June E-News from Viette's                                     Volume 10: No. 6

Lori Jones, Editor                                                                                                      June/2014

Beautiful summer gardens at Viette's June is Perennial Gardening Month!

Celebrate the Month!
Plant Perennials!
Our June gardens are brimming with color!
Visit our nursery in the beautiful
Shenandoah Valley and wander through
acres of lovely display gardens!
Our gardens are ALWAYS OPEN for you to enjoy!
As the spring blossoms of iris and peonies fade, a host of beautiful summer bloomers fills in to paint a colorful landscape in the  
Viette gardens!

Daylilies blooming in one of the front berm gardens at Viette's.
Daylilies and phlox bloom in one of the front berm gardens at Viette's.
Beautiful blooming daylilies
Beautiful blooming daylilies.
Peak daylily bloom for our gardens is in mid-July.
Quick Links
Plant of the Month
Coreopsis 'Sunfire'
Coreopsis 'Sunfire'
Coreopsis spp.

Bright, reliable, EASY color all summer!
are wonderful perennials that provide continuous vibrant color in the sunny garden all summer long and into the fall. This popular plant is very easy to grow,  long-blooming, drought tolerant, tough, and deer resistant. What more could you ask for? They are native to the U.S. and most are hardy in Zones 3-9.
A "Jack-of-all-trades"
Coreopsis can fill many roles in the perennial garden. They are a wonderful addition to the dry perennial border, to a wildflower garden or cut flower garden. They combine well with other perennials in a mixed border and their bright flowers attract butterflies all summer and fall.
Coreopsis 'Sweet Dreams'
Coreopsis 'Sweet Dreams'
These versatile bloomers are also excellent for naturalizing. They can thrive unattended in fields or on sunny banks where they will bloom profusely and fill the area with long lasting color. If left to go to seed, they will attract many hungry seed-eating birds, such as finches, buntings, and sparrows.
Choices, choices, choices
There are many different species and cultivars of Coreopsis to choose from.
The light and airy Coreopsis verticillata has narrow, needle-like foliage that creates a lacy, see-through effect in the garden. The popular cultivar 'Moonbeam' forms open, rounded clumps covered with bright lemon yellow flowers and 'Zagreb' grows more upright with a profusion of golden-yellow daisy-like flowers.
Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset'
Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset'
'Autumn Blush' is a beautiful cultivar with light, peachy-yellow flowers with a red eye. The flowers take on a wine-red blush in the fall! 'Sienna Sunset' has unusual but gorgeous orange blooms. There are even cultivars like 'Red Satin' which have vibrant ruby-red flowers. The pink blooming Coreopsis rosea forms an airy mound 18" tall which is covered with beautiful pink blooms. There are even some unusual bicolored forms like Coreopsis rosea 'Sweet Dreams' which has large white flowers with a bright raspberry-red central ring and 'Snowberry' which is creamy white with a raspberry-red eye.
Coreopsis 'Snowberry'
Coreopsis 'Snowberry'
Coreopsis grandiflora is a lovely mounding species that has broader foliage than the verticillata-types. 'Sunfire' has stunning golden-yellow blooms with burgundy centers. 'Early Sunrise' has attractive semi-double, golden-yellow blooms. These compact cultivars are excellent additions to the mixed border and make wonderful cut flowers in fresh arrangements.
Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise'
Coreopsis 'Early Sunrise'

Coreopsis grows well in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soils, even poor soils, as long as they are well drained. Take care not to over-fertilize these plants. Feed each spring and fall with Espoma Plant-tone.
Deadheading or shearing back after blooming can encourage a late season bloom, so while you are in the garden, pick a few for fresh indoor arrangements!
Coreopsis 'Ruby Frost'
Coreopsis 'Ruby Frost'
To rejuvenate a Coreopsis clump and keep it blooming well, divide it every 3-4 years in the spring.
Great Companions
Coreopsis are perfect companions for the brightly colored Echinacea and the steadfast Rudbeckia. Combine with Liatris which will add a striking vertical effect to the sunny border or wildflower garden. Shasta daisies, Salvia, and Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' or 'Butterfly Blue' also combine well with Coreopsis.
Echinacea variety
Colorful Echinacea combine well
with Coreopsis.

