Seed World

AAS Names Top 5 Garden Seeds for 2017

Photo: All-America Selections.

All-America Selections (AAS) announces three national and two regional winners for the 2017 garden season. National AAS Winners are Celosia Asian Garden, Okra Red Kingdom F1 and Watermelon Mini Love F1. Regional winners are Pea Patio Pride and Squash Honeybaby F1.
Each award-winning variety 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.
With this announcement, these varieties become available for immediate sale to the commercial and home garden markets. Brokers, growers, mail order and seed packet companies can purchase these varieties immediately. Retailers and consumers will find these AAS Winners for sale during the 2017 gardening season as supply becomes available throughout the distribution chain.
Celosia Asian Garden
Bred by Murakami Seed Co., this spiked beauty claimed victory in North America’s trial sites. 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. Judges commented that this celosia was a pollinator-magnet, making it a sure bet for pollinator-friendly gardens.
Okra Red Kingdom F1
Bred by Known-You Seed Co., this is a unique red okra with pods that are round, not ribbed, and a brighter red color than the reddish burgundy okras available. It 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.
Watermelon Mini Love F1
Bred by HM.CLAUSE, this personal-sized Asian watermelon is perfect for smaller families and smaller gardens. Shorter vines 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.