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How I Choose Vegetable Varieties?

February 1, 2014

I write about this subject every year around this time because of all those options presented by seed catalogues in your mail box and seed racks in garden centers.  How do you decide what to grow in your garden?

One way is to do a web search using key words like:  vegetable variety recommendations (insert your state).  For example, click here to see the recommendations from the Extension Service in Georgia (where I live).

When it comes to “what to plant” in our vegetable garden, we learned long ago that it is hard to go wrong with “All America Selections”.  Every year since 1933, the best of the best new seed introductions that have proven themselves in variety trials, get this “All America” designation.

Check out our harvest of Carmen Seet Peppers - An "All America Selection" from 2006

Check out our harvest of Carmen Seet Peppers – An “All America Selection” from 2006

For example, we love Carmen Pepper (2006 selection), Big Beef Tomato (1994 selection), Sugar Snap Pea (1979 selection), Melody Spinach (1977 selection), Buttercrunch Bibb Lettuce (1963 selection), Premium Crop Broccoli (1975 selection) and Gypsy Pepper (1981 selection) to name just a few of our favorites.

Most of the time these All America Winners are identified in seed catalogues and on plant tags as having won this distinction.

And for all you flower lovers, there are probably even more flowers that have been recognized as All America Winners.  For example, Purple Wave Petunia was a 1992 selection.

Click here to go to the “All America Selection Winners” website. (When you are on the site, there is a pull down menu to access the yearly winners for both vegetables and flowers.)

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