All-America Award Winning Vegetables
Two tomatoes and a pumpkin have been selected to win All-America awards for 2011. All were chosen for their improved performance over previously available varieties.
Pumpkin ‘Hijinks’ produces small 6 pound, uniform size fruit. Its uniformity comes because of its hybrid breeding, which most other pumpkins do not have. Its hybrid vigor results in vines which grow up to 12 feet in diameter. You will need a big space for this pumpkin. Skin is deep orange with distinctive groves. Hijinks also has a strong durable stem which makes a great handle. It is perfect for Halloween decorations. Hijinks pumpkin is also resistant to powdery mildew, which causes damage to many other pumpkin varieties.
The two new tomatoes are also hybrids developed by the same seed company. They were developed specifically for container planting, although they will also do well planted in the ground. Tomato ‘Lizziano’ is a semi-bush type variety with vigorous growth. Vines are just the right size for containers and hanging baskets. It produces abundant loads of one inch cherry size fruit. Judges noted better eating quality, higher yield and better plant shape that existing varieties. Although seldom a problem in our area, Lizziano tomato is also resistant to late blight disease. It is an early variety producing plenty of fruit early in the summer.
Tomato ‘Terrenzo’ has tasty fruit slightly larger and sweeter than ‘Lizziano’. Fruit is more resistant to cracking than other cherry tomato varieties. Terrenzo has the ‘tumbler’ growth shape desired for the long hanging basket containers. It also makes a dwarf, ground hugging plant in the ground.
Seeds of all three varieties should be available from on-line and mail order seed companies. Both tomatoes and pumpkins can easily be started from seed. It takes about 4 weeks to grow small pumpkin plants and 6 weeks to produce small tomato plants. Pumpkin plants do not like to have their roots disturbed, so plant 2 or 3 seeds in small pots or peat pellets. For more information go to http//all-americaselections.org