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Early winter (late autumn?) gardening tips for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko I often write articles about what you can do your garden right now. But today, what you can do in your garden depends on whether you live in the northern part of Western New York or the south. Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Southern Erie counties are getting heavy lake effect snow. The rest of Western New York is looking at a few flurries. But as we gardeners know, the weather in Western New York can fluctuate….

poinsettia 'Christmas Mouse' at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses

So cute! Poinsettia ‘petals’ shaped like mouse ears at Mischler’s

by Connie Oswald Stofko We gardeners tend to look for color when we choose plants, but shape can add interest, too. Let’s take a look at three varieties of poinsettias at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, located at 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. All three are red, but each has “petals” with different shapes. Tip: What we think of as flower petals on poinsettias aren’t really petals. They’re bracts, a kind of leaf. Technically, the flower isn’t the colorful part; it’s…

egg clusters of spotted lanternfly on tree

What do spotted lanternflies look like now in WNY?

Spotted lanternflies (SLF), invasive pests that have been identified in Western New York, look different in different seasons. Right now you should look for egg masses. The adults lay eggs from September through November or until the first killing freeze. The egg masses start out white and change colors over a few weeks to pinkish and then to brown. The egg masses are about one inch long. Eggs can be found on any outdoor surface from October through June. Good…

USDA plant hardiness zone map comparing Western New York in 2012 to 2023

Your Western New York garden may be in a new plant hardiness zone

by Connie Oswald Stofko What plants will last through the winter in your garden? You can figure that out by knowing what hardiness zone you are in. And you may be in a warmer zone than you thought. A new version of the Plant Hardiness Zone Map was released last week by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. The zones go from coldest to warmest; 5 is colder…