AAS Top Annuals for 2005

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Top Annuals for 2005

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Top Annuals for 2008
AAS Top Annuals for 2007
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Here are the All America Selections winners for 2005.  Alas, there are no bedding plant winners this year.

Watch for young plants available at local garden centers in spring.  Links are provided for seeds available online.  Check back to see if additional suppliers will carry seeds.

Gaillardia aristata ‘Arizona Sun’  
Gaillardia aristata ‘Arizona Sun’ Gaillardia aristata ‘Arizona Sun’ Flower Award Winner

This ‘Arizona Sun’ is red and yellow. Each three-inch single flower is mahogany red with bright yellow petal edges. The bright colors are similar to the desert sun in Arizona. Like many annuals, plants produce flowers continuously. Even the spent blooms are attractive as tufts of seed. When grown in a full-sun garden, ‘Arizona Sun’ is a compact plant reaching only 8 to 10 inches tall, spreading about 10 to 12 inches. Gaillardia aristata a.k.a. blanket flower, is native to the Great Plains and usually considered a perennial. ‘Arizona Sun’ performed as an exceptional plant the first year grown from seed. This AAS Winner may over-winter, depending upon the severity of winter. ‘Arizona Sun’ flowers can be cut and used for summer bouquets. They may attract butterflies to the garden in search of nectar.

Description: An outstanding variety, which often flowers in the first year from sowing. Mid-height plants produce masses of fiery red blooms surrounded by a ring of rich flame yellow. Can be used as annual bedding, or year after year as a perennial. Excellent for beds and borders.

Sowing Instructions: Sow February to April. Germinate at 20-30C (68-86F) on the surface of a good free draining, damp seed compost. Do not cover the seed. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 14-21 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination.

Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into trays or 7.5cm (3in) pots. Grow on in cooler conditions for 10-15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12in) apart.

Aftercare Instructions: Prefers a well drained soil in full sun or semi shade.

Vinca 'First Kiss Blueberry'  
Vinca ‘First Kiss Blueberry’Vinca ‘First Kiss Blueberry’ Flower Award Winner

The first blue-flowered Catharanthus rosea is an AAS Winner named ‘First Kiss Blueberry.’ The large 2-inch single blooms have a darker eye which accentuates the violet blue color. For decades breeders have been diligently working towards a blue Vinca. Now ‘First Kiss Blueberry’ fills the color void. Gardeners will look for ‘First Kiss Blueberry’ plants to add to their collection. Proven to be heat and drought tolerant, mature plants will be about 11 inches tall and spread 16 inches, given adequate growing conditions. Easy to grow from plants, ‘First Kiss Blueberry’ can be grown in patio containers or combination planters. 

Description: These dwarf free-flowering bushy plants have excellent weather tolerance, even in cool wet conditions. Ideal for adding color to containers on a sunny patio.

Sowing Instructions: Sow February to March. Sow in pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a very light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or warm place, and keep at a constant temperature of between 24-27C (75-80F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Germination will usually take 14 to 21 days. Keep the compost on the dry side at all times, and water lightly as seedlings emerge.

Growing Instructions: When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3 inch) pots or trays. Take care not to over-water plants at any stage. Gradually acclimatize young plants to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost, 30cm (12 inches) apart, or transplant into containers.

Aftercare Instructions: For best results, provide a light, well-drained soil in full sun.

Zinnia 'Magellan Coral'  
Zinnia F1 ‘Magellan Coral’Zinnia F1 ‘Magellan Coral’ Flower Award Winner

‘Magellan Coral’ blooms are radiant. They illuminate the garden. The fully double, dahlia flowered 5- to 6-inch blooms gleam with brilliant coral petals. The flower quality and color are superior to other Zinnia elegans. In addition to the color, ‘Magellan Coral’ plants are brimming with luminous blooms. Consistent flower production is an improved quality. Earliness to bloom is another exceptional trait. From sowing seed to first bloom requires only 6 to 9 weeks. Mature zinnia plants will reach about 15 to 17 inches tall and spread 15 to 19 inches, depending upon growing conditions. Like all zinnias, ‘Magellan Coral’ will perform best in a full-sun growing location. This AAS Winner is adaptable to container culture. In the garden, ‘Magellan Coral’ is undemanding, needing little maintenance.

Additional Info

Description: Large double flowers and stems good for cutting. The symmetrical form of each flower makes it a thing of beauty in itself. A good blend of the best colors.

Sowing Instructions: Sow in trays, pots, etc of good seed compost in a propagator or warm place to maintain an optimum temperature of 75-80F (25-27C). Sowing Depth: 1/16 inch (1.5mm). Sowing Time: March-May. Sow seeds individually in 3in (7.5cm) pots of free draining compost as they do not transplant well. It is important to keep the soil temperature uniformly warm and do not allow the compost to become over wet.

Growing Instructions: Harden off and plant out when all risk of frost has passed 30cm (12in) apart. Prefers a rich, light, well drained soil in full sun.

