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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Grow an All America Selections Tomato & Vegetable Garden with Me: Pictures of My AAS Winners!

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Grow an All America Selections Tomato and Vegetable Garden with Me 
Pictures of My AAS Winners!

This year I dedicated a section of my garden for growing vegetables that were recent All-America Selections Winners. The winning vegetables have been impressive. Next year I plan to turn my community garden into an exclusive All-America Selections Winners garden. The reason I'm doing this is because AAS Winners grow extremely well and I am having fun finding new and even old vegetable varieties for my garden. All these pictures are from my 2017 garden and I took them 30 minutes ago!

All-America Selections has been around for 85 years. They are a nonprofit organization that really does one thing and that is conduct yearly trials to find the best new vegetables and flowers for our gardens. They don’t sell the seeds or plants; they just trial, announce and promote the winners. Which I love, as they are doing the hard work and I am adding exciting new varieties to my garden. I am doing a whole video series on 'Midnight Snack' showing you how to plant cherry tomatoes from start to finish. They are just about ready to ripen!


'Midnight Snack' Cherry Tomato: 2017 AAS Winner

I mentioned I really enjoy finding new and old plant varieties for my garden. Both you and I are already growing AAS Winners in our garden. I call these the heritage winners for instance the ‘Sweet Banana’ was a winner in 1941. You can find that pepper in just about everyone’s garden. Many past AAS Winners can be considered heirlooms. Many of the new winners are hybrids. I have found having a combination of heirlooms and hybrids makes for a bountiful, delicious and productive garden.

'Patio Choice Yellow' Cherry Tomato: 2017 AAS Winner

Other Heritage AAS Winners are: ‘Pepper Bell Boy’ Pepper 1967, ‘Champion’ Radish 1957, ‘Cherry Belle’ Radish 1949, ‘Jubilee’ Tomato 1943, ‘Buttercrunch’ Lettuce 1963, ‘Red Sails’ 1985, ‘Salad Bowl’ 1952, ‘Cherokee Wax’ Bean 1948, ‘Dark Opal’ Basil 1962, ‘Sugar Ann’ Pea 1984, ‘Sugar Snap’ Pea 1979, ‘Straight 8’ Cucumber 1935, ‘Black Beauty’ Squash/Zucchini 1957 and so many more! Like I said you probably are already growing AAS Winners in your garden. You can search their database here: All-America Selections Website.

My experience is that the All America Selections Winners get high marks in the areas of ease of growth, high yield, great taste and in some cases, uniqueness. In addition to these marks, many new varieties do well resisting diseases. I really encourage you to check out their website. You can search their database of AAS Winners and find seed companies that sell the award 


winning vegetables and flowers. I hope you decide to grow an AAS Garden along with me. I plan to do a video series on my AAS Garden through 2018. It should be a lot of fun and I would love to have your comments and experience show up in the series. You can follow me on Instagram under The Rusted Garden and not only see the AAS Winners I am growing but also see my garden harvests.

I really encourage you to add some All-America Selections to your garden as I have visited the seed trials and met the people that not only hold the trials but actually breed and create the new varieties. It can take 10 years to come up with a perfect cross that brings a variety to market with great taste, better production and an improved ease of growing. They have an amazing passion for gardening as we do.

'Pretty N Sweet' Pepper: 2015 AAS Winner

'Seyshelles' Pole Beans: 2017 AAS Winner

Tips for Growing Pole Beans in Containers: 'Seychelles' Pole Beans 2017 AAS Winner


Now if I haven't convinced you to check out the AAS Winners let me say two more things. They also have award winning flowers that will help bring pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden I highly recommend mixing your garden with old heirlooms, new hybrids and other varieties of flower and vegetables you haven't grown before as a best practice. Keep a journal of what thrives in your area and you will find your own winning vegetables through All-America Selections that really raise the quality of your gardening experience.

'Fantastico' Grape Tomato: 2015 AAS Winner

'Interpecific Supra Pink' Dianthuis and 'Profusion Red' Zinnia: 2017 AAS Winners