University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
AAS VEGETABLE WINNERS FOR 2014
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Each year, the best of the new seed-grown vegetables are chosen as
winners by the All-America Selections (AAS) program after trialing
across North America. They must represent either a totally new
variety, or one improved in some way over an existing one. There
are five winning vegetables for 2014, including a bean, pepper, and
'Mascotte’ bean is a good example of recent breeding of vegetables
for patio containers and smaller-space gardens, as well as improved
disease resistance. It is a bush type under two feet tall, with
many long, slender pods held above the leaves for easy picking. The
white flowers prior to the fruit make the plants ornamental as
well. Sow when the soil is warm (often late May or early June in
the north), and then every two weeks until July if you want multiple
harvests. Fruit are produced about 50 days from sowing.
‘Mama Mia Giallo’ is a sweet Italian type pepper with fruit 7 to 9
inches long. It needs 85 days to harvest from transplanting, so may
not produce well in colder climates with short growing seasons. The
gold to yellow fruit are good fresh, grilled, or roasted.
‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ tomato has the wonderful flavor of an orange,
heirloom parent yet is earlier and with some disease resistance.
The fruit color doesn’t fade when cooked, or used in soups and
sauces. It matures in 75 days from transplanting, on indeterminate
(vining) plants to 5 feet tall. Fruit average about three-quarters
of a pound, but can be larger in a good season.
'Fantastico’ is the second tomato national AAS winner for 2014.
This one, however, is a grape tomato with early maturing and many
fruit in long clusters. Fruit resist cracking better than many of
this type. Plants have resistance to late blight disease which
devastates tomatoes in some years and locations. It is another good
choice for small spaces or containers, being determinate
(non-vining) and two feet or more tall. Figure on 50 days to harvest
from transplanting, or 90 days from sowing seeds.
In addition, for the first time this year, regional winners have
been named. Although none are listed for the Northeast, most still
should perform fine here, depending on conditions. ‘Mountain Merit’
was a winning tomato in the Heartland region. It is a medium to
large beefsteak type, good for slicing, and has good resistance to
‘Cinderella’s Carriage’ is a pumpkin with fruit reminiscent of
Cinderella’s carriage, up to 18 inches across and up to 20 pounds.
Fruit is a reddish orange, produced about 100 days from sowing.
‘Pick a Bushel’ cucumber was a winner in the Midwest regions.
Compact and spreading to only about two feet, it would be a good
choice where space is limited or in large containers. It sets fruit
early so should be good in the northeast as well. Fruit can be
harvested early for pickles, or when mature at about 6-inches long
More All-America Selections, both flowers and vegetables, can be
found on their website (www.all-americaselections.org).
This includes the three winning vegetables for this past year--
‘Melemon’ melon, ‘Harvest Moon’ watermelon, and the cherry tomato