Every year, the All-America Selections (AAS) Trials produce winners in both the ornamental category as well as the edible trial. With the continued interest in food gardening by the estimated 16 million new home gardeners, now’s the time to try some of the newest breeding efforts that exhibited outstanding garden performance by the AAS judges in 2021.
Will this Buffy from Known-You Seeds fend off blood-sucking supernatural beings? We’re not sure, but we do know it’s one delicious hot pepper. “I dig this fiery little pepper,” says one judge. “I have nothing negative to say about this variety,” says another. This ‘Buffy’ will produce a good yield of juicy, thick-walled green-to-red fruits on strong, healthy, upright plants. Fruits on a ‘Buffy’ are more attractive than the comparisons as well as slightly larger, making them perfect for flavorful sport peppers but also for use in other applications. The peppers are held high on the plant, adding ornamental value to the garden.
A.P. Whaley’s ‘Purple Zebra’ tomato is a fun new addition to striped tomatoes, producing tomatoes that are rich with complex flavors and a moderately firm texture. Dark-red fruits with green stripes and a deep mahogany-red interior do not produce muddy coloration like other tomatoes of this type. The taste is sweet and acidic leaning to sweet. Overall, this tomato has a better taste and thinner skin than comparisons with excellent disease resistance. Judges in the know say this is a very marketable fruit for farmers’ market growers. It has high disease resistance to Tomato Mosaic Virus, Verticillium Wilt Va/Vd, Fusarium Wilt Race 1, Leaf Mold A-E, Late Blight PH2/PH3, and intermediate resistance to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.
This is the first AAS Award Winner from the container edible trial, created by Tozer Seeds. It is mighty, strong, hot, and quick. What more might one want in a hot Thai-type pepper? ‘Quickfire’ peppers produce plenty of hot, delicious fruits on a compact, sturdy plant that is perfect for container gardening. There is no staking required. This pepper has tremendous ornamental value but was bred for its taste and yield. This pepper will make a great addition to container and patio vegetable programs.
‘Dragonfly’ pepper plants from Bejo Seeds produce beautiful purple peppers that have thick, sweet walls. Similar to the beloved dragonfly that flits around your garden, this pepper transforms itself from a green pepper into a purple fruit that is as delicious at the green stage of maturity as it is when fully purple and mature. Overall, it’s a much better purple color than comparisons, with above average, robust pepper flavor. Fruits are held high on the plant, keeping them from the soil. The four-lobed fruits do not fade, and if left on the vine, turn a beautiful, bright red color.
Oakleaf lettuce from Vitalis Organic Seeds is a delicious and versatile edible that is super easy (and fast) to grow in the garden. Harvest at the baby leaf stage or grow into the rosette-shaped full-sized head. ‘Bauer’ will please with its darker-green color and nicely uniform compact size that can be grown almost anywhere — in the ground, containers, or window boxes. The dense heads produce a plethora of sweet, crisp, sturdy leaves. One judge went a step further and tried growing ‘Bauer’ in a home aeroponics system. He reported that it did brilliantly, making it an excellent candidate for controlled-environment production.
This cylindrical white eggplant from Known-You Seeds has fewer spines than most eggplants, making for a less painful harvest. With larger fruits than other white eggplants, it produces a nice yield while also providing fewer seeds. The large, durable, and vigorous plants hold up to insect damage and the environment. The pure white skin does not tend to yellow like many other white varieties of eggplant. The improved taste and texture have universal appeal whether fresh or cooked.
Check out the slideshow above for a closer look at the most recent edible winners.
A Closer Look at All-America Selections’ 2022 Edible Winners
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