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Three new tomato varieties to try this season

Hanbidge on Horticulture: All America Selections for 2022 – Part III
Tomato Purple Zebra F1is a striped tomato with complex flavours and a firm texture. The fruit is dark red with green stripes and a deep mahogany red interior.

Here's another column about the latest AAS Winners for 2022. All America Selections (AAS) is a non-profit trialling organization that tests new, never-before-sold varieties of plants for the home gardener. The AAS Winner label is like a stamp of approval as their mission is to promote new garden varieties with superior garden performance.

The 2022 winners will be available for purchase for the gardening season as supply becomes available. It is sometimes difficult to get the seed desired when the winners are just announced but if you go to the All America Selections website, they list the seed houses that sell seed of the winning plants. The url is

There were three tomatoes chosen as winners and all are worthy of trial in your garden. Tomato Pink Delicious is an early maturing tomato that supports the heirloom look, flavour and texture but with hybrid disease resistance and improved germination. One might consider it the best of both worlds as it is an easy tomato for gardeners to grow. It fruits early and has a high yield and uniform fruit size. With a high Brix rating it is sweeter than normal and has good disease resistance as well.

Tomato Purple Zebra F1is a beautiful striped tomato with complex flavours and a firm texture. The fruit is dark red with green stripes and a deep mahogany red interior so has a very distinct and attractive colouration when on the table or in a salad. The taste is sweet and acidic with a thinner skin but still maintains great disease resistance.

The next tomato has vigorous growth with fruit that has strong, dramatic striping from stem to tip.

Sunset Torch F1 was the first to ripen in multiple regions with an open growth habit that allows the fruit to be easily viewed. Very little splitting, good yields and a mildly sweet, fruity flavour makes this tomato a definite winner.

Watermelon Century Star F1 is a new seedless watermelon that is very similar to the heirloom variety, Moon and Stars. It produces a good yield of 10 pound fruits on long vines. The rind has an attractive spotted colouration and the sweet internal flesh is great tasting and crisp.

That concludes the winners for this year so be sure to try at least a few of the winners chosen since the inception of AAS in 1932. Thinking back to the 1920s and '30s, there was little reliable information available to gardeners. Ray Hastings was the president of the Southern Seedsmen’s Association of Atlanta, Georgia in 1932 and he was the man who proposed the idea of AAS as a way for home gardeners to learn which new varieties of plants are truly improved. He encouraged seed companies to set up trial ground, and to co-operatively test new varieties and help to develop the marketing for new vegetables and flowers. Thanks to Hastings, this was the beginning of the AAS which is still bringing solid information to gardeners to this day.

Hanbidge is the lead horticulturist with Orchid Horticulture. Find us at; by email at; on facebook @orchidhort and on instagram at #orchidhort.

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