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Gardening Questions?
Andre  answers a listener's question during a broadcast of 'In the Garden'

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with Andre Viette"
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Tip of the Month 
Minimizing Disease in the Vegetable Garden
To grow a healthy vegetable garden, one with few or no diseases, some general practices should be followed. The following 10 steps will help maintain healthy plants and reduce the need for fungicides.
  1. Choose resistant or tolerant varieties 
    The easiest and most important way to manage plant diseases is to choose resistant or tolerant varieties. The letter abbreviations used to describe the resistance of a variety (e.g., VF = Verticillium and Fusarium wilt resistant, PM = powdery mildew resistant or tolerant) are listed in seed catalogs.
    Resistant varieties resist infection by a particular disease agent and show little or no disease. Tolerant varieties may show symptoms but still yield the same as resistant varieties or susceptible ones protected with pesticides. When available, choose varieties that are resistant or tolerant to a disease that previously has been a problem. 
  3. Purchase seeds treated with a fungicide
    Seed may come pre-treated with a dusting of a fungicide, or you may dust the seed with an appropriate fungicide, which is clearly labeled for this use according to the directions on the LABEL.
    This coating will help prevent the seed from rotting in the soil prior to germination and can also help protect the newly emerging seedling from "damping off". If seed rot or damping off have been problems in your garden, then treating the seed with a fungicide may be helpful.  
  5. Purchase disease-free seed and transplants
    Begin with healthy plant material to help plants become quickly established in the garden. Plant materials that are unhealthy at the start never yield as much as healthy ones or may die while still young.
    Reputable seed companies sell only disease-free plant materials. Some seeds are hot water treated to kill infectious agents such as spores or bacteria that may be carried on the seed coat. Some are tested to reduce the risk of seed-borne viruses.
    When shopping for transplants or other propagating material, take time to thoroughly examine the plant stock to make sure it is healthy and vigorous.
    If you save your own seed, harvest it from healthy plants and dry it thoroughly before storing. Store the seed in properly labeled, airtight containers in a cool, dry place.
  7. Select a sunny, well-drained site
    A sunny area with well-drained soil is an ideal site for vigorous growth of garden plants. Shaded, poorly drained areas result in the growth of weak and spindly plants that are easy targets for disease organisms. Even if such plants remain alive and free of infectious disease, they will not yield as much as strong and burly plants.
  9. Improve the soil environment
    When there is no other choice for a garden site but a heavy, wet soil, plant in raised beds or ridged rows so the soil around the plants' roots will be drier. Heavy wet soils discourage healthy root growth and encourage root rots.When a garden is established on sloped terrain, plant in terraced beds to reduce soil erosion over delicate,
    Mulched tomato plants
    Tomato plants mulched with shredded leaves and black plastic
    young plants and newly sown seed.Soils that are dry and sandy may be mulched with a variety of materials (straw, grass clippings, black plastic, etc.) to help retain moisture.
    A soil environment that is favorable to healthy root development will support the growth of healthy plants.
  11. Water and feed plants
    Most vegetable gardens require one inch of rainfall per week for best growth. If rainfall is inadequate, water the garden. Water plants in the morning so they will dry off quickly above ground, reducing the chances of spreading diseases. Try to avoid using overhead sprinkler irrigation because it can promote the development and spread of leaf, flower, and fruit infections. Trickle irrigation is best because it puts water directly in the root zone, does not wet the plants above ground, nor encourage soil splashing.
    Plants that are fertilized properly at planting time and later as a sidedress will grow better and healthier. We recommend using Espoma Plant-tone or Garden-tone and  incorporating a well-rotted manure or rich compost into the soil. Avoid over-fertilization with chemical fertilizers because this can injure plant roots directly.  
  13. Space plants to allow air circulation
    High humidity and moisture favor the development of diseases. Allowing enough room for plants to grow and space for air to circulate around the mature plants reduces the humidity and promotes rapid drying of plant surfaces. This in turn helps reduce disease incidence.
  15. Practice cleanliness in the garden
    Work in the garden when plants are dry because moisture on plants aids the spread of infectious diseases. Always remove plant materials that show signs of a disease and destroy them or place them in the trash. Composting, unless the pile becomes very hot, does not effectively destroy plant pathogens. For this reason it is unwise to compost diseased plant material. At the end of the growing season clean up all crop debris because disease agents often overwinter in this plant material and can infect new plants the following season.
  17. Clover is often planted as a cover crop
    Clover is commonly planted
    as a cover crop.
    Plant a fall cover crop and plow it under in the spring

