September E-News from Viette's                   Volume 8: No. 9

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                         September/2012

Butterflies flock to Helianthus blooms in the fall.
Butterflies flock to Helianthus blooms in the fall.
September is a
beautiful time to be
in the garden!

If you think that September means the end of the "flower show" ...


                                Think AGAIN! 
Visit Viette's this September!

Our gardens are full of
beautiful September color;
from the bright blooms of
Helianthus, Japanese anemones,
and Buddleia to the colorful butterflies that swarm all over them.
We have loads of fall bloomers
just waiting to dazzle you!
Quick Link
Plant of the Month
Anemone September Charm
Anemone 'September Charm'
Anemone japonica 
Japanese Anemone 
Japanese anemones add graceful dimension to the late summer and fall garden with their profusion light and airy blooms. Andr� uses mass plantings in many of his berm gardens and they are truly spectacular! 

A beautiful blooming clump of Japanese anemones at Viette's
A beautiful blooming clump of Japanese anemones at Viette's
Colorful Blooms
Japanese anemones come in a wide range of colors from white to pink to deep rose and in single flowers or semi-double to double flowers. These hardy perennials produce a mass of silvery buds and colorful blooms which rise on well-branched stems above their attractive foliage.
Anemone Honorine Jobert
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
Great Companions
Japanese anemones are wonderful in combination with Astilbe, hosta, and ferns in a woodland setting or mixed with the beautiful Heuchera cultivars in a lightly shaded border. They make a lovely transition plant where the shade meets the sun. Plant Japanese anemones around Dicentra spectabilis - as the Dicentra begins to go dormant in the heat of the summer and is cut back, the beautiful anemone foliage will fill the void. 
unique. Leaves can range from silky smooth as in 'Royal Standard' and the plantaginea cultivars to heavily corrugated as in 'Love Pat' or the sieboldiana cultivars.

Easy Culture
Japanese anemones are very easy to grow; all they require is bright or partial shade, and fertile, well-drained soil. They spread and naturalize nicely and reward you with charming flowers in late summer through fall.
Anemone 'Queen Charlotte'
Anemone 'Queen Charlotte'
Beautiful Cultivars
Some great Anemone japonica cultivars you will find at Viette's this fall:

'Honorine Jobert' -
lovely single white blooms on 30" stems

'Party Dress'
3 1/2" perfectly formed double, deep pink blooms stems are almost twice the size of other Japanese anemones. 36" tall

'Queen Charlotte'
beautiful semi-double silvery pink blooms on 30" stems

'September Charm' - striking single blooms with rose-pink petals alternating with deeper pink petals to create a bi-color effect. 30" stems
Fluffy seedheads of Japanese anemone
Fluffy seed heads of Japanese anemone make wonderful additions to fall arrangements
Quick Tip
Amaryllis Ferrari has stunning 7
Amaryllis Ferrari has stunning
deep red blooms!
Time to think about your Amaryllis again!
Are you planning to bring your amaryllis back into bloom for Christmas?
It will soon be time to get started! Here's what to do:
  • Between September and October, dig your amaryllis bulb from the ground or bring the pot indoors.  
  • Cut the foliage back to 2" and, if it is not in a pot, carefully clean the dirt from the bulb. Let it dry.  
  • Place the pot or dry bulb in a cool place for 8 to 10 weeks (40-55�F is ideal). A refrigerator vegetable drawer is fine for the dry bulbs but do not store with apples!  
  • If your bulb is in a pot, do not water or feed it during this rest period.  
  • Once you see the tip of a new flower stalk emerging from the bulb, plant it in a growing container (either a vase with pebbles and water or pot with soil)  
  • Move it to a warm, sunny area indoors.  

You'll soon have beautiful flowers to decorate your home for the holidays!


Amaryllis 'Minerva'
Amaryllis 'Minerva'
Gardening Questions?
Andre  answers a listener's question during a broadcast of 'In the Garden' 
Listen to Andre on the radio every Saturday morning from 8-11 on  
"In the Garden
with Andre Viette".
Click for a station list or
streamed live from our
flagship station WSVA.
Listen to podcasts.  



Mark Viette  answers a listeners call during a live broadcast. 

Now you can listen to Mark every Sunday morning from 8-10 on  


"Easy Gardening"  

with Mark Viette.

Visit the "Easy Gardening"
website for live streaming and podcasts of Mark's radio show as well as tips and other gardening information.

