Garden Lifestyle

Good Things Grow in Small Packages

‘Lizzano’ tomato, an All-America Selections vegetable winner for 2011, is a now a favorite in my garden, too.

'Lizzano' is a 2011 All-America Selections vegetable award winner for its eating quality, yield and plant habit.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

I’m sure gardeners in some parts of the country are already harvesting and enjoying bushels of ripe, juicy tomatoes, but it’s harder to grow tomatoes around here. My Colorado backyard didn’t see warm night-time temperatures until the second week in June, so tomato planting was delayed by several weeks.

However, I’m glad to see that one of the new varieties from All-America Selections (AAS) is making up for lost time.

AAS is an educational, nonprofit organization for evaluating new seed-grown flowers and vegetables from around the world. Since the 1930s, AAS has helped gardeners sort through new flower and vegetable varieties through an extensive trial process. Seed companies and breeders submit their seeds for testing and independent judges select cultivars that offer significant improvements over other varieties on the market.

Each year the organization sends me seed packets of the new winners to try in my garden. This year I’m growing the two cherry tomato winners: ‘Lizzano’ and ‘Terenzo’.

‘Lizzano’ is described as a high-yielding 0.4 ounce red cherry tomato with a vigorous semi-determinate, trailing habit that does well in hanging baskets. It can also be grown in gardens.

The plant I’m growing is in a large container and I have it staked so it will grow upright, but I can see it wants to spread its branches and hang down over the sides of the container.

According to AAS, ‘Lizzano’ is the first Late Blight tolerant cherry fruited semi-determinate variety on the market. The fruit set allows for continual harvest through the season.

During the AAS trials, judges said ‘Lizzano’ had “better eating quality, yield, and plant habit” when compared to other trailing cherry tomato varieties.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to judge that for myself very soon.

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