Three Prize-Winning Veggie Varieties

comments (0) July 31st, 2012

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Three of my container-grown vegetables won blue ribbons at the county fair.
I planted the prize-winning basil in mid-June and it was the perfect size for a late-July vegetable competition.
Mariachi pepper is a 2006 All-America Selections vegetable winner.
Three of my container-grown vegetables won blue ribbons at the county fair.Click To Enlarge

Three of my container-grown vegetables won blue ribbons at the county fair.

Photo: John Pendleton

When I entered three different vegetable crops in the Arapahoe County Fair, I didn't believe in beginner's luck. But now I do.

Even though I've been gardening for years, I'd never entered a vegetable competition until now. This year I was lucky enough to have some beautiful basil, three identical cherry tomatoes, and some unusual hot peppers ready in time for the competition.

I was surprised and delighted to see three blue ribbons on my entries when it was time to collect my exhibit at the end of the fair.

Here's a brief overview of the varieties that attracted the attention and comments of the judges:

Basil 'Sweet Genovese' (Genovese Profumitissima). I grew this basil in a patio container by sprinkling a packet of seeds over the soil, covering with a thin layer of soil, and keeping the soil moist. I started the container in mid-June and it didn't take off until the days of 100-degree weather finally settled down. "Fairly uniform, large leaves, leaf quality is great! Taste is good!"

I agree with the judges' comments. I grow this basil every year and use it fresh in salads, on sandwiches and in pesto.

Cherry tomato 'Sweetie' (Lycospersicum esculentum). I started these seeds in March and transplated this heirloom, organic cherry tomato to a patio container in early June. "Taste excellent. Uniform in size," according to the judges.

Pepper 'Mariachi' (Capsicum annuum). My container-grown 'Mariachi' pepper plant is a 2006 All-America Selections (AAS) winner in the vegetable category. "Nice specimen, uniform," the judges commented.

Even if you don't plan to grow these varieties as prize-winning produce, each one makes a beautiful and delicious addition to the vegetable garden.

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posted in: container, fairs, competitive growing