All-America Selections has released its 2009 award winning vegetables and flowers. These four plants have been grown in trial gardens throughout the United States and judged for their superior performance.
AAS is a not-for-profit organization made up of seed companies and educators. Plants or seeds for these 2009 AAS winners should be available at garden centers, mail order catalogs or on line retailers for spring planting. Here’s the list:
‘Gretel,’ is an early, white mini eggplant (Solanum melongena). The ideal picking size is 3 to 4 inches when the teardrop fruit is sweet and the skin tender. The fruit has few seeds. The plant is about 3 feet tall and wide. It should do fine in a container about 16 inches deep. This would make a nice companion to ‘Hansel,’ an AAS winner in 2008.
‘Honey Bear’ acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a compact, bushy plant about 3 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide. This squash plant does not have vines. The name refers to the sweet flavor of the fruit. Each plant has three to five fruit per bush, a high yield because of ‘Honey Bear’s resistance to powdery mildew, a common squash disease. Bred for baking, each dark green squash weighs about a pound.
‘Lambkin’ is a melon (Cucumis melo) with white, fragrant, juicy, sweet flesh. The low-growing plant has a 6-foot spread and produces fruit early, within 75 days after transplanting to the garden. The melon, with a mottled yellow-green thin rind, weighs 2 to 3 pounds.
‘Rain Blue and Purple’ Johnny jump-up (Viola cornuta) won the bedding
plant flower category, cited for its heat tolerance. This viola blooms in spring and summer in northern gardens and fall and winter in the south. ‘Rain Blue and Purple’ has a trailing habit, spreading up to 14 inches. It is about 6 inches tall. It can be grown in the ground or in containers or window boxes. Johnny jump-ups are ideal companion plants for spring bulbs.
For more information about these and other winners, please visit the All-America Selections Web site.
All Photos courtesy All-America Selections.