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Hard-To-Control South-Central PA Lawn Weed: Wild Violet

A Necessary Preface to Any Discussion About Weeds

Promoting a healthy lawn is the best defense against having weed problems in your Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, or York County lawn. Proper mowing and watering, regular fertilization and core aeration, when necessary, are key ingredients in building a healthy lawn. The use of pest control materials, as tools to control weeds and other pest problems will help to protect grass plants and ensure vigorous growth in a lawn.

Wild Violets Are One Of the Most Difficult Weeds to Control in South-Central PA

Wild violets are a persistent perennial weed and one of the most difficult to control in our Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, and York County lawns. Violets have purple or blue (occasionally light purple, gray or white) flowers which are at about the same height as the heart-shaped dark green leaves - Refer to photo.  Some of our Weed Man customers find them attractive.  Violets do not grow higher than the grass, and, as such, do not impair the appeal of most lawns when viewed as a whole from the curb. 

Where We Find Wild Violets in the Philadelphia Suburbs

Whether Suburban Legend or, in fact, true history, it is believed that up through the middle of the 1900’s, violets were planted as a perennial ground cover in shrub beds.  If true, the violets would have quickly spread into lawn areas, helping explain the dense populations of violets in many lawns of the older residential developments in Boiling Springs, Camp Hill, Carlisle, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hanover, Mechanicsburg, New Cumberland, Shippensburg, York...  In general, violets grow best in moist, fertile, cool and shady areas, but can establish and persist in sunny and/or drought prone locations.

Controlling Violets

Control of wild violets in lawn areas requires repeated applications of post-emergent broadleaf weed control.  Many lawn care companies will tell you that wild violets are uncontrollable in south-central Pennsylvania.  In fact, spot-treating with the appropriate control product at the proper times will yield results over time (measured in years.)  Expectations must be in line with reality.  A reasonable goal for the first year would be to prevent the spread of the existing population.  Progress against violets is best understood as an uneven war of attrition:  Weed Man knocks down the violets in your lawn, the violets emerge again, Weed Man knocks the violets down again…. Finally, please be sure to discuss with our Weed Man Main Line office in Mechanicsburg, PA how much of a concern wild violet control is for you.  We will calibrate our efforts accordingly!