Three vegetables, Floramerica Hybrid tomato, Sweet Favorite Hybrid watermelon and Liberty Hybrid cucumber, won 1978 All-America Selections bronze medals. Seeds will be available for spring planting.
All-America Selections was formed in 1932 to test new varieties of flowers and vegetables grown from seed and to make awards to the most outstanding.
All-America Selections has 30 flower trial gardens, plus 25 vegetable trial gardens in the United States, Canada and Mexico, each trial garden with its own judge.
Judges include the presidents and research directors of botanical gardens and professors of leading universities.
A bronze medal is given for a definitely different and more desirable type; a silver medal for a truly outstanding and superior type; and a gold medal for an entry that is different and vastly superior to anything available before.
Floramerica Hybrid tomato, one of the 1978 winners, has resistance or strong tolerance to 16 tomato diseases or defects, including verticillium and fusarium Race 1 and 2, according to the judges.
On good soil it will produce tomatoes of 18 to 10 ounces in weight; a slice will easily cover a hamburger bun. The vines are medium-sized (no tall ones) and loaded with fruit. The tomatoes are good-flavored and of exceptional size and rich red color.
Sweet Favorite Hybrid watermelon produces an incredible number of delicious melons and where seasons are long, repeated pickings over a period of 60 days or more.
Watermelons prefer sandy soil and a deep much of pine needles, straw or dried grass clippings. Under such conditions, Sweet Favorite will produce melons weighing 32 pounds. On average garden soil, 15 to 20 pounds would be the maximum. Sliced longways, halves will easily fit refrigerator shelves.
Virtually all the fruit is edible, with high sugar content and crisp texture; the rind and skin are thin, the heart a deep red.
Sweet Favorite will mature reliably except where summers are short and cool. In the Midwest, for example, 85 days are required from seed to harvest.
Vines are resistant to such crippling and disfiguring plant diseases as anthracnose and fusarium wilt.
Liberty Hybrid cucumber resists most diseases that make old-time varieties hard to grow.
The barrel-shaped fruits can be eaten fresh, brined for dill or sour pickles, or made into specialties such as baby or sweet pickles. The vines are vigorous, wide-spreading and produce a good number of male flowers that makes it unnecessary to plant a special pollinator variety.
Immune to the vageries of late spring weather. Liberty can be planted earlier than most varieties if given protection on frosty nights.