Violets in Lawn

(Question)

I am a resident of Toronto and have a corner lot. Approximately 8 years ago, a neighbour gave me some garden violets. They have completely taken over and there is little grass left. I would like to have my lawn resodded this spring but am concerned, since these plants have a deep growing system, they will simply reappear. Any suggestions?

(Answer)

There are two types of violets (Viola sps.) commonly found as weeds in the lawn; field violets which are  annual weeds and sweet violets which are perennial weeds. Controlling the wild violets can be quite difficult since the plants are drought and cold-tolerant and spread by seeds as well as rhizomes.

Digging is a good way to get rid of the violets in the lawn however, one must be sure to get rid of all the tuberous roots if even a smallest piece is left behind the violet will re-grow.

With any lawn weed, the best control is to promote a dense and healthy turf through healthy mowing, fertilizing and irrigation.

Lawns should be cut to a height of 3″. More frequent mowing maybe needed in Spring and Fall.A longer cutting height results in a deeper, stronger root system, shades the soil preventing weed seeds from germinating and retains moisture. For any grass height, no more than 1/3 of the blade should be removed at one cutting.

Most lawns requie 1-1 1’2″  of water /week. Regular deep water is better than daily light sprinkling.

For additional information on how to maintain a healthy lawn:  www.plcao.on.ca

Good Luck