Five new vegetable garden cultivars have been awarded the prestigious honor of being an All America Selection (AAS) for the year 2002. These new cultivars have been judged as superior in their class, based on their performance in test gardens all over the country.

The AAS winners are selected from many new cultivars, based on garden performance as well as production performance in the greenhouse. Although no plant offers a guarantee of success in an individual garden, the AAS winners have proven themselves worthy over a broad range of growing conditions. Try these new selections alongside your old standbys so you’ll have a means of comparison. AAS winners should be available through local garden centers and mail order catalogs next spring.

picture of Cucumber 'Diva'

 

 

Cucumber ‘Diva’ was selected for its sweet flavor and high yield potential. Diva produces only female flowers and does not require pollen to set fruit. The 4-5-inch fruit are supposed to be bitter free and normally seedless, though a few seeds may develop if grown among other cultivars. These small, slicing-type cucumbers should be ready to harvest 58 days from sowing seed in warm soil. The plants are reported to be resistant to scab and tolerant to powdery and downy mildews.

 

 

picture of Magical Michael basil plant

 

‘Magical Michael’ is both an edible and ornamental sweet basil that was bred by a former Purdue University researcher. The unusually uniform plants reach about 15 inches tall and 16-17 inches wide. Harvesting can begin as early as a month after transplanting to the garden. Magical Michael has unusual flowers as well, with purple sepals and white petals.

 

 

single Sorcerer pumpkin‘Sorcerer’ works its magic by producing a full-sized pumpkin on a compact plant. The dark orange pumpkins range from about 15-22 pounds, yet the plants only reach about 10 feet. Sorcerer pumpkins mature in about 100 days from sowing seed and can be used for either pies or jack ‘o lanterns.

picture of several Orange Smoothie pumpkins laying together

 

If a smaller pumpkin is what you need, in addition to compact plants, consider planting ‘Orange Smoothie’ Weighing in at 5 to 8 pounds with a strong, long handle, this pumpkin is ideal for children. The smooth skin also lends a great surface for painting Halloween decorations. Orange Smoothie matures a bit earlier–about 90 days from sowing seed.

 

 

 

 

 

picture of the Bush Delicata winter squash including one cut in half‘Cornell’s Bush Delicata’ delivers a sweet, tender, non-stringy winter squash on a compact plant. You can expect to harvest the first of these gems about 100 days from sowing. Although they start out as bush type plants, they will send out short runners later in the season. The plants are reported to have good tolerance to powdery mildew.

 

 

 

For more information about these and previous year’s winners, point your Web browser to http://www.all-americaselections.org.

[Photographs provided by All-America Selections.]

 


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