garlic plants with scapes

It’s almost time to harvest garlic; when can you plant?

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can generally harvest garlic in mid- or late-July. The foliage starts to die back, which is an indication that the garlic is ready. Once your garlic is harvested, you’ll have an empty spot in your garden until October, the recommended time to plant garlic. But do we have to wait until October to plant garlic? As we discussed in a previous article, maybe not. Last year, I planted my garlic in intervals starting in August….

bulbs of garlic in Buffalo

Six reasons why you should plant garlic– & you can do it now!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko I grow garlic– lots of it. And I recommend that you try growing garlic, too. Here are six reasons why you should grow garlic: Garlic is so easy to grow! You plant it, then you sit around for several months, then you harvest it. I haven’t been able to grow zucchini, but I can grow garlic. You have a wide window for planting. You can plant anywhere from August through November– even into December if…

bulbs of garlic

You may not have to wait until October to plant garlic

by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the things I like about garlic is that planting it gives you something to do in late fall when there is nothing else to do in the garden. I have always heard that you’re supposed to plant garlic in October. But is there any reason you can’t plant it earlier? Since you harvest in July or August, I think it might be convenient to take cloves from your best heads of garlic and plant…

Adult allium leafminers

Onions, garlic may have a new pest; get other info from Master Gardeners, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko A pest identified in December in Lancaster County, PA may be headed our way. Called the allium leafminer, it likes leeks, onions, garlic, chives, shallots and green onions. It is not known how the allium leafminer may affect ornamental species. You can read more about its habits, how it damages plants and what steps you can take to manage the allium leafminer in this article in the newest edition of WNY Gardening Matters, the monthly publication…

garlic scapes in Western New York

It’s time to harvest garlic scapes in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you grow garlic plants in Western New York, you don’t harvest the bulbs until late summer, but you can harvest the scapes right now. Your hard neck garlic plants have probably developed curlicue stems called scapes, which are the flower stalks. While they look great in your garden, if you leave them in place they will divert the plant’s energy from the underground bulb. If you want a nice large head of garlic, cut off…

garlic braid in Lockport NY

Learn how to braid garlic from Lockport gardener

Keep garlic handy and add a decorative element to your kitchen when you make this ornament by braiding freshly picked heads of garlic. Jim Gugliuzza demonstrated the craft during Lockport in Bloom on July 7 and 8 at his home at 684 Walnut St., Lockport, where he has a 700-foot lot with large vegetable gardens. Gugliuzza planted 12 kinds of garlic this year. Garlic is usually harvested around July 10, but he pulled some early to show us his braiding…

garlic in Buffalo area

Get ready to plant garlic, and try different varieties

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garlic is a must-have for the kitchen, and it grows well in Western New York. What you might not know is that it comes in an amazing range of flavors, said Tom Szulist. He and his wife Vivianne Singer Szulist own Singer Farm Naturals, which specializes in growing organic gourmet garlic. “Spanish Roja is the king of all garlics,” Szulist said, pointing to some of the garlic he has harvested on the farm in Appleton, which…

lettuce and kale plants

How to get a second crop of vegetables & herbs this year in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can harvest vegetables and herbs into the fall–and even winter–when you plant cool weather vegetables at this time of year. Unlike plants such as tomatoes and peppers that need warm weather to thrive, cool weather vegetables are plants that actually like the cooler temperatures. Some can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. See the table below for more than 20 herbs and vegetables you can still plant this year. “Many experienced gardeners, not…

snowless garden and snowy garden

How to deal with warm-then-cold winter weather

by Connie Oswald Stofko We got snow in November, then it melted. In late December, the weather was surprisingly warm, with air temperatures reaching the high 50s. The grass looked so green! Then the temperatures hit lows in the teens. This past weekend we got socked with snow. One thing you can say for weather in Western New York– it’s not boring. Here are some things you can do to deal with these changes in winter weather. Protect your plants…

sticks in garden to keep rabbits and cats out

Tip to keep rabbits, cats out of your garden this winter

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do rabbits make nests in your garden? Do cats use your garden for a litterbox? Here is one tip to solve both problems. Make the space less appealing by breaking it up with sticks. In addition to sticks from a tree, you can recycle disposable chopsticks, Popsicle sticks, old plant tags and plastic forks and spoons. In my garden I have a metal spoon that was damaged when it fell into the garbage disposal. Don’t go…