Be on the lookout this year for AAS seeds

Google new plants for 2015 and over 300 million results appear. Further research shows that the plants might be a newly introduced variety or they might be new to the company that is selling that plant or type of seed. All American Selections (AAS)

300 million results appear.

Further research shows that the plants might be a newly introduced variety or they might be new to the company that is selling that plant or type of seed.

All American Selections (AAS) is a non-profit organization that oversees trial gardens across North America.

If the plants perform well in all gardens, they are named an AAS Winner.

Others that perform exceptionally well in one region of the continent and not another receive regional recognition.

AAS has four trial gardens in Alberta: Olds College, the Devonian Gardens near Devon, the Calgary Zoo and Rotary Park in Medicine Hat.

This year’s selections include but are not limited to the following selections.

Basil Dolce Fresca was chosen as it is an attractive plant that is edible. The plant rejuvenates quickly after harvest, making it a good addition both visually and gastronomically.

Beet Avalanche is a white beet with a mild sweet taste. Unlike the traditional red beet, it doesn’t stain and can be eaten raw as it doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste. It matures approximately 50 days after being sown.

Broccoli Artwork F1 is a must for broccoli lovers. Once the original crown is harvested, the plant continues to produce tasty side shoots. This variety resists bolting and should continue to produce into the fall.

Lettuce Sandy has an oak shaped leaf that is slow to bolt and doesn’t get bitter in the hot sun. Leaves can be harvested when they are small, allowing the plant to regenerate growth or allowed to grow into a lose head.

Pepper Emerald Fire F1 is rated as X3R for heat. The plant grew well in trial gardens, producing an abundance of fruit. Note that it takes 90 days to mature from transplant. Frost protection is a must for this region.

Flaming Flare F1 is a Fresno red pepper, the first of its kind to do well in all the trial gardens. The plants produce a large amount of smaller fruit that is classified as sweet, juicy and slightly pungent. Expect the fruit to be ready 75 days from transplant.

Garlic Geisha is a chive that has wide attractive leaves that are full of flavour. Use this herb to flavor soups, butters and stir-fries. It is an easy to grow perennial that produces white flowers late in the season.

Roxanne F1 is a new variety of radish that will grow large and not become pithy. As it only needs six inches of soil, it will grow well in containers.

The new Squash Bossa Nova F1 will produce more zucchinis for a longer period of time than other varieties. The green molted exterior, along with the compact plant, made the fruit easier to find and pick.

Judges choose the flower Interspecific Jolt, a bright pink Dianthus, as best of the trials. This plant bloomed from planting until frost, in all trial gardens.

The Impatience plant SunPatiens Spreading Pink Shell was chosen as it becomes acclimatized quickly, blooming all season. It grows equally as well in shade or sun.

Trilogy series petunias are often used in baskets for their upright growth. This year, a rich, red, non-fading variety Trilogy Red F1 is on the market. It is a hardy petunia that comes back quickly after a rain. The upright plant will reach between 10 and 25 inches (24 and 60 cm) in height.

Not all seed companies or greenhouses carry AAS winner seeds the year they are released. It can take a bit of searching to find these specific seeds or bedding out plants.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist who lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached to

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