Common Name Viola, Pansy
Genus  Viola
Species V. x Wittrockiana 
Family Violaceae
Life Cycle  Hardy annual, short-lived perennial in warmer zones
Tray Size  125 
Plug Care Either harden off and plant out plugs soon after receiving them, or bump them up into larger cell trays to avoid plugs becoming rootbound. 
Netting / Staking Not necessary. 
Temperature Range Optimal temperature range for active growth is 45-65F. Pansies and violas can tolerate temperatures down to 25F but should be protected if the temperature goes that low, or lower, for extended periods of time. Pansies and violas do not tolerate intense heat and production will slow down or stop as temperatures approach or exceed 75F. 
Spacing To promote long stems, most growers pack their plugs in quite close together with 3-5" spacing being common. 
Soil Preference Loose, rich, slightly acidic soil is best, but pansies and violas are not very fussy. Fertilize with a well balanced calcium nitrate based fertilizer for best results. 
Day Length Typically facultative long-day but variable, dependent on cultivar. Pansies and violas will bloom under short days however long days promote more flowers and plants grown under long days will typically bloom sooner. Plant in full sun for the happiest plants - some growers recommend partial shade to aid with stem length (shade makes stems stretch, however the stems may be flimsy or weak).
Pinching Not necessary. 
When to Plant Pansies and Violas are cold hardy and can be planted in the fall under a tunnel in many zones. Overwintered plants will be larger and more robust come spring when the growth will explode with the warming temperatures. If planting without cover in zone 6 or colder, plant in early spring about a month before the last frost date. They can handle frost and dips into freezing temperatures while young.  
Harvesting The first month or more of the flowering period will likely be on short plants with small stems, not worth cutting. Do not worry, the plants just need time to put on size and stem length. It's a good idea to deadhead if you have the time. It's labor intensive but the plants will be more productive if not wasting energy on seed production. Start harvesting stems when they are approximately 8-10 inches in lenth - some growers report 12-14 inch stems late spring and into summer. You are cutting a branch from the plant that contains flowers and buds, not individual flower stems which rarely exceed an inch. Cut deep, close to the ground for the longest possible stem. 
Post Harvest Care Cut stems should immediately be placed into cool water. Pansies and violas have up to a two week lifespan even without the use of a floral preservative. You can safely store them in a cooler until needed, and hydration does not seem to be an issue. Buds will continue to slowly open over time in the vase.
Diseases / Insects Pansies and Violas tend to be disease resistant. They can be susceptible to slugs and aphids, but not many insect pests are active in the cooler conditions that pansies and violas thrive in. 
Bailey's Notes Growing under cover may improve stem length as it does for most crops due to lack of wind and inclement weather exposure. It would also give northern and cold climate growers the chance to plant earlier in the season and have an extended bloom time. 
Resources  Growing Violas and Pansies for the Flower Farmer