Amaryllis 'Apple Blossom' in Buffalo NY

Reminder: What to do now so your amaryllis blooms next year in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko There aren’t many plants blooming outdoors right now, but many Western New Yorkers are enjoying stunning amaryllis flowers indoors. Amaryllis bulbs are popular holiday gifts. If your plant is done blooming, don’t throw it away–it can bloom again next year. It’s pretty easy to get an amaryllis to bloom again, and the small effort you put into the project is well worth the effort. Amaryllis has huge, trumpet-shaped flowers–it’s spectacular! The most important thing to know…

autumn leaves on trees in Amherst Ny

Reminder: Keep your leaves!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last week, I was trying to get some exercise, walking around my neighborhood, but I just had to stop. The autumn leaves were so beautiful I had to photograph them! As I was meandering, two different strangers stopped to comment on how beautiful the trees were. But now the leaves are dropping. Yay! We gardeners love autumn leaves on the trees and in our gardens! Here’s a previous article that lists many of the ways you…

illustration of garlic bulbs by Stofko

Reminder: You can plant garlic now in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardening season isn’t over yet! You can plant garlic now. Here are six reasons why you should plant garlic. (The first reason is that garlic easy to grow. I can’t grow zucchini, but I can grow garlic!) That article also covers how to plant garlic and how to harvest garlic and garlic scapes….

basket of tomatoes and cucumber by Stofko

Reminder: share your extra produce

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are you one of those gardeners who don’t know what you’re going to do with all that zucchini? Or maybe you had a bumper crop of tomatoes. Or peppers, squash, basil… . There are places near you that would be thrilled to take that extra food off your hands. FeedMore WNY distributes food to hungry people throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. They partner with 300 agencies. You can find food pantries near you on the…

colorful perennials at Mischler's Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville

Reminder: Still time to plant perennials, some in bloom now!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardening season in Western New York is longer than many people think–it doesn’t start and end on Memorial Day weekend. There’s still time to plant perennials, including ones that are blooming now. And you can freshen up your garden with summer annuals as well as autumn annuals. And some of these plants may be on sale! Planting perennials in late summer You can safely plant perennials now through mid-September, said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist…

amaryllis blooming inside in Amherst NY

Reminder for WNY: Bring amaryllis inside soon so it blooms at Christmas

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to force your amaryllis to bloom inside around Christmas, bring it inside around the middle of August. That’s the advice from David Clark, CNLP, who teaches the horticulture classes at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. See our previous article here to find out about the timing for amaryllis. Find out more about growing amaryllis here….

hose slowly watering plant

Reminder: Water when it rains & water when it doesn’t

by Connie Oswald Stofko I once saw a garden that was the kind I wanted to have. It was full of healthy, vibrant flowers. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the plants in that garden were the same ones I already had in my own garden. “Why doesn’t my garden look like yours?” I asked the gardener. “What are you doing that I’m not doing?” Her response: “Water when it rains; water when it doesn’t.” Think about it. You might…

eastern cicada killer compared to Asian giant hornet

Reminder: No murder hornets in WNY; how to identify lookalikes

by Connie Oswald Stofko “We do not have Asian giant hornets (also known as murder hornets) anywhere in Western New York,” said Sharon Bachman, Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. We ran an article about murder hornets in October 2021. We didn’t have any in Western New York then and we still don’t have any. I keep hearing from people who think they have spotted murder hornets–or even insist that what they encountered was…

digging in yard by Stofko

Reminder: Call 811 before you dig

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’d be pretty embarrassed if the whole neighborhood lost its cable because you cut the line while you were digging or rototilling. And if you hit a gas or electrical line, you and others could be injured or even killed! So before you dig a hole for a fence post, water feature, garden or pool, you need to know where all those utility lines are so you don’t accidentally hit them with your shovel or rototiller….

tomato on vine

Reminder: Don’t rush to plant tomatoes in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Western New York gardeners who like to get their tomatoes planted outside on Mother’s Day should probably wait a bit longer this year. What are the chances you will get another frost in your area? Even if you don’t get a frost, the forecast calls for lows in the 40s Fahrenheit this week. And the soil is still cold. Find out why putting out your tomatoes too early can actually cause a setback to your plants…