When the ground is covered in snow, you can still dream about what you will plant later this year. But with all the varieties of flowers on the market, how do you know what to grow?

The All-American Selections is a nonprofit organization that helps take the guesswork out of the multitude of varieties produced each year.

AAS growing tests are conducted across North America and AAS judges score each entry.

Only the highest-ranking varieties are given the stamp of approval. Most local garden centers carry the AAS Winners. The regional winners you should look for this year include one annual and three vegetables.

Salvia Summer Jewel Lavender is another popular winner in the Summer Jewel series. Butterflies and hummingbirds flock to its spikes of blossoms from spring to autumn. Plant habit is tight and compact making it great for containers and it stays small (under 20 inches). Tolerant of heat, rain, and wind also.

Next is Sweet Baby Radish, a unique 3-inch long purple radish that is crisp, crunchy and with a slightly spicy flavor. Quick-growing, maturing in just 40 to 45 days allows for multiple sowings each season.

The first-ever white pumpkin to be recognized by AAS is our third winner. Super Moon Pumpkin grows to 50 pounds and was noted for its clean white color, early fruit development and vigorous growth. Allow plenty of growing space.

Our final winner is Bunching Warrior Onion, an easy to grow green onion that matures quickly. It makes a very uniform crop of slender onion stalks and can remain unharvested in the garden longer than other bunching onions.

AAS has been selecting proven winners since 1933 and a complete list of those winners can be found on their website (www.all-americaselections.

org). AAS winners are selected from many new cultivars, based on garden performance as well as performance in the greenhouse.

Although no plant offers a guarantee of success in an individual garden, the AAS winners have proven themselves worthy over a broad range of growing conditions.

Try these new selections alongside your old standbys so you’ll have a means of comparison.

AAS winners are available through local garden centers and mail order catalogs this spring.

Kelly R. Jackson is the Christian County Extension Agent for horticulture. He can be reached at 270-886-6328 or visit Christian County Horticulture online at www.christiancountyextension.com.

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