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Tip of the Month

The Importance of Fall Garden Maintenance 


Rust on Hollyhocks
Rust on Hollyhocks
Late summer and early fall can be a time of transition in the garden.
Many of the spring and summer perennials can begin to look a bit scraggly at this time of the year due to insect munching, disease, senescence, or simply from the natural weathering of the plants over the season. Many gardeners wonder what they can do to improve the look of their gardens. Is okay to cut some of these "battle scared" plants back? The answer in most cases is YES

Fungal diseases on Perennials 
Powdery mildew on Phlox
Powdery mildew on Phlox

The other day we had a call from a gardener who had powdery mildew on her peonies and she was wondering what she could spray to control this. Sometimes towards the end of the season it's not worth the time or expense to spray for disease control on herbaceous perennials. It's often just better to cut them back to the ground. In general, we recommend that you wait until the peony foliage begins to yellow in early fall before it is cut back. However, when the foliage is covered with powdery mildew, it cannot photosynthesize efficiently so in this case, it is fine to cut it back even as early as mid August.

Powdery mildew on crape myrtle seed pods
Powdery mildew on crape myrtle seed pods. These can be pruned off.
Diseases like powdery mildew often become more prevalent in the late summer when plants tend to be under more stress or are beginning to decline naturally. Plants that are in a weakened state are more likely to be attacked by fungal diseases and insects. We often receive calls in August and September about mildew on summer phlox and peonies, rust on hollyhocks and asters, and leaf spots on many other perennials. These perennials can be cut back severely if they become an eyesore in the garden. Even some trees and shrubs like crape myrtles can be pruned to remove just the diseased portions of the plant. This diseased foliage should always be bagged up and discarded in the trash; never put it in your compost pile because they often don't get hot enough to destroy the disease organisms. Many perennials, including phlox and daylilies, will regrow fresh new foliage for the fall season.  

Disease in the Vegetable Garden
This year powdery mildew and downy mildew seems to be exceptionally bad in the vegetable garden, especially in the cucurbits; squash, melons, and cucumbers. Affected plants decline rapidly and eventually die back completely. These vines should be removed from the garden, bagged up and disposed of. Remember to rotate your crops next year!

Disease Prevention in the Garden
Fallen quince can harbor overwintering diseases and insects.
Fallen fruit, leaves, and other plant debris can harbor overwintering fungal spores.
If you have had disease problems in the flower garden or vegetable garden, one of the best ways to avoid these problems the following season is to carefully rake up and remove all dropped leaves, fruits, and cuttings from the garden in the fall. Fungal spores overwinter in this plant debris and will reinfect the plants when they emerge in the spring.This is especially important in the vegetable garden. Another way to reduce disease in the garden is to plant disease resistant varieties whenever possible. There are many new cultivars and hybrids of trees, shrubs, and perennials that show resistance to many of the common fungal diseases. Also be sure to rotate your crops in the vegetable garden if you are able.

The Importance of Weed Control 
Leafminer trails on velvetleaf
Leafminer trails on velvetleaf
Weeds can act as both reservoirs and alternate hosts for a wide variety of insect pests and diseases that plague our gardens. This is one of the major reasons that it is important to keep your gardens and also the adjacent areas as weed-free as possible. Weeds harbor insects like leafminers, whitefly, slugs, aphids, thrips, flea beetles,
and stink bugs. Some of these insects transmit viruses to our plants in addition to being destructive to the plants directly.
There are many common weeds that are particularly important as hosts for insect pests. Some of these include velvetleaf, lambsquarters, jimsonweed, purslane, pigweed, nightshade, and sunflower.

Whitefly swarm on the underside of velvetleaf
Whiteflies swarm on the underside of a velvetleaf leaf
Not only do weeds harbor insect pests, but they also compete with your good plants for nutrients and water as well as for space in the garden. 

Weeding may be one of the least desirable of all the garden chores but it is nevertheless very important. If you get the weeds while they are small and keep up with them over the season, the job will be easier and hopefully, you will be happily surprised at the reduction in the number of insect pests that call your garden home! This means you'll be spraying
less pesticide in the garden - an added benefit!

MayLecturesAugust Lecture Series at Viette's! 

Helianthus combines well with many other fall bloomers.


Wednesday, September 5th at 1:30 pm  

Saturday, September 8th at 1:30 pm 

The Garden in Fall 

The correct orientation of the hand shears makes a clean cut.