Eggplant 'Fairy Tale'  
Eggplant F1 ‘Fairy Tale’Eggplant F1 ‘Fairy Tale’ Vegetable Award Winner

‘Fairy Tale’ is a petite plant with decorative miniature eggplants. The fruit appearance is as luscious as the taste. ‘Fairy Tale’ eggplants are white with violet/purple stripes. The fruit are sweet, non-bitter, with a tender skin and few seeds. Another superior quality is the window for harvest. The elongated oval eggplants can be picked when quite small at 1 to 2 ounces or they can be left on the plant until double the weight, and the flavor and tenderness remain. ‘Fairy Tale’ eggplants are recommended for marinating and grilling whole. The harvest can begin in just 49 to 51 days from transplanting. The petite plant reaches only 2½ feet tall and wide, perfect for container gardening. An eggplant has not won an AAS award since 1939, so ‘Fairy Tale’ is truly an exceptional new variety.

Description: Good for a wide range of culinary uses, from grilling, stuffing to stir fries. Color violet/purple with snowy white, pale pink with cream striping.

Sowing Instructions: Sow January to April for growing under glass, March to April for planting outdoors, in pots of moist seed compost and cover with a 6mm (¼ inch) layer of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or warm place, and keep at a constant temperature of between 20-25C (68-77F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 10-14 days.

Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3 inch) pots, later pot on into 20cm (8 inch) containers. Feed every 14 days with tomato fertilizer once the first fruits have set. Provide plenty of water, especially in dry weather. Tap flowers daily to assist pollination. For outdoor crops, acclimatize plants to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out 45cm (18 inches) apart in a warm, sheltered spot. Give plants support, and feed every 14 days with tomato fertilizer.

Aftercare Instructions: Cease feeding when fruits are fully formed, and harvest at their desired size.

Squash 'Bonbon'  
Winter Squash F1 ‘Bonbon’ Winter Squash F1 ‘Bonbon’ Vegetable Award Winner

‘Bonbon’ is a Cucurbita maxima with three improved traits. They are restricted habit, earliness and superior eating qualities. ‘Bonbon’ has an upright, semi-bush habit needing less garden space. Mature vines spread about 8 feet. When ‘Bonbon’ plants are transplanted into a full-sun garden, look for ripe fruit within 81 days; a full week earlier than other varieties. ‘Bonbon’ squash has thick orange flesh and when cooked delivers sweet flavor (hence the name ‘Bonbon’) and creamy texture loaded with vitamin A. The “boxy” shaped dark green squash is painted with silver stripes and weighs about four pounds. Easy to grow, ‘Bonbon’ is not highly susceptible to diseases and is adaptable to any location where squash is grown.


Description: The sweetest of the nutty tasting 'kabocha' type squashes. Flattened dark green 3-5 lb fruits with delicious deep golden flesh. Stores extremely well - for up to 6 months in a frost-free but cool shed or garage. Plants have a less trailing, more semi bush habit. Use for baking and roasting.

Sowing Instructions: Sow April to May in pots of moist seed compost and cover with a 1cm (½ inch) layer of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or warm place, and keep at a constant temperature of between 20-25C (68-77F). After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; germination will usually take 6-10 days.

Growing Instructions: When at the 2 leaf stage, transplant seedlings on into 13cm (5 inch) pots for a few weeks before planting out, 90cm or more (36 inches) apart in a sunny sheltered spot on rich, well drained soil. Water and feed regularly with liquid fertilizer.

Aftercare Instructions: Harvest the grapefruit-sized fruits from late summer onwards. Cut and store remaining fruits before frost and store in a frost-free area.

Grape Tomato 'Sugary'


Tomato F1 ‘Sugary’Tomato F1 ‘Sugary’ Vegetable Award Winner

‘Sugary.’ The name says it all. Judges raved about the sweet tomato flavor. The half-ounce dark pink fruit has a sugar content of 9.5%, higher than most others. The fruit is produced in clusters like grapes and can be eaten like them. ‘Sugary’ tomatoes have a distinct shape; they are oval with a pointed blossom end. In addition to the flavor, ‘Sugary’ plants produced a high yield with a noticeable lack of cracked fruit. Look for ripe fruit on the strong semi-indeterminate vines within 60 days from transplanting into warm, prepared garden soil or large containers. Plants are vigorous and may need pruning to contain growth. ‘Sugary’ should set a new standard for “cherry” size tomatoes with sweet flavor.

Description: Cordon type (semi-indeterminate). Unique olive shaped fruits. Early ripening, cascading trusses of superb flavored, red fruits averaging 15-20gms (½-¾oz) holding well on the plant without splitting. Suitable for growing outdoors or under glass.

Sowing Instructions: Sow in late winter for heated greenhouse cultivation or early spring for the cold greenhouse and mid spring for outdoors. Sow 6mm (¼in) deep in a good compost. Germination usually takes 6-14 days at 24C (75F).

Growing Instructions: Transplant the seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots and grow on in cooler, well lit conditions. Soil based composts produce shorter plants than peat based composts. For hanging baskets, plant carefully one per 30cm (12in) basket leaving a 3cm (1in) space for watering. Water well and stand in a cool, airy place until well rooted. Gradually acclimatize to outdoor conditions before hanging outside permanently after all risk of frost. Feed regularly and keep well watered. If planted outdoors, space 60cm (24in) apart in moist, well drained, fertile soil and a sunny spot.

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