Six vegetables and six flowers are 1979 All-America award-winners; look for the seeds at local seed stores and large garden centers and in most catalogues, because they're have rated as the best for North American gardens by experts at trial grounds across the USA and Canada.
The vegetable winners are cucumber Saladin Hybrid, kohlrabi Grand Duke Hybrid, pepper Sweet Yellow Dutch Treat, snap pea Sugar Snap, squash Sweet Mama Hybrid, and squash Early Butternut Hybrid.
Saladin cucumber, which comes from Europe, makes good eating fresh or pickled, and is particularly good for salads.
Grand Duke kohlrabi is ready for harvest 45 to 50 days after planting, its swollen blue-green stems easy to peel for eating fresh or cooking like turnips.
Sweet Yellow Dutch Treat pepper has fruits held erect in clusters at the top of the plant; it's perfect for growing in containers, compact and productive.
Sugar Snap snap pea is a new variety so crisp, sweet and succulent it can be mixed into salads or eaten whole as an appetizer.
Eary Butternut squash matures in about 85 days in warm climates, can be harvested several weeks before sweet potatoes and will keep in dry storage for several months.Fall-harvested storage squash in especially sweet because the cool weather intensifies natural sugars.
Sweet Mama squash fruits are ready for harvest about 85 days from planting, and will keep for up to four months with no deterioration in their mild, delicious flavor and firm, medium-dry flesh.
The 1979 All-America flower winners are dwarf-French marigold Queen Sophia, zinnia Peter Pan Gold Hybrid, zinnia Gold Sun Hybrid, pepper Ornamental Holiday Cheer, pansy Orange Prince Hybrid, and nicotiana Nicki-Red Hybrid.
Queen Sophia marigold's dark bronzy-red blossoms mature to reddish gold; plants grow to 10 to 12 inches and round out to perfect mounds sheathed with 2- to 2 1/2 inch blossoms.
Peter Pan Gold Hybrid zinnia has light gold blooms of 3 to 3 1/2 inches diameter on plants 12 to 14 inches high at maturity. New branches cover the old blossoms, so the plants always look fresh.
Gold Sun Hybrid has golden-yellow flowers 4 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter on, stems long enough to use for cut flowers.
Ornamental Holiday Cheer pepper reaches 6 to 9 inches in height and is covered with loads of marble-sized round peppers splashed with purple, which turn scarlet and are good to eat.
Orange Prince Hybrid pansy's apricot --orange blossoms are round, full, slightly ruffled, 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.
Nicki-Red Hybrid nicotiana is a solid red, day-blooming, compact flowering tobacco that develops about a dozen spikes on upright plants 18 to 24 inches high.
THE GREATEST MANURE ON EARTH
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus happens to have 22 elephants, camels, ilamas, donkeys and other hay-eaters constantly engaged in producing raw fertilizer. What does the circus do with it? Why, it bags it all and gives it away, which probably makes more sense than carrying it all along on the road trips. It's rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and such, and free of chemicals - but it does have to age several months before it's ready for spreading. If you're interested, be at the circus train, near the produce yards, Tuesday between 10:30 and noon.
THREE-DAY HORTICULTURAL SCHOOL
The National Capital Area Federation of Garden Clubs will sponsor a three-day course on pest and disease control at the National Arboretum Thuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 to 2:30. Registration is $10 for members of federated clubs, $12 for others. Call 762-6647.