As growers, retailers and gardeners begin planning the 2007 growing season, All-America Selections (AAS) begins the commemoration of 75 years of service to the North American horticultural and garden industries.
Started by W. Ray Hastings in 1932, AAS rigorously field tests new, unsold flower and vegetable seed-propagated varieties in locations across the United States. An AAS winner is tested to be one of the best varieties available on the market.
According to Nona Wolfram-Koivula, AAS executive director, “AAS is extremely particular about how these varieties are tested. All judges have a great deal of experience in the industry. Plus, they carefully follow plant breeders’ cultural guidelines to ensure all plant material is properly grown. Finally, AAS judges are unpaid, independent and impartial. They do this work because they love it.”
Because the test sites are all over the United States and Canada, growers really know what to expect from a variety in their part of the country. This helps reduce the risks associated with growing an unknown seed-propagated variety.
The AAS marketing and public relations efforts on behalf of a winner allow virtually all serious North American gardeners to read about the selection and see images of the flower or vegetable. An AAS winner is important for growers in that they will be producing plant material that goes into a “pre-sold” market.
For more information about AAS, visit www.aaswinners.com . You can also read about the latest AAS winners in the May issue of GPN.