Violet Leverage

Violets are also known as heart's ease

So why do they make gardeners’ blood boil? Today, we take a cue from one of Janet’s childhood mentors, who said,

When the fall crocus blooms, it’s time to tackle weeds.
Colchicum autumnale bears the confusing common name “fall crocus” although it’s not even in the same family as Crocus. Here it’s blooming in September with groundcover plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides).

Colchicum autumnale bears the confusing common name “fall crocus” although it’s not even in the same family as Crocus. Here it’s blooming in September with groundcover plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides).

Fall crocus?!

Looking for other unusual bulb- and companion plants? Don’t miss our Bulbs webinar (live September 26, 2020, 8:30 a.m. Recorded in the Subscribers’ Library afterward.)

Which means...

...that fall is when the cool season weeds we dealt with in spring are entering their second season to spread. Seeds that germinate in late winter also thrive in late fall. Don't let this season pass without going back over your spring battleground to address re-invasions before this fall crop can add even more seed to the weed seed bank.

Violets are particularly pesky. If you kill them or dig them in spring but fail to cover the newly bared ground, seed already in those spots can sprout and be of blooming age by fall.

Violets blooming in fall? You may never notice it! Violets produce blind flowers in fall, buds that never open but self-fertilize and develop into pods packed with seed. It’s a surefire way to retake lost ground. Get out there before the pods ripen, remove the violets you missed or that rebounded since spring.

Remember Nature abhors a vaccuum

So spread grass seed or mulch that bare ground. If you don’t fill it with plants or mulch, Nature will send in the violets again.

Loosen the soil and remove the violet rhizome. Any piece of that thickened white creeping stem can regenerate.

Loosen the soil and remove the violet rhizome. Any piece of that thickened white creeping stem can regenerate.

Notice the flower buds. These fall flowers never open but are self-fertile and will very soon drop a lot of seed.

Notice the flower buds. These fall flowers never open but are self-fertile and will very soon drop a lot of seed.