Fall will soon be upon us. What can I do? Plant a new lawn or rejuvenate an old one. Our garden center manager, Gerry Coggin, will demonstrate and explain some products which will make it easier. Gerry will also discuss how to use cover crops in the vegetable garden and ideas for hardscaping to enhance the spring and summer gardens. He will include tips on planting for fall color, pruning, and getting your water gardens ready for the winter season.  Free lecture


Saturday, September 15th at 1:30 pm

Let's Grow Daffodils 

Ross Hotchkiss presents a wonderful talk on spring bulbs and their culture. We are happy to welcome bulb expert Ross Hotchkiss back to the farm once again for this fun and informative seminar! Ross is currently a Director of the American Daffodil Society and has served two terms as President of the Virginia Daffodil Society. Ross will cover many topics relating to bulbs including a brief history of bulbs, how to choose the best bulbs, how to plant for optimal success, and how to lift and divide bulbs correctly. He will also provide tips on how to plant many bulbs quickly and effectively.  

After his lecture, Ross will have drawings for two boxwoods which are direct descendants of the original stock from Mt. Vernon and also for some hard-to-find daffodils! Free lecture  


Saturday, September 22nd at 1:30 pm  

Techniques of Plant Propagation   

Dividing daylilies

A wonderful fall hands-on workshop! Plant propagation is an exciting, self-satisfying, and money saving activity! Learn how to landscape your property using your own plants. Mark will teach you the best methods for many different plants including techniques of dividing, taking cuttings, layering, and seeding. Take home loads of plant divisions! A propagating demonstration tour is included.

Please pre-register by calling 800-575-5538;

       $30 fee, two for $50


Did You Know?
NOW is the Time to Control Winter Lawn Weeds!

Are weeds taking over your lawn?
Chickweed forms dense mats in the lawn
Chickweed forms dense mats
in the lawn
For cool-season turfgrasses, September is a perfect time to apply pre-emergence herbicides to control annual bluegrass (Poa annua) and other winter annual weeds such as chickweed, shepherds purse, henbit, purple dead nettle, speedwell, and geranium. Pre-emergence herbicides to control winter annuals must be put down in late summer or fall before the seed germinates.
However, keep in mind that pre-emergence herbicides will also prevent the germination of grass seed, so follow the label directions and do not apply near newly seeded patches of turf.

Dandelions can be tough to control in the lawn.
Dandelions can be tough to
control in the lawn.
Since many broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion, various clovers, and plantain, show a new "burst" of growth in the fall, this is a great time to "zap" them with a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide. In the fall, perennials (including perennial weeds) begin to prepare for winter by moving nutrients and stored starches from their leaves into their roots. Spraying systemic herbicides at this time means that these chemicals also get transported down to the roots more effectively! Since the grass is still actively growing, it will quickly fill in the bare spots.

The Viettes recommend the following for broadleaf lawn weed control:
  • Bonide Weed Beater and Weed Beater Ultra
  • Bonide Weed Beater Complete (also contains a pre-emergence weed killer)  
  • Bayer Advanced Weed Killer for Lawns
  • Bayer Advanced Season Long Weed Killer for Lawns (also contains a pre-emergence weed killer)
  • Ortho Weed-B-Gon Max plus Crabgrass Control 

On the Viette's Views Gardening Blog
  08-30-2012 15:07:20 PM

This past weekend, Eric and I took a few days off and drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I've always wanted to do this because I'd never been to the Smokies, well at least not to the national park. It was spectacular, to say the least. [...]...�


A hungry tobacco hornworm munches on a cherry tomato. 08-22-2012 15:40:33 PM

This summer our deck has turned into an extension of our vegetable garden. We have herbs in widow boxes, lettuce and cherry tomatoes in large containers, and beets and carrots growing in a raised garden kit from ScottsMiracle-Gro. Soon we will plant some spinach and more lettuce. It's nice being able to go out right [...]...�

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Andre's Next AAA Trip

February 18 - March 1st, 2013


View from the Viette home in St. Thomas.
View from the Viette home
in St. Thomas.
11-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise


Mark your calendar to join Andre and Claire Viette on Holland America's Noordam for an 11-day Southern Caribbean Cruise. 


Explore the unspoiled natural beauty and tropical beaches of the Caribbean. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy diving around colorful reefs, snorkeling in crystalline waters, or sailing on a catamaran. If shopping is your sport, you'll find plenty of places to splurge on duty-free treasures.  


You'll visit 7 beautiful islands of the Caribbean and have the opportunity to enjoy private shore excursions including the fabulous 5 acre hilltop home and gardens of the Viettes.  


Hurry! Time is running out to sign-up for this exciting trip. Beat the winter blues in the sunny Caribbean!  


Click for more information   


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