Bushel’ is a great option. Bred by Seeds By Design and W. Atlee Burpee Co.

Pumpkin ‘Cinderella’s Carriage’ F1
AAS Regional Vegetable Winner

(Southeast, Great Lakes, Mountain/Southwest)

‘Cinderella’s Carriage’ is a dream come true for any princess-loving child who wants to grow their own fairy tale type pumpkin. This brightly colored pumpkin is the first hybrid Cinderella-type pumpkin on the market which results in a higher yield as well as Powdery Mildew resistance in the garden. Robust and vigorous vines grown in traditional hills produce large fruits ranging from 18-20 pounds, creating a whole grouping of carriages for all the princesses in your family! Bred by Seeds By Design

Tomato ‘Mountain Merit’ F1
AAS Regional Vegetable Winner


‘Mountain Merit’ was judged by growers in the Heartland region as a superior tomato because it is such a nice all-around tomato, perfect for slicing and sandwiches. With a 4-5 week harvest window, these dark red fruits grow on a determinate, compact, uniform plant and offers superb disease resistance to multiple diseases common to home grown tomatoes.

Bred by North Carolina State University, produced by Bejo Seeds Inc.

Petunia ‘African Sunset’ F1
AAS National Bedding Plant Winner

‘African Sunset’ wowed the judges with an attractive, “designer color” in shades of orange flowers that proved itself against other similarly colored petunias currently available. Gardeners are always looking for a petunia that grows evenly and uniformly in the garden while producing a prolific number of blooms all season long and this beauty certainly fills that need. Many of our judges want this in plantings for their alma mater so if your school colors include orange, this one is for you! Bred by Takii & Co., Ltd.

‘African Sunset’ is a great option for growers looking for an orange seed petunia for combination plantings.
Pepper ‘Mama Mia Gaillo’ F1
AAS National Vegetable Winner

Judges declared this a “great yellow pepper” because of the huge yield, uniform shape and smooth skin of the long tapered fruits and the beautiful yellow/gold color when mature. ‘Mama Mia Giallo’ has a nice sweet flavor that is excellent either fresh or roasted. For gardeners eager for their harvest, this pepper offers ripe fruits 85 days after transplanting. An added bonus is the somewhat compact 24” plant that takes up less space and offers disease tolerance to Tobacco mosaic virus. Bred by Seeds By Design

Tomato ‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ F1
AAS National Vegetable Winner

‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ F1 is a hybrid derived from the popular heirloom ‘Amana Orange’ which matures late in the season. Now you can experience the wonderful flavor of an orange heirloom tomato in only 75 days from transplant. Its disease resistance is an added bonus. ‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ has a wonderful bright, almost neon, internal color and superior flesh taste and texture for an early maturing orange tomato. Excellent for soups and sauces because the intense color does not fade or discolor when cooked. Home chefs are going to love cooking with this variety as well as eating it fresh. Bred by Seeds By Design

Tomato ‘Fantastico’ F1
AAS National Vegetable Winner

‘Fantastico’ is a must for any market grower or home gardener looking for an early-maturing, high-yielding grape tomato with built-in Late Blight Tolerance. Bred for small gardens, determinate ‘Fantastico’ will work great in hanging baskets, container gardens as well as in small gardens. Long clusters of sweet tasty fruits are held toward the outside of the plant, making them very easy to harvest but if you let them go a few days past peak, these little beauties resist cracking better than the comparisons used in the AAS trials. Bred by Pro-Veg Seeds

Other recently announced AAS Winners:

July 2013                                                                                          January 2013
Gaura ‘Sparkle White                                      Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Hot Cherry’
Bean ‘Mascotte’                                           Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Deep Salmon’
November 2012                                                                                      July 2012

Melon ‘Melemon’ F1                                               Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ F1
Tomato ‘Jasper’ F1                                                       Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
Watermelon ‘Harvest Moon’ F1
Geranium ‘Pinto Premium White to Rose’ F1