August E-News from Viette's                            Volume 10: No. 8

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                               August/2014

Beautiful hosta garden August is the
perfect time to
garden in the shade!

Get out of the sun this month and enjoy your shade gardens ...
Come for a visit in the COOL Shenandoah Valley! We have some beautiful shade gardens to share with you.

PLUS the late blooming daylilies are flowering. Come pick out some of these beauties to extend your daylily season!  
Our gardens are ALWAYS OPEN for you to enjoy!
Quick Links
Hemerocallis 'Dunrobin'
Daylily 'Dunrobin'
All Daylilies


20% OFF 

Both potted daylilies and bare root orders!

Choose from more than 80 different varieties of daylilies in pots. If you don't see what you like in pots, pick up a copy of our Daylily List and wander through the display gardens. Mark the ones you like and then place an order in our garden center or over the phone. We will dig them fresh for you and your daylilies can be picked up at our garden center or we can ship them right to you.

Can't make it to Viette's during  
daylily time? 
No worries!
Simply browse our complete
Daylily Catalog and
visit the daylily photo galleries on our website. It's almost as good as being here (but not really!)
the ones you want and give us a call
at 800-575-5538.
We will be happy to take your order and give you the 20% discount!

Your daylilies can be shipped to you or you can pick them up here.
Plant of the Month
Crape myrtle growing as a shrub
Beautiful crape myrtle blooms brighten the late summer garden.
Crape Myrtle 

Looking for a beautiful specimen tree or shrub that will give you outstanding color from flowers, foliage, and even its bark? Try one of the lovely hardy crape myrtles, Lagerstroemia indica. 


The crape myrtle is an exceptional deciduous ornamental that has a long blooming season of showy flowers, a stunning fall season of blooms and colorful autumn foliage, and a winter season of dramatic architectural beauty highlighted by distinctive cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark. 

Crape myrtle tree
A taller crape myrtle pruned to a multi-stemmed tree
Plant Them NOW!
Crape myrtles from containers can be planted spring through early fall. Balled-and-burlapped crape myrtles should be planted in early spring or early fall. Late August and September are excellent times to plant them. This gives them time to get established before winter.
Beautiful crape myrtle blooms brighten the late summer garden.
Crape myrtles come in a wide variety of colorful blooms.
Full Sun
To perform their best, crape myrtles should be planted in full sun. This is especially true of some of the newer varieties. The red flowering varieties will lose some of their red coloring if they are not grown in full sun.
Well-drained Soil
Crape myrtles prefer well-drained soil and will grow well in sand, clay, or loam. They do not like wet feet or poorly drained areas so be sure to add plenty of good organic material to the soil when you plant - especially if you have clay soil. Once established in the garden, these magnificent trees and shrubs are heat and drought tolerant.
Crape Myrtle Sioux
Crape myrtle variety 'Sioux' has
bright pink flowers.

How big do they get? 

The mature height of crape myrtles can be categorized into the following groups: 

  • 1' - 3' tall
  • 3' - 5' tall
  • 5' - 10' tall
  • 10' - 20' tall
  • 20' or more  
Pick the correct height to fit your space. This will greatly reduce pruning. Height will also vary depending on your pruning practices, which may be in part determined by how cold the winter gets in your area. Severe cold can damage trunks which may then require renewal pruning.
Giraffe-like Bark!
Certain types of crape myrtle show off beautiful exfoliating bark. This showy bark pattern is best seen in 'Natchez', 'Acoma', and 'Tonto'. After 3 - 5 years, the bark becomes more and more attractive. 
The beautiful exfoliating bark of crape myrtle gets more interesting with age!
The beautiful exfoliating bark
of crape myrtle gets more interesting with age!

When do I prune?

Crape myrtles generally require little pruning if you choose the right variety and right size. 

Major pruning of crape myrtles should be done in May after they have broken dormancy so you can identify any winter damage.
late August through fall, any pruning should be limited to trimming off the finished blooms (unless you have a reblooming type) and seed heads.

See link below for tips on pruning crape myrtles.


Disease Resistance and Hardiness
The National Arboretum has introduced several wonderful varieties of disease and mildew resistant crape myrtles that are hardy to USDA Zone 6. Once established these beautiful trees and shrubs are heat and drought tolerant.  


Three excellent cultivars are listed below: 


'Sioux' is a beautiful cultivar that is highly resistant to powdery mildew. It has intense pink flowers that last up to 90 days 


'Natchez' is mildew resistant, has beautiful exfoliating bark, and large white blooms that can last for 110 days.


'Hopi' is also very mildew resistant and has medium pink, recurrent blooms that last up to 100 days


Double flowering crape myrtle
Double flowering crape myrtle

Download a PDF listing of 

Andre's favorite hardy Crape Myrtle varieties.


Click for information on pruning crape myrtles including some of Mark's video tips.
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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 8:00-11:00 on 
"In the Garden  
with Andre Viette"
Click for a station list or listen live from our flagship station WSVA. 
Listen to podcasts.  


Viette Discussion Board
Having trouble
getting through on
the radio?
isit our Discussion Board for answers to your gardening questions. Use the convenient search key to see if we have already addressed your problem!


