The All-America Selections Organization recently announced the first three 2018 AAS Winners. For those not familiar with it, the AAS was founded in 1932 and is the only independent non-profit plant trialing organization in North America. I’ve grown quite a few of the AAS Winners in my gardens over the years, and many have become my favorites to grow year after year.
The new group of winners, all in the National category, includes:
- American Dream sweet corn
- Onyx Red ornamental pepper
- Red Racer cocktail tomato
American Dream is a bicolor hybrid sweet corn that is ready to harvest in 77 days after sowing. The ears are 7 inches long, and the plants grow 6 to 7 feet tall. In trials it compared favorably with Honey ‘N Pearl.
Onyx Red is an ornamental pepper with dark black foliage and shiny red round fruits. The compact plants are suited for in-ground and container plantings. In trials it compared favorably with Black Pearl, which is a 2006 AAS Winner itself.
Red Racer is a cocktail tomato with small red fruits that are larger than a cherry or grape tomato and mature as a cluster of ripe fruits. The compact determinate plants grow to about 3 feet tall, which make them great for small gardens and container plantings. It compared favorably with Mountain Magic in the trial gardens, which is a popular tomato in this small-fruited salad tomato category.
I am excited to be growing Red Racer here this summer in our garden. Harris Seeds and Garden Trends Wholesale are promoting this variety, and made transplants available for garden communicators and the media to try out. The folks at the AAS asked me if I’d like to try growing Red Racer, and regular readers should not be surprised to hear I said yes! I plan on growing a couple of plants in-ground in the main garden, and one plant in a 10-gallon Smart Pot behind the greenhouse. With any luck I should be harvesting the first tomatoes around Labor Day, and I will be sure and share the results here.
For more information about AAS Winners check out:
All photos courtesy of All-America Selections.