Seed catalogues with their picture perfect displays of flowers and veggies are a temptation of epic proportions for a winter starved gardener come the end of January. And if one doesn’t have the interest, patience, space or time available to propagate any plants from seed it is just as much of an adventure to peruse gardening books or plant related articles online and begin to plan the flower/veggie endeavour for the spring season. So have you ever come across ‘AAS’ and wondered what it stands for? Ok, it appears to be some sort of classification but how might it or does it have any relevance to you?
‘AAS’ is definitely a term that has meaning for you! ‘All American Selections’ aka ‘AAS’ is an organization that has been around since 1932. It was created to promote the quality and reliability of non GMO seed available to the home gardener. So for the last several decades independant judges from across Canada and USA, who are both plant experts and volunteers, trial new seed varieties that have been sent to them by seed companies. Throughout the growing season these judges record data such as crop yield, pest and disease resistance, bloom characteristics and overall performance of the various seeds they have chosen to grow. They evaluate the data then send in reports to help determine if that particular plant qualifies for an award. Two awards are given:
- Gold AAS a rare award given only in the case of a breeding breakthrough
- AAS given to a seed/plant of superior garden performance to others of the same category on the market
So when you go to order seed or buy a plant know that if you have an option between similar varieties the AAS label might be a worthy choice.