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It's EASY, just register  

as a member.  


Please provide your city and state so we are better able answer your question.  


Tip of the Month 
Gardening Tips for August!
Brighten your Garden for September ...
is the perfect time to deadhead your Buddleia (Butterfly bush) for a burst of flowering in September.
  • monarch butterfly on a new buddleia flower
    Monarch butterfly on a
    fresh buddleia flower
    If you just have just a few Buddleia, you can easily use hand shears to individually remove the spent flowers. This causes more flower buds to be produced just below the old blooms.
  • If you have lots of Buddleia, you can use hedge shears to roughly shear off all the old flowers. It takes less time and produces the same result!
Shear back everblooming daylilies to ensure continuous bloom.Now is also a great time to cut back the foliage of daylilies that have finished blooming.
  • Shear them back to 2" - 4" from the ground to stimulate fresh new growth for late summer and fall.
  • Shearing also stimulates reblooming in the reblooming daylilies such as 'Lemon Lollipop' and 'Yellow Lollipop'.

Neaten up your hosta by trimming off any older leaves that may be turning yellow or have sun-bleached edges.


Deadhead spent blooms of Phlox, Salvia, Scabiosa, Geranium, Echinacea, and other summer flowering perennials to encourage them to rebloom.


Cut older Petunia stems back by two-thirds and then fertilize the plants to encourage new growth and blooms.


Powdery mildew on Phlox
Powdery mildew on Phlox

Hot weather and high humidity encourages fungal diseases like powdery mildew.  

  • Cut down and remove foliage of affected plants that have finished blooming. This includes peonies as well as phlox and other perennials. Do not compost!
  • Use Bonide Fung-onil, copper fungicide, or Immunox to treat plants that are still in bloom.

Remove dead, damaged, diseased, and insect-infested stems and foliage whenever you see them.   

Lawn Chores for August ... 
Grubs under damaged turfgrass
Grubs under damaged turfgrass
Control - August is one of the best times to control white grubs in your lawn. These grubs are easiest to control now when they are small and actively feeding near the soil surface.
Here are some grub controls:
  • Bayer Advanced Season-Long Grub Control
  • Bonide Annual Grub Beater
Fall Feeding - Late August is a good time to begin your fall application of organic fertilizer. Feed with your lawn with Espoma Fall Winterizer Organic Lawn Food. Espoma's winter formula supplies long lasting nitrogen, an essential nutrient that helps to promote a thicker lawn and vigorous growth. It is also fortified with potassium, a nutrient that helps the lawn recover from summer drought conditions, enhances winter hardiness, and helps promote a better spring greening the following season.

Look Ahead to Next Spring ...
Transplant Spring Bulbs - Late
August is a great time to begin transplanting established spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Use a garden fork to lift the clumps from the ground.
  • Replant the bulbs in fertilized soil in their new location. We highly recommend using Espoma Bulb-tone in the planting hole.
Divide Bearded Iris - If your bearded iris have become overgrown and don't bloom well anymore or have stopped blooming all together, they probably need to be divided. August is a great time to do this!
   Here's what you do:
  • Tall bearded iris clumps can be rejuvenated by dividing.
    Tall bearded iris clumps can be rejuvenated by dividing.
    Lift the rhizomes from the ground with a digging fork.
  • Cut the foliage back to 6" and clean off the soil so you can see the rhizomes.
  • Break the rhizomes apart at the joints where they snap naturally in your hands. 
  • Discard the old, withered rhizomes. These sections will never produce foliage or flowers again.
  • Cut away any damaged or rotten parts
  • Dip divisions in 10% bleach solution for 3 minutes.  
  • Allow to dry and replant the divisions leaving the top of the rhizome exposed at the surface.  
  • Do not mulch.  
Read more about dividing Tall Bearded Iris.
CHECK OUT this Exciting New Venture!    
Our friends at Blue Ridge Organics
have developed a NEW, innovative,
proven environmentally responsible,
YEAR ROUND, indoor growing system for

BroGro Systems

Can you imagine having FRESH, LOCAL fruits and vegetables available year around - even in the dead of winter? Fruits and vegetables grown with no chemicals or fertilizers? It's possible with the BroGro System.

"We have a unique, proven system that will grow first quality, all-natural fruits and vegetables without chemicals or fertilizer, year-round, in a greenhouse or inside a building. The system will use an incredibly small amount of water and electricity and have no adverse effects on the environment."

Strawberries growing in the BroGrow System
Strawberries growing in the BroGrow System
We are seeking funding to ramp up production of our systems and to renovate and equip a number of greenhouses located at Viette Nurseries in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. These greenhouses will provide an immediate, abundant commercial supply of high quality produce on a year round basis. These facilities will also allow us to bring in people from all over the world to train them in using the BroGro System.

Intrigued? Click here for more information. 


