All-America Selections, North America’s oldest and only national non-profit plant trialing organization is pleased to present six new national winners for 2022.
Each AAS Winner is grown and trialed anonymously by independent, volunteer judges all across North America. The entry is scored next to a very similar variety (we call it a comparison variety) across North America and only if the entry performed better than the comparison does it become an AAS Winner. The same is not good enough in our world!
Keep an eye on this website and as each variety becomes available from National Garden Bureau members, the “Where to Buy” buttons will be updated so you can purchase your own AAS Winners for your gardens. For an overall list of online retailers who carry the non-GMO AAS Winners, check out the “Buy AAS Winners” page.
To earn the National Winner designation, the selection had to perform in a majority of sites, proving itself to be a great choice for gardeners all over North America. There is a good variety of choices, from annuals to edibles, so you can certainly find something to suit your tastes.
This cylindrical white eggplant earned the prestigious AAS award for several reasons. The Icicle plant has fewer spines than most eggplants, making for a less painful harvest! With larger fruits than other white eggplants, it produces a nice yield while also providing fewer seeds. The large, durable, and vigorous plants hold up to insect damage and the environment. The pure white skin does not tend to yellow like many other white varieties of eggplant. The improved taste and texture have universal appeal (whether fresh or cooked).
“Even my 11-year-old asked for seconds when I breaded and fried them at home,” said one judge who served the Icicle Eggplant to their family. “I would actually consider growing this in my home garden. It is easy, looks kind of interesting, and has great culinary qualities. Good stuff” stated another judge. “Best features of entry are that it has reduced spines, larger size, better fruit shape, and uniformity,” exclaimed another judge.
Oakleaf lettuce is a delicious and versatile edible that is super easy (and fast) to grow in the garden. Harvest at the baby leaf stage or grow into the rosette-shaped full-sized head. Bauer will please with its darker green color and nicely uniform compact size that can be grown almost anywhere…in-ground, containers, or window boxes. The dense heads produce a plethora of sweet, crisp sturdy leaves. Now all you need is your favorite vinaigrette!
“I also tested in a home aeroponics system and this cultivar did brilliantly– the dense, compact growth makes this an excellent candidate for controlled environment production,” commented one judge. “High quality and high yielding lettuce with dark color, dense heads, and sweet crisp leaves,” stated another judge. “Really liked the darker color. Nice compact plant. Enjoyed it very much,” said one judge.
Will this Buffy fend off blood-sucking supernatural beings? We’re not sure, but we do know it’s one very delicious hot pepper! This Buffy will do right by you by producing a good yield of juicy, thick-walled green to red fruits on strong, healthy upright plants. Buffy’s fruits are more attractive than the comparisons as well as slightly larger making them perfect for flavorful sport peppers but also for use in other applications. The peppers are held high on the plant adding ornamental value to the garden. Buffy was faster to mature than Tobasco in the AAS trials with a bit less heat than Ascent until the seeds are added in. In summary, Buffy deserves its moment of recognition and deserves a place in your garden.
“I dig this fiery little pepper!” says one judge. “I have nothing negative to say about this variety,” exclaims another. “Excellent flavor. Crazy heat. Attractive plant. No diseases. All around a delight,” commented another judge.
Dragonfly pepper plants produce beautiful purple peppers that have thick, sweet walls, unlike the thin papery walls of other purples on the market. Similar to the beloved dragonfly that flits around your garden, this pepper transforms itself from a green pepper into a purple fruit that is as delicious at the green stage of maturity as it is when fully purple and mature. Overall, it’s a much better purple color than comparisons with above average, robust pepper flavor. Fruits are held high on the plant, keeping them from the soil. The 4-lobed fruits do not fade and if left on the vine, turn a beautiful, bright red color.
“The flavor is good, thick & juicy walls that don’t pale out but instead turn into a nice red pepper,” exclaimed one judge. “Definitely a welcome addition to the sweet pepper party,” mentioned another judge. “The entry had large 4-lobed, deep blackish peppers. The interior was an eye-catching bright lime green, making a colorful contrast,” stated another.
Concert Bell puts on quite a performance with a unique flower presentation of multiple clusters of 10 to 12 flowers on an erect columnar stem. Beautiful golden yellow blooms appear earlier than the comparisons. Each plant grows to a very uniform height of 5 to 6 feet and if used as a cut flower, makes an instant, ready-made bouquet from just one cut. Excellent seed germination makes this beauty very easy to grow and is perfect for continuous sowing to keep blooms going through the end of summer. Concert Bell was trialed in a year of adverse weather conditions and multiple judges commented on its durability and sturdiness even through strong storms and winds.
“Novel blooming habit. A sunflower bouquet on a single stalk!” commented one judge. “A very pretty compact branching sunflower with large size bloom that would be perfect for the garden border,” mentioned another. “This variety had unique flowering with multiple flowers on the same stalk,” said another judge.
Purple Zebra tomato is a fun new addition to striped tomatoes, producing tomatoes that are rich with complex flavors and a moderately firm texture. Dark red fruits with green stripes and a deep mahogany red interior do not produce muddy coloration like other tomatoes of this type. The taste is sweet and acidic leaning to sweet. Overall, this tomato has a better taste and thinner skin than comparisons with excellent disease resistance. Judges in the know say this is a very marketable fruit for farmers’ market growers. High disease resistance to ToMV, Verticillium Wilt Va/Vd, Fusarium Wilt Race 1, Leaf Mold A-E, Late Blight PH2/PH3, and intermediate resistance to TYLCV and TSWV.
“Flavor is rich, deep-bodied, almost dessert-like. Could go with vanilla ice cream. Very unique,” commented one judge. “The fruit was beautiful inside and out. They were orangy-red with green stripes and when cut diagonally, the interior was an especially attractive, juicy red,” mentioned another judge. “Good plant habit and disease resistance,” exclaimed another.