Award Winning Veggies

By Susan Littlefield

All-America Selections recently announced six 2015 Vegetable Award winners, including Regional and National winners. Three are varieties that will make great fall gardening choices for gardeners in upcoming seasons.

'Bopak', the first pak choi to be selected as an AAS winner, was chosen as a Regional Winner for the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Mountain/Southwest regions. Ready in just 60 days from seeding (5 days earlier than other varieties), 'Bopak' boasts tender leaves with crisp sweet stalks that taste great. The attractive, upright, uniform, and dense plants can be harvested as baby plants or grown to mature size. Either way, they are delicious cooked or raw. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 1/2 inch apart; then thin to 10 inches apart when plants are 2 inches high, and enjoy the tender thinnings in a salad.'Bopak' can also be grown in spring until the weather heats up.

The frilly, dark green leaves of National Vegetable Award Winner 'Sandy' lettuce are almost too pretty to eat! This oakleaf type lettuce shows exceptional disease resistance, especially to powdery mildew, and is slow to bolt. It can be grown as cut-and-come-again baby lettuce or as mature, loose heads. 'Sandy' looks great in a container along with cool season flowers or combined with the colorful stalks of 'Rainbow' chard.

'Hestia' Brussels sprouts was selected as a Regional Winner for the Southeast and Mountain/Southwest regions, only the second Brussels sprouts variety to be granted an AAS Winner designation. The erect plant maintains its nice habit throughout the season and was judged notably more uniform than comparison varieties. And unlike others, it will develop a sweet flavor without exposure to cooler temperatures.

To find out about these and other 2015 AAS winners, go to AAS. (Image courtesy of All-America Selections)

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