    After cleaning up the garden, sow a cover crop, like perennial rye, which will begin to grow that fall. This cover crop will protect the top soil from erosion during the winter months. The following spring plow in the cover crop to enrich the soil with fresh organic matter or "green manure".
    This practice also helps reduce the populations of certain soil-borne disease agents. Other, non-infectious, agents flourish on the green manure in the soil and tend to inhibit the infectious ones. Read more about cover crops. 
  19. Rotate your crops in the vegetable garden
    Disease in the garden can be reduced by practicing crop rotation.
    Disease in the garden can be reduced through crop rotation.
    Successive planting of one crop family in the same area over many seasons promotes the buildup of disease agents in the soil. Thus, disease becomes more severe over time. Rotate plants to different areas of the garden to help reduce the losses due to soil-borne disease agents. Avoid successive planting within crop families or crop types such as crucifers (cabbage, broccoli, turnip, radish, etc.), cucurbits (melon, cucumber, squash, etc.), solanaceous (tomato, eggplant, potato, pepper), grasses (sweet corn, cover crops such as rye), legumes (bean, pea), and root crops (carrot, beet, onion). Read more ... 
June Lectures Under the Old Apple Tree  
Join us at the farm for these informative lectures ...
Saturday, June 14 at 1:30 pm
Beautiful Summer Perennials for Your Garden 

Learn all about the wonderful perennials that bloom in the early summer and beyond. Andre will talk about tough summer plants which survive heat and drought conditions. He will focus on perennials with easy culture and low maintenance. Come learn how to prepare your garden for summertime by choosing the best summer perennials.

Andre will take you on a personal tour of his beautiful summer gardens after his talk. See his gorgeous hosta collection and all the other wonderful summer bloomers!  Free lecture


Saturday, June 21st at 1:30 pm 

All About Sun and Shade Gardens

What is considered sun? What is shade? How much sun can shade plants tolerate? Will sun plants grow in part shade? Learn the answers to these questions and more as Andre talks about gardening with annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees in the sun and shade. Learn the Viette's secrets of proper soil preparation with the best amendments, proper watering practices, planting techniques, and more.  

After the talk, Andre will take you on a personal tour of the sun and shade gardens that surround the Viette Nursery. Free lecture


Saturday, June 28th at 1:30 pm 

The June Blooming Daylilies 

The early daylilies will be in bloom! Learn all about these early bloomers and which ones are the best performers. Learn how to to create your full season daylily garden, by choosing some early season bloomers. These multi-stemmed, multi-branched beauties will bloom through most of June. Combine some early-midseason bloomers with these early bloomers to extend your daylily bloom into mid July. Then add some midseason bloomers, mid-late season, and late season bloomers and presto! You have a beautiful succession of color from June through September with lovely vibrant daylilies.
Andre will take you on a personal tour of the early daylilies and the beautiful June gardens.
Free Lecture.


