University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Winter News Article

Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
 Each year, the best of the new vegetables are chosen as winners by the All-America Selections program after trialing across North America.  They must represent either a totally new variety, or one improved in some way over an existing one.  There are three winning vegetables for 2011, including a pumpkin and two tomatoes.
‘Hijinks’ pumpkin has small fruits, 6 to 7 pounds and about 7 inches across.  They are great for kids, especially for decorating or carving.  The mature fruit are a deep orange, with noticeable grooves vertically, and strong stems to serve as handles (even though it is generally best not to pick up pumpkins by the stems but rather by the fruit itself).    Some advantages of this new cultivar (cultivated variety) are its high yields of uniform size fruit, resistance to powdery mildew disease, and the easy removal of fruit from plants with the stems still attached. 

‘Hijinks’ matures in about 100 days (depending on season) from sowing seeds, earlier than some other pumpkins.  Since a mature plant can spread up to 15 feet across, allow plenty of room when planting.  If planting in rows, leave 10 feet between rows, and space plants 2 to 3 feet apart in the row.  If only planting a couple hills, space these 10 feet or more apart.  Either sow outside after the last usual frost, or start a couple weeks before this date indoors in either peat or paper pots that can be planted directly in the garden.
‘Lizzano’ tomato is a red, cherry-fruited and semi-determinate type.  Its main attraction over others is that it is the first of its type to tolerate the late blight disease.   This is the disease so prevalent and devastating in some years and locations. Other traits making this a winner include a good flavor, abundant fruits (about an inch wide) over a long period, and good plant habit. 

Its low-growing and trailing habit make it a good choice for patio planters or hanging baskets.  Whether in a container or in the garden, some staking will help (such as a tomato cage) even though it is compact compared to many.  Mature plants of ‘Lizzano’ may reach about 20 inches high and wide under good conditions, so space about this far apart if planting several in the garden.  Sow indoors in mid-spring for planting outside after the last frost.  It begins fruiting about 2 months after transplanting. 

‘Terenzo’ tomato is another red cherry type, with fruits a little over an inch wide, similar to ‘Tumbling Tom Red’.  It is a “tumbler” type—low growing and trailing, so perfect for hanging baskets or in patio planters.  This is a determinate type, forming a bush up to 20 inches high and wide. Other winning points are that the fruit are quite sweet, produced abundantly over a long period, are easy to pick, and resist cracking.  As with ‘Lizzano’, sow indoors in mid-spring for planting outside after the last frost.  It too begins fruiting about 2 months after transplanting, perhaps a few days sooner than ‘Lizzano’. 

Photos of these, and more All-America Selections winners in both vegetables and flowers, can be found online ( Other recent vegetable winners include ‘Cajun Belle’ sweet pepper and the globe ‘Shiny Boy’ watermelon.

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