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Violets, a breath of spring

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Violets are an early blooming plant. They often bloom right alongside your mid to late spring bulbs. An easy to grow perennial, often found growing in the wild. Violets, pansies, and violas are all part of a closely related family.

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Not only are violets violet and other shades of purple, they also are yellow, white and bluish-purple. They are not related to African violets.

These popular ground cover plants are popular in many states. They are the state flower of Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

Violets can be grown from seeds. They like shade to partial sun. Violet can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later. Sow violet seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate slowly.

Much easier is to grow violets from transplants. Many gardeners would love to share with others, and violets allow that generosity. Transplant violet plants into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Space them 6" apart. They will tolerate a little crowding. Once violets are established, they should grow well, even if left unattended. Soil should be moist, but not wet. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week and keep them well weeded.

Remove spent blooms to promote additional blooms and extend the blooming period. This will also keep the appearance neat and beautiful.

Did you know violets when grown organically are edible? The blossoms can be strewn on salads, placed on cupcakes and cakes and made into jelly. Be sure not to use the yellow violet blossoms as they are bitter.

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