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Join Mark Viette at Christmas Tree Hill 
Saturday, June 14 - 9:30am
Christmas Tree Hill - York, PA  
Mark Viette 
Join Mark Viette
for an informative
gardening seminar on: 
"Easy Garden Makeover and Mark's Favorite Plants"
Do you have an overgrown, weedy and neglected garden? Are your shrubs blocking your windows or walkways? In this interesting gardening seminar, Mark will show you how to rejuvenate and renovate your garden to give your gardens a brand new look. Proper trimming, pruning, thinning and fertilization of your trees, shrubs and flowers will be discussed.
In addition, Mark will talk about his favorite new plants including trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.
At the end of the seminar, the first 100 attendees will take home a bare root Viette hybridized reblooming daylily called 'Lemon Cap' valued at $14.95.
Christmas Tree Hill is located at: 
2801 South George Street, York, PA  
From the Viette's Views Blog ...
Botrytis on a peony flower bud   05-30-2014 16:32:26 PM

An ugly name for and ugly disease! Botrytis or gray mold is a fungal disease that attacks many perennials but especially peonies - the "aristocrat" of the spring perennial garden! Anyone who grows peonies eagerly anticipates the appearance of their glorious blooms in mid to late May. Sometimes we are bitterly disappointed when our peony [...]...�

Did You Know?  
Taking Advantage of Microclimates!

What is a microclimate?
Microclimates are small (relatively) areas in the landscape that have conditions which differ from the overall climate of a region. It is basically climate on a small scale!

Taking advantage of the different microclimates that exist on your property will allow you to expand and diversify your landscape plan. Sometimes they allow you to grow plants that are normally not hardy in your area.


Where are they?
Microclimates can affect any element of climate: temperature, light, moisture, humidity, or wind. They can be either naturally occurring or artificially created.  

For example: 

  • Southern and western exposures are hotter, brighter, and drier in summer and also warmer in winter. 
  • Northern and eastern exposures are generally cooler and shadier 
  • A good cover of high quality mulch will stabilize soil temperatures in winter preventing the freeze-thaw that causes heaving of plants from the soil. 
  • South facing brick wall creates warmer conditions.
    A south facing brick wall creates warmer conditions.
    Windbreaks created by walls or hedges protect plants from physical injury and also damage due to moisture loss from drying winds. 
  • South facing brick walls and rock walls not only provide a windbreak but they absorb heat during the day and radiate it back at night protecting tender plants from frost and extending the growing season. 
  • The area under the eaves of the house is shielded from rainfall and becomes almost desert-like. 
A Better Place?
A naturally occurring microclimate can be found under the shade of trees. In areas with hot humid summers, it is often preferable to plant sun perennials in a location that receives a bit more shade than is normally recommended, especially if the shade protects the plants from the hot afternoon sun. This can prolong the life of the flowers.
In winter, a southern exposure usually becomes shaded by 3 o'clock in the afternoon. This shade causes the air temperature to decrease gradually through the afternoon and evening. In contrast, an area with a southwestern exposure normally receives no afternoon shade and therefore, when the sun sets, the temperature drop is radical and fast. In this situation, winter injury of plants is more likely to occur  especially with evergreens.
A northern, northeastern, or southeastern exposure that is protected from wind is a great location for broadleaf evergreens such as holly, azalea, Rhododendron, Pieris, and mountain laurel. Winter winds can be a major problem for these evergreens because they increase water loss through the leaves which can cause winter kill or burning of the foliage.
  • To protect against winter kill, apply a 3" blanket of mulch and remember to irrigate in the winter during periods of dry weather when the soil is not frozen.   
  • Another safe guard is to spray your evergreens with Bonide Wilt Stop, a natural, organic anti-desiccant which will protect them all winter.

Be an observant gardener!
The most important advice is to try and choose the right plants for all areas of your landscape. Take the time to note the patterns and timing of sun and shade, the direction of prevailing winds, the areas where frost is slow to melt, and other factors related to microclimate.  

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