Q Wild violets are invading my yard, and I don’t seem to be able to stop them. Do you have any suggestions? —Barbara Eadens
Eliminating violets from the lawn can be difficult, but keeping the numbers down is the goal. It may take a couple of years but getting them under control in terms of population will help reduce new ones from popping up.
Wild violets are perennial broadleaf weeds that spread by underground rhizomes. Dig them up as soon as you notice them so that they cannot flower and set seed. They have already flowered and set seed this year, and when the grass was mowed the seeds were spread, so keep an eye out for new plants throughout the growing season and next spring. Hand digging is the most effective means of elimination because it removes the root system and potential flowers. But even this does not guarantee elimination. If any part of the rhizome is left in the ground, it will rejuvenate.
Using an herbicide containing 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) in combination with triclopyr (Turflon or Weed B Gon) once in the spring as the foliage emerges and again in the fall will help reduce the population. Any herbicide that has triclopyr listed as the key ingredient will work best. Be sure to follow the instructions for the specific herbicide you purchase.