AAS Winners are Great Plants for Your Garden

First major harvest for Plant A Row
Current AAS trials at Reiman Gardens

All-America Selections has been trialing edible and ornamental plants for over 90 years, presenting awards to entries that will impress home gardeners with their performance regionally or nationally. There have been plenty of exciting new winners that merit a place in your garden that will be highlighted in this series. 

Capsicum annuum 'Giant Marconi.' Photo by All-America Selections.

AAS Winners are grown and planted at nearly 200 Display Gardens all over the US and Canada, including nine gardens in Iowa. To see these winners and more, check out www.all-americaselections.org and search under the Display Gardens tab. For a sneak peek at potential future winners, plan a visit to Reiman Gardens, an All-America Selections Trial Garden.

Celosia plumosa 'New Look.' Photo by All-America Selections.

If you’ve stopped by Reiman Gardens (or even driven by) lately, you’ve seen our trials are growing and showing out! Some of the comparisons used to judge traits of entries are All-America Selections themselves! Take a look at these previous winners alongside the newest potential winners and see if you think these new entries measure up to tried-and-true AAS Winners!

Capsicum annuum ‘Giant Marconi’: 2001 Winner ‘Giant Marconi’ is an Italian grilling pepper that produces a big (8 inch!) fruit that can be consumed raw or is even better grilled! Easy to grow (full sun, monthly fertilizer) and great disease resistance, so you can harvest and enjoy long into summer. These peppers are best harvested when allowed to mature to red (and then stuffed with cheese for dinner!). 

Solanum lycopersicum 'Chef's Choice Bicolor.' Photo by All-America Selections.

Celosia plumosa ‘New Look’: Back in 1988, ‘New Look’ charmed judges and consumers with a dark leaf and eye-catching red plume. This celosia is still popular among gardeners today; manageable height (14”), tolerance for a little shade and a lot of drought once established, and a dramatic look in the landscape or cut flower arrangements (try drying it for a spooky touch this Halloween!).

Solanum lycopersicum ‘Chef’s Choice Bicolor’: Heirloom appearance and taste, modern disease resistance and production, ‘Chef’s Choice Bicolor’ is a total tomato package. We harvested tomatoes into early fall and enjoyed plenty of gorgeous sliced tomatoes and salads all season. ‘Chef’s Choice Bicolor’ was a Heartland Regional Winner in 2020, the same year ‘Buffalo Sun’ (another comparison in the same 2023 trial) won a regional award in the Northeast Region. 

 

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