Three new vegetables chosen for All-America Selections 2017 - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

Three new vegetables chosen for All-America Selections 2017

Three exciting new vegetables were chosen as All-America Selections (AAS) winners for 2017, based on superior performance in test gardens throughout the country.

“Candle Fire” okra
Photo Credits: All America Selections

Okra: “Candle Fire” was chosen for its unique pods — round rather than ribbed — and for its color, a brighter red than the reddish-burgundy okras currently available. The judges gave it high marks for productivity, taste, texture and tenderness, as well as for 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 problem to have! If you’ve missed the optimum harvest time for edibility, the dried pods are great for flower arrangements. First harvest is estimated to be 60 days from seed, 30 days from transplant.

“Honeybaby” winter squash

Winter Squash: “Honeybaby” is a productive and compact variety of butternut-type winter squash. The semi-bush habit with 2-3 foot vines showed excellent vigor and resistance to powdery mildew later into the season. The short, wide fruits are sweet and nutty, and they are slightly larger and meatier than similar comparison varieties. Honeybaby is delicious steamed, baked, or made into soups and stews. Harvest 90-100 days from planting seed.

Watermelon: ”Mini Love” is a personal-size Asian watermelon perfect for smaller gardens. Shorter vines (3-4 feet) produce up to six fruits per plant and can be grown in smaller spaces. Several judges commented on the crack- and split-resistant rinds. This sweet watermelon has deep red flesh and a thin but strong rind that makes for easy carving. Though not seedless, Mini Love has few seeds. First harvest is estimated to be 80 days from seed, 70 days from transplant.

“Mini Love” watermelon

AAS winners are selected from many new cultivars and chosen based on performance in the garden as well as 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. For more information about these and previous  winners, point your Web browser to http://www.all-americaselections.org/.


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