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Violets In The Garden
(Fall 2000)


A Note from Norma:

             This is the column of our old friend Jack, who with his family has been growing violets for generations.   Here he writes about his plants, issues and problems found throughout the season by most violet enthusiasts.   For anyone who experiences a problem, would like a little advice or just wants to chat about violets, please post a message to Jack, either via email or in the conventional manner and Jack will reply.   Now, over to Jack.

Autumn Violet Care

Howdy there folks!

            Well, the days are drawing shorter now which means Fall is just around the corner and there are a heap of jobs that need to be done in the next few weeks so that the violets can be moved into their homes for the winter.

             First off, I'm going round all the violets in my beds to check which of them got rooted runners, and they will be marked for moving later on. Any runners that aren't rooted yet are pegged down with a piece of shingle or small stone. Then, I have a clean round, removing all the dead leaves and stirring up the soil some. Now, a couple of weeks ago a darned raccoon got in among the violets and in the space of a couple of hours had eaten near on to ten plants, so now me and the dog are keeping an eye open for the varmint.

Image of Racoon
Who Me?

            The next job is to make sure the winter home for the violets is ready.   Remember that it must be sheltered while letting a good deal of light through. The violets don't like cold wind as it burns the blooms or the buds just don't open, so a good deal of thought has to be given to location.

             This year I will grow half my violets in cold frames with a bed of horse manure under them 12 inches deep. Under that is some told twigs and leaves and over the top of the lot is about 10 inches of finely selected topsoil. I put my frame over the whole and plant up the violets about 14 inches apart, and low enough that they don't quite touch the glass.

             The other half of my violets I will grow in pots in the greenhouse, so I have got me a box of 10 inch pots and am now dividing up my violets and taking off the runners ready for planting up for the winter.

             Remember to inspect the violets every other day, and every day when they are in bloom.  Keep them warm and give just a little water when the days are warm and sunny.  As my old Pop used to say: "--just 'cause it's cold weather the plants will still dry out in the greenhouse when the sun is out!".

             Now, when all my jobs are done I can care for my violets and get ready to harvest the flowers for all the ladies here about. So, if you get a good show of violets this year, please write and tell old Jack, as we don't get too many letters these days.


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