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Dear Editor,

Would you be able to advise on how to stop violets from spreading? The invasive plants spread quickly. They like the grass area, flower beds, and everywhere you don’t want them. Thank you for any information that you have.




Dear Bev,

You aren’t going to like this answer much… all my research indicates that violets are prolific little buggers that are nearly impenetrable to weed killers of any description—natural or chemical. They have a waxy coating which protects them from all the stuff you can think to throw at them.

You can dig them up (which may be a lesson in futility if they cover your yard) or you can get your soil tested and see if it might not be slightly acidic as these weeds proliferate in acidic soil. They also thrive in soils which are deficient in calcium.

If those ideas don’t work, you can think about using them as edible fare in your diet. They are excellent in salads and are a tremendous source of rutin, a hard-to-find nutrient that strengthens capillary walls, preventing or reversing the visible effects of varicose and spider veins. An excellent source on the edible and medicinal uses of violets can be found here…

The Editor



Dear Editor,

Follow up to the pear tree question. I have saplings sprouting from the root (ground) right beside my pear tree and also a cherry tree. Is this also most likely from the root stock and not actually a pear or cherry tree? I was thinking of trying to plant this sapling elsewhere for an additional tree.



Dear B—

It depends on whether those two trees are grafted trees. If they are not grafted trees, replant the saplings. If they are grafted trees, then those saplings are from the rootstock and not the grafted fruit tree. If you want to plant another tree from those you have, you’ll need to take a cutting from the fruit tree itself (and not the rootstock) and root them. Once they’re rooted, then you can transplant them elsewhere for another tree. The purpose of grafting onto a different rootstock is mainly to control the size of the tree, but also to provide the fruit tree tolerance or resistance to other environmental factors that it may not be if left to its own devices. It’s also used to clone trees that produce well. Just know that if you root the fruit tree and plant it, there are many other genetic and environmental variables that will come into play that will determine the size and vigor of that tree, and it may be completely different from what you already have.

The Editor


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