The Violet Gazette
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Violets the Year Round
Previously published in The Violet Gazette Autumn, 2000, V1-4, P4


Editor's Note:
            
Archival information and other type of historical records do, on many occasions, yield great treasures. Such is the case with this Violet Growing Calendar. We have not been able to precisely identify the source of it but suspect it was published by the Rhinebeck Violet Growers Association. The information in it attests to how important were good cultivation habits and marketing efforts to the local violet industry. The seasonal tips in this calendar are as relevant today as they were so many years ago to the region's growers.


White Violet Postcard
Approximate date. Things to watch for.
January 1-15 The plants do not need much water now. Do not neglect giving some fresh air, even though the weather is cold.
January 15-30 Violets will stand some frost, but 45 degrees temperature is best. If Violets are not blooming much now, do not try to force them, as you will be sacrificing blooms that you will need later on.
February 1-15 Water Violets after the flowers are picked. Keep in mind that the freshest Violets bring the highest prices. There is a temptation just now to hold your flowers on the plants for St. Valentine's Day.
February 15-28 The houses should be picked over at least once a week now as the Spring weather will bring on quantities of flowers.
March 1-15 A light shade should be applied when the sun gets warm. Use plenty of moist paper on the bunches of Violets to keep them fresh.
March 15-30 As the weather grows warmer give plenty of ventilation. Do not attempt to hold your flowers on the plants too long for Easter. Now is the time to get in some sand for the cuttings.
April 1-15 Right after the last picking of Violets, a start should be made to select the best cuttings or divisions. Just because you are busy with other things during the Spring, don't neglect the Violets, as they are plants that must have attention when they need it.
April 15-30 After the Violet plants have been removed, give houses or frames a thorough house-cleaning. Keep your cuttings in a house where heat can be applied during cool nights and sunless days.
May 1-15 Soil should be available for putting in houses now. Watch the cuttings carefully at this time. The conditions of water, air and heat are all of equal importance.
May 15-30 Soil in houses should be spaded several times. Use plenty of well-rotted horse manure.
June 1-30 When planting out young plants watch for signs of "black" on the plants. When planting Violets do not allow the roots to be long exposed to the sun or wind.
July 1-15 Violets should be sprayed frequently during the hot weather. It is a good time to consider now the matter of your fuel supply for the coming season.
July 15-30 A good time now to be building any new frames or houses needed. Don't forget to watch for signs of red spider. Constant syringing will keep them down.
August 1-15 The soil around the Violets should be kept free from weeds and loosened up. The old cutting leaves may be removed from the plants now.
August 15-30 From now until cold weather keep on the alert for signs of "spot". Now is a good time to take your vacation, before the plants need much trimming. If you go away, make arrangements to have someone look after the plants daily.
September 1-15 If you want to try new varieties of Violets secure new plants now. Runners may be pulled from the plants now. All the plants should show good, healthy growth now. If they don't, pull them out.
September 15-30 Violets do not require so much moisture now. Shade should gradually be removed. Green flies soon get the upper hand. Be ready with fumigants.
October 1-15 Now is a good time to get some soil ready for next Spring. Look ahead now to your needs int he line of boxes, wax paper, etc. It pays to advertise.
October 15-30 All the shade should be removed from the glass the last of this month. Give plants final cleaning up and pick off blasted buds. The neatest and best looking bunches of Violets bring the highest prices. Be sure that yours are put up carefully.
November 1-15 If Violets are in frames see about securing protection. The plants may be mulched now with pulverized manure. The Violets should now be sizeable enough to permit bunching. Now is a good time to be looking around for steady customers for your Violets.
November 15-30 Don't spray large Violets plants at this season, as it may cause "rot." Now is the time of year to secure your needed Winter supply of the small Galax leaves to be used in backing the bunches of Violets.
December 1-15 During the Winter is a good time to secure manure. Watch out for cold weather, but don't run the Violets too warm. Pack Violets carefully to prevent bruising.
December 15-30 Keep your houses clean. It is not wise to fumigate Violets when they are in crop. Plan to do it after the Christmas flowers are picked. Line your shipping boxes with plenty of paper from now on. Don't ask too high prices for Christmas. Remember that uniform prices pay int he long run, and prices that are too high drive possible customers to the use of other flowers.

2000 The American Violet Society
Courtesy Annebelle Rice, President AVS


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