This year All-America Selections (AAS) announces seven national and two heartland vegetable award winners. To see pictures of these and other great plants visit the All-American Selection Website. Consider trying one of these great cultivars this year by purchasing seeds or transplants.
Cucumber ‘Green Light’ – This little beauty is an excellent mini cucumber, said many of the AAS Judges. Yield was higher than the comparison varieties with more attractive fruit, earlier maturity, and superior eating quality. Grow on stakes or poles for a productive, easy-to-harvest vertical garden that will yield 40 or more spineless fruits per plant.
Pick the fruits when they’re small, between 3-4” long, and you’ll be rewarded with great tasting cucumbers, even without peeling. Succession plantings will ensure a summer-long harvest.
Fun fact: This cucumber is parthenocarpic meaning the flowers are all female and the fruits are seedless without needing to be pollinated. Sources 6 & 8.
Pea ‘Snak Hero’ – Slender 4″ long pods have the straight and elongated appearance of a succulent green bean but the surprising taste and texture of a snap pea. Snak Hero is so super-sweet and delicious it would be no surprise if they never make it to the kitchen! Stringless, edible pods are perfect for healthy, garden-fresh snacking, stir-frying, or freezing for later.
18-24″ vines can be grown with or without support and are perfect for patio containers or hanging baskets. Frequent harvesting can easily bump up production for a long, substantial harvest window. Peas are a great early-season crop as they can be planted when soil temperatures are above 45 degrees F. Seed is not available yet.
Pumpkin ‘Blue Prince’ – Scored high in maturity (earlier), yield, fruit size, and uniformity, color, taste, and texture. Vigorous trailing vines produce 7-9 pound beautiful blue flattened pumpkins with non-stringy, deep orange flesh with savory sweetness.
These pumpkins are as pretty as they are delicious; after fall decorating, bake the flesh for a smooth and creamy treat. Of all the varieties trialed, Blue Prince was first to flower and fruit which is beneficial for gardeners with a shorter growing season.
Plus, this winner has slightly better disease resistance than the comparisons. A judge’s testimonial: “Overall, if I was looking for a blue pumpkin to display AND eat, I’d pick this entry every time!” Seed is not available yet.
Tomato ‘Apple Yellow’ – If you’ve never tried an apple-shaped tomato, now is the time. This AAS Winner offers incredible garden performance, a uniquely dimpled apple-shaped fruit with a deliciously sweet citrusy taste and firm, meaty texture.
Indeterminate 5’ tall vines produce abundantly in clusters, resulting in up to 1,000 1-1.5 inch fruits per plant. The fruits are an eye-catching, bright, lemon yellow color reminiscent of the “Big Apple’s” taxi-cab colors.
Judges were excited that a non-splitting, long-holding, uniformly shaped tomato had such good eating quality. With just the right balance of sugar and acid flesh in a firm exterior, Apple Yellow would be perfect stuffed with a savory cheese for a delicious appetizer. Seed is not available yet.
Tomato ‘Celano’ – A patio type grape tomato with a strong bushy habit. It is best grown with some support, such as a tomato cage. This semi-determinate hybrid tomato is an early producer of sweet oblong fruits weighing about 0.6 oz. each.
Plants grow to 40” in height and spread to 24” and have excellent late blight tolerance. In comparing it to other grape tomatoes on the market, one judge summed it up by saying “… is sweeter, the texture is better, the color is deeper, the plants are healthier, and the yield is phenomenal.” Sources – 6 & 8.
Tomato ‘Early Resilience’ – A rounded Roma tomato with a deep red interior color, uniform maturity and good quality flesh for canning and cooking. Determinate, bushy plants can be staked but it is not necessary. The
AAS Judges noted that this variety was very resistant to Blossom End Rot, resulting in a high yield and less fruit loss.
Similar great taste as the comparisons but a much healthier plant and fruits. Resistant to V1, F2, early blight, grey leaf spot; tolerant to bacterial canker, Xathomonas ssp. and Phytophthora. Source – 8.
Watermelon ‘Mambo’ – Grows and yields well even in cool cloudy conditions! Perfectly round melons with a beautiful dark green rind and deep red flesh. The sweet crisp flesh is extremely tasty and holds well (doesn’t overripen) if you can’t harvest them right away.
Each 9” fruit will weigh about 11 pounds at maturity, which is only 75 days from transplant. A smaller seed cavity means you almost get the look of a seedless melon but the superior taste of a seeded melon.
The AAS Judges agree this is one of the easiest watermelons they’ve grown because of high seed germination and vigorously healthy vines. Sources – 4 & 6.
Tomato ‘Chef’s Choice Bicolor’ – The first bicolor tomato in the Chef’s Choice series is here! Indeterminate plants produce large 7-8 ounce flattened beefsteak fruits with beautiful pinkish-red internal stripes within a yellow flesh. The lovely stripes extend to the base of the outer fruit skins.
These heirloom looking tomatoes are as sweet as they are beautiful with a better flavor and texture than the comparisons. Gardeners will enjoy earlier maturity and more uniform fruits that hold up all season long, producing well into September in the Heartland. As with all the colors in the Chef’s Choice series, each plant can produce about 30 fruits per season. Source – 8.
Tomato ‘Galahad’ – A new variety with a high level of Late Blight resistance, bred from parent plants that are both resistant.
Galahad is a high-yielding, great tasting tomato that grows on a strong sturdy plant. Judges agreed that the sweet, meaty flavor is better than that of the comparison varieties and boasts of being crack resistant.
Broad shoulders (just like Sir Galahad?) and large, clean fruits grow on a highly productive, disease-resistant plant. Certainly, a variety you’ll want to use in your battle for tomato greatness. Sources – 1, 2, 3, 7 & 8.
Plant sources include
- Garden Trends
- Harris Seeds
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds
- J.W. Jung Seed
- Otis S. Twilley Seed
- Park Seed
- Territorial Seeds
- Totally Tomatoes
Note – Credit all images to All-American Selections