Year of the Pumpkin
Our sister organization, National Garden Bureau, has a “Year of” program that selects one type of edible, annual, perennial and bulb plant to highlight for the year. This program has been around since 1980 and continues to grow in scope and reach.
For 2019, NGB has chosen the pumpkin as the edible class. Pumpkins are a staple for fall decorations and recipes but in order to enjoy that fall bounty, you have to plan and plant soon. So, below are a few pumpkins that are recent AAS Winners…plan now to plant some (or all) of these tested garden performers in your garden once the risk of frost has passed. Click here for interesting pumpkin facts and more growing information.
From small to large, there are AAS Winner pumpkins for every taste!
Wee-B-Little is the first miniature orange pumpkin to win an AAS award designation. Weighing only 8-16 ounces, it is perfect for children to call their own. The plant is a bush type so it needs less garden space (about 8′) to grow your own pumpkins. The deep orange skin is smooth, making it perfect for carving, painting or other craft projects.
Cinderella’s Carriage is a dream come true for any princess-loving child who wants to grow their own fairy tale type pumpkin. This bright reddish-orange pumpkin is the first hybrid Cinderella-type pumpkin on the market provides a higher yield as well as Powdery Mildew resistance in the garden. Robust and vigorous vines produce large fruits ranging from 25-35 pounds, creating a whole grouping of carriages
Are uniquely colored pumpkins more your style? Then these two AAS Winners are for you!
Pepitas is a winner in both the decorative and culinary arenas. Pepitas is named for its hulless or naked seeds (pepitas) that lack the tough outer hull making them easy to eat after slow-roasting. Each high yield plant produces numerous, uniform medium sized (9 – 12 pounds) pumpkins on healthy, disease resistant vines. This confectionery type of pumpkin produces beautiful orange fruits that at maturity have decorative green stripes.
Love the look of white pumpkins for your fall holiday décor? Then you will love the first-ever white pumpkin AAS Regional Winner Super Moon F1. The AAS judges loved the nice, eye-appealing ghostly white coloration on the large, round pumpkins. Grown for their size, up to 50 pounds, and their clean white color, these hardy plants are known for their early fruit development and vigorous growth. When done decorating with these beauties, consider trying the yellow flesh for roasting or in your fall harvest soups.
Then there are the classic, medium-sized orange pumpkins that are AAS Winners because of their superior garden performance.
Hijinks, defined as lively enjoyment and unrestrained fun, is an apt name for this AAS pumpkin winner that offers loads of seasonal fun for kids. This variety produces 7 to 9-pound fruits of uniform size and shape. Smooth deep orange skin with distinctive grooves gives a very classy appearance to fall decorations and is ideal for painting or carving. A strong durable stem makes a great handle. Gardeners can expect high yields, notable resistance to powdery mildew and easy fruit removal.
Orange Smoothie is a great pumpkin for children to grow. The dark orange, smooth skin is ideal for painting Halloween faces. The size is desirable for young hands, weighing 5 to 8 pounds with a strong, long handle. Orange Smoothie pumpkins will mature early, in about 90 days from sowing seed. Orange Smoothie’s semi-determinate habit requires less space in the garden.
Planning to grow pumpkins this year in your garden? Which is your favorite?
“This post is provided as an education/inspirational service of All-America Selections. Please credit and link to All-America Selections when using all or parts of this article.”