For all our new fans and followers, we thought this was a great time (spring is gardening time, right?) to answer your questions about our organization.
Since a Q&A format is easy to follow, here we go!
What exactly is All-America Selections (AAS)?
AAS is a non-profit plant trialing organization that promotes new varieties for the home gardener. Varieties that have been judged to have superior garden performance in impartial trials throughout North America are awarded the AAS winner designation.
When was AAS founded?
In 1932, about the time a lot of new breeding and selection work was being done in both vegetables and flowers.
Why was AAS founded?
Mr. Ray Hastings, our founder, saw all the new varieties coming to market and wanted an independent, non-profit organization that could trial and evaluate all the new genetics to see if they performed as claimed. He wanted home gardeners to be assured they were purchasing quality products.
Where are the entries trialed?
In the early days, we had just 10 trial sites. Now we have more than 80 unique trial sites that judge one or more of our four trials. They are located across North America for a true test in all growing climates. Click here for a Google map of all trial locations.
What are the four trials?
The four trials are Flowers/ornamentals grown from seed; Flowers/ornamentals grown from vegetative cuttings; Vegetables/Edibles from seed and Herbaceous Perennials.
Who are the AAS Judges?
The AAS Judges are professional horticulturists who have past trialing experience and are experts in their field. They include university professors, seed breeders, seed buyers, growers, public garden horticulturists, etc.
Who submits the entries?
We work with breeders from all over the world. Many have a North American presence while others are from outside of North America but want to offer their products to North American gardeners.
What do the judges look for?
They are always looking for superior garden performance. We want to make sure the home gardener is successful so judges are asked to look for disease resistance, stem strength, flower color, number of flowers, taste, and yield (for edibles) and overwintering ability (in perennials).
What happens after the trial is complete?
The judges submit their scores to the AAS office. If an entry has a high enough score then it is deemed an AAS Winner.
What does the AAS Winner logo represent?
The AAS Winner logo you see on plants and seed packets means that variety has been “Tested Nationally & Proven Locally” so it will perform well in your garden. As many have said: “The Proof is in the Plant.” Try them, you’ll like them!
More questions? Please post them in the comments below and we’ll answer your questions in a future blog!