Thank you for your support! The funds we receive will be used to launch indoor farming solutions that meet regional demand, and help BroGro Systems take its story and experience across the continent, and then to other parts of the globe ---- 


Improving Our World, One Farm At A Time.
Homestead Resort

Andre at The Homestead 
16th Annual "In The Garden" weekend 
Host Andre Viette, along with some special guests, offer gardening expertise to help enhance your knowledge about plants. This special weekend has been planned for fellow gardening lovers to come, sit back and soak in the beauty of this beautiful mountain resort.
This fun-filled weekend features a welcome reception, great gardening seminars, door prizes, wine tasting, tour of The Homestead Gardens and membership to the American Horticultural Society. 
August Lectures at Viette's   
Join us at the farm for these informative lectures ...
Saturday, August 9 at 1:30 pm
Gardening with Hosta
  and Other Shade Perennials
Hosta are great companions with other beautiful shade perennials.

What is shade? Many gardens start in the sun and end up in the shade! Learn all about creating a beautiful shade garden and selecting the proper plants. By following a few easy steps for color and low maintenance, you can make your shady spots come alive with Hosta and other shade loving annuals, perennials, and shrubs.  Free lecture


Saturday, August 16 at 1:30 pm 

Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening

Butterflies love the fall blooming asters!

Who doesn't love to see the colorful butterflies and hummingbirds skirting and flitting around the gardens? Did you know there are plants which act as "hosts" for the butterfly larvae and plants which supply nectar for the adult butterflies and hummingbirds? Come to this valuable seminar and discover the marvelous perennials, annuals, and shrubs which will attract these delightful creatures and keep them coming back for years to come! Free lecture

From the Viette's Views Blog ...
Bagworm pupa case 07-22-2014 10:48:55 AM
Bagworms! I can see them hanging all over our eastern red cedars right now greedily munching away on the tender young needles from the protection of their "bag". Curious little devils but very destructive. Bagworms are not worms at all but the larvae of insects that attack many evergreen trees and shrubs. [...]...� 

Japanese beetles feed on leaf tissue 07-10-2014 16:31:33 PM
Ewwwww! What was that that hit me in the head? Unfortunately, I knew what it was before I reached up to get it out of my hair - a Japanese beetle! We have been lucky for the past two or three years - the Japanese beetles haven't been bad at all. This year, they may [...]...�


  07-04-2014 10:22:39 AM
It's Independence Day and the flowers are celebrating with us! Well - it might take a little imagination in some cases but there are lots of flowers that burst into bloom with an explosion of colorful petals reminiscent of our Fourth of July fireworks. Take for instance the colorful Delosperma cooperi (Ice Plant) shown at [...]...�
Did You Know?  
digging carrots in late fall.
Digging carrots in late fall.
Plant a Fall Vegetable Crop!

The "second season" of vegetable gardening begins in mid July and August!


There are many advantages to planting a late season vegetable garden. 

  • The warm soil speeds germination and growth
  • By the time your plants are producing, the bugs will be mostly gone!
  • Some of the best quality vegetables are produced during the warm days and cool nights of the fall season. In many cases, the flavor is enhanced by cool night temperatures - your carrots are sweeter and your spinach tastier!   

Vegetable seeds and plants for fall planting should now be available in local garden centers.

Plant seedlings (rather than seeds) of cool-season crops: 

  • Cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower

Plant seeds of cool-season crops directly in the garden. 

  • These include radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce, parsnips, spinach, and peas

If you choose early maturing varieties of bush beans, squash, and cucumbers, there is still time for a fall crop.   

  • Pre-sprouting your seeds before planting can reduce the days to harvest.

Many root crops like carrots, turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips can remain in the ground through the fall and into winter as long as they are protected from freezing temperatures. The benefit of leaving them in the ground is that when these vegetables are kept growing during the cool nights of fall, they begin to accumulate more sugar in the roots. This results in crisp, sweet carrots and beets, yummy parsnips, and delicious rutabagas and turnips.  


carrots covered with leaves for fall and winter harvest.
Carrots covered with leaves for fall and winter harvest.

The important thing is to cover them with straw, leaves, blankets, or anything that keeps the roots and soil from freezing while leaving just the green tops exposed. Since beets often push up above the ground as they grow, it is important to cover them with soil before covering with the mulch. If the "shoulders" of your carrots or other root crops are exposed, be sure to cover them with soil, too, before mulching them. This will allow you to extend the harvest well into winter!

Aloha - Join Mark on a Trip to Hawaii  
Hawaii Four-Island Agricultural Tour
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Lava flows in Hawaii
Join Mark Viette on this unique tour of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawaii

Tour highlights include:
Oahu - Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Punchbowl Crater, Iolani Palace, Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial with shuttle boat ride 
Kauai - Opaekaa Falls, Wailua Riverboat Cruise, Fern Grotto, Steel Grass Farm 
Pineapples Maui - Iao Valley State Park and Iao Needle Lookout Point, Old Whaling Capital of Lahaina, Maui Gold Pineapple Plantation
Hawaii - Hilo, Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa & Kilauea Volcanoes, Jaggar Museum, Giant Ferns, Thurston's Lava Tube, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, NELHA, fish farm

PLUS two gardening presentations given by Mark Viette.


Click for more information about this exciting trip.
Our Friends and Sponsors 
Harper's Open House 2014
Blue Ridge Compost