Three new flowers and two new vegetables have been named 1980 All-America award-winners. They are Peter Pan Flame zinnia, which won a silver medal, and Sangria verbena, Janie Dwarf French marigold, Holiday Time pepper and Gold Rush squash, which won bronze medals.
Seeds and plants of the new varieties will be listed in catalogs and available for purchase at garden centers for spring planting.
Award-winning flowers are more uniform in plant size, blossom form and color intensity. Resistance to plant diseases and garden insects is an important factor. In vegetables, taste and texture top the list.
Produced by Goldsmith Seeds, Peter Pan Flame, like other Peter Pan Varieties, will bloom when only 6 to 8" tall. It' different from Peter Pan Scarlet -- the red is deeper and shows a hint of crimson when strong side-lighting shines through its thick petals. At maturity plants are 12 to 14" tall, blooms average 3 1/4" in diameter through midsummer and 2 1/2" late in the season.
Sangria verbena was developed by Denholm Seeds, gets to be about 10" tall and spreads two to three. Its wine-red color changes with the angle of the sun. Morning and evening light bring out a translucent crimson and midday sun creates a flush of warm burgundy.
Janie Dwarf French marigold, produced by Goldsmith Seeds, blooms earlier than other marigold in this class. The deep golden-orange blooms average 1 1/2 to 1 3/4" in diameter and the green foliage doesn't hide them.
Seeds of Janie sprout quickly in warm soil and develop into blooming plants in 45 to 50 days. It can be grown in hanging baskets and pots.
Holiday Time pepper was produced by Pan American Seed. It gets to be 6 to 8" tall and 4 to 6" in diameter. The edible hot peppers are yellow when young and turn orange and red as they mature. Although actually a vegetable, Holiday Time is more colorful than many annual flowers.
Gold Rush squash, a product of Petoseed Company, is unique in zucchini squash: its bright golden skin contrasts with a rich green stem. It's so smooth it looks waxed. The interior is creamy white, with excellent texture and zucchini flavor. It matures in about 50 days from seeds planted in the garden and can be eaten alone or mixed with other summer squashes in colorful dips and cooked dishes. It should be picked at 4 to 8". Q. I picked some seedpots from my azaleas but don't know how to plant the seeds. Can you give me some tips? A. The seeds can be planted immediately or they can be stored for a year or two in a jar with the lid on tight. Plant the seeds in a shallow pot; for soil use well-decayed leaf mold from under an oak tree. Soak the leaf mold and let it settle overnight. Sow the seeds thinly and cover with a thin layer of sphagnum moss that has been rubbed through a 16-inch sieve. Cover with glass , give good light but no sunlight. When Seedlings are one to three inches tall, transplant to individual pots. Q. When should I prune my clematis? It is the Henryi variety. A. Henryi, like many clematis varieties, blooms on new growth of the currene year, and the time to prune it is late winter or early spring. Those that bloom on growth of the previous year can be pruned immediately after they finish blooming. Q. What can I do about the moss in my lawn? It has been spreading over the years. A. Moss occurs when there is heavy shade. poor soil drainage, soil compaction and too much mositure. Control requires correction of the condition that makes it possible. Q. I have been given two African violets and they are beautiful. How often should they be watered? A. It varies with the season and will be affected by the amount of light the plant receives, humdiity and temperatures.When the soil feels dry to your touch, it needs to be watered. Use room-temperature water, apply it until it comes out the drainage hole, wait 15 mintues for excess water to drain, and empty the saucer. If excess water accumulates in the bottom of the pot or the pot stands in water for a period of time, air is shut off from the pots and the roots are damaged. A pot full of active roots supporting a large plant will require more frequent watering than a small plant that has just been potted. Q. What's your opinion of the black walnut as a shade tree? A. It's quick growing, but late of leaf out in the spring and early to shed leaves in the fall. Its roots are toxic to many shrubs. Q. Some insects ruined by turnip greens and cabbage last fall. What do you recommend? A. The insects probably were aphids and specialists recommed spraying with malathion. Direction on the label should be followed closely. Q. What is an oyster plant? A. Salsify, a vegetable plant, tastes a lot like an oyster when cooked and is called the oyster plant. Q. Will weed seeds in my compost pile germinate when I use the compost? A. Most weed seeds will be killed by the heat that develops when compost materials go through fermentation. Some hard seed, such as morning glory, may come through alive, but most will not. Q. How can we get rid of wisteria roots? We cut it down, but new shoots continue to come up from the roots. A. Cut the shoots back as they appear and continue to do it and in a year or two the roots will die. There are chemicals that will kill the roots but not without damaging those of other plants growing in the area.