The Q&A Archives: violets in the lawn

Question: We have tried weed and feed - not effective. How do I kill violets that have taken over the lawn- about 20 percent this year

Answer: Getting rid of violets is no easy task. Established colonies of wild violets are very drought tolerant, due to fleshy underground stems called rhizomes that store water and allow the plants to survive dry conditions. The rhizomes also allow the plants to spread, forming colonies. These extensive perennial root systems are one reason the weeds can be so difficult to control. Hand digging, roots and all is one method; herbicide applications are another. Controlling wild violets in a lawn or landscape can be a difficult challenge, and will certainly require more than one herbicide application before it is accomplished. Violets should be targeted for control in fall as they are preparing to go into winter. Plants take in herbicides most readily during this time. Very poor control is the usual result of attempts to control violets during the summer. There are several products available. Read the product labels carefully, making sure that violets are listed on the label, before buying any herbicide product. The waxy coating on violet leaves causes liquid herbicides to quickly run off the leaf after application, with little chemical being taken in by the plant. For this reason, herbicide applications targeted at violets should include a spreader-sticker. This product helps the chemical ?stick? on the weed leaves better, resulting in better herbicide absorption and thus giving better control. Best wishes with your landscape.

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