hanging baskets in Springville NY

Weather is finally warm & there’s still time to plant

by Connie Oswald Stofko The spring was so wet and cold, everything is running two weeks behind. Gardeners couldn’t get plants in the ground when they wanted to. Perennials that should be in bloom now are lagging. The good news is that the weather now is great for planting. And the even better news is that there is still time to plant. “You can plant perennials throughout the season,” said Ethan Waterman, manager of Waterman’s Greenhouse, 12317 Vaughn St. (Route…

coleus showpiece at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Coleus exhibit promises a rainbow of color; we are the sponsor!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A rainbow of color will greet you during this year’s Coleus & Color exhibit at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, which opens this Saturday, June 17. I’m excited to say that the exhibit is again sponsored by Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com. Coleus & Color can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, Aug. 6 at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors…

healthy impatiens by Stofko

Odds may be in our favor for impatiens this year; you can help researchers

  by Connie Oswald Stofko What are the odds your impatiens will do well this year? Well, we had a drought last summer, so that’s good. The dry weather inhibited the spread of downy mildew, which is the blight that has been plaguing  Impatiens walleriana, the plant that shade gardens had come to know and love for decades. Then again, our spring has been wet and cool, which are conditions that help the disease thrive, said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate…

hydrangea 'Diamond Rouge'

New plant suggestions: shade, shrub, annual

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re looking for something new or you need something to fit a particular need, check out these suggestions from Thompson Brothers Greenhouses, 8850 Clarence Center Rd., Clarence Center. Dawn Trippie-Thompson said that after they close their garden center for the summer, she and her husband travel to trade shows and test gardens to see the new introductions for the following year. Here are a few plants that are new to Thompson Brothers this season: a…

Tropical annuals will brighten your landscape

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s time to start thinking about adding color to your summer garden with tropical annuals, said Ethan Waterman, manager of Waterman’s Greenhouse, 12317 Vaughn St. (Route 240), East Concord (Springville). While you can buy them now, it’s still too early to plant them outside because they need to be protected from the cold, Waterman said. You want to wait until the air temperatures, day and night, are above 55 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you purchase…

Plant onions now & why trying for a head start with tomatoes may backfire

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Vegetable gardeners are eager to get planting, and there is a lot you can do now– if your soil is workable after all that rain. Give it the squeeze test. If you squeeze a handful of soil and it sticks together, it’s too wet to plant. If you squeeze it and it crumbles, you can plant. If you want to plant cool-weather veggies, this is the time to do it, said Jen Weber, retail manager…

containers of annuals at Waterman's in East Concord NY

Order custom-designed baskets of annuals now from Waterman’s Greenhouse

Annual baskets can add a splash of color to your garden, and at Waterman’s Greenhouse, you can get exactly what you want. Do you have a favorite flower or color? Is there a certain mixture of plants you like? Do you need something large and showy? Place an order for a custom-designed container of annuals now. Waterman’s staff will plant it up and care for it until the weather is ready for you to place it outside. By then it…

Dianthus Super Parfait ‘Crimson Star’

Great Plant Sale extends ordering deadline to this Sunday, April 16

If you didn’t get around to ordering any of the enticing plants in the Great Plant Sale held by the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, you’re in luck– The deadline to order has been extended to this Sunday, April 16! In addition to shrubs and grasses, you can pre-order annuals, such as Dianthus Super Parfait ‘Crimson Star’. The Super Parfait series is  known for large blooms and early flowering. ‘Crimson Star’ is a bicolored bloom. Oh, and it attracts butterflies! See the…

seeds

Start seeds inside: Wait till April for tomatoes & peppers, but go ahead with cool-weather vegetables

by Connie Oswald Stofko Readers have been asking me whether they can start seeds inside now. It’s still too early to start seeds for tender plants such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. More details are below. But if you want to plant seeds indoors now, try cool-weather vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and lettuces. Again, we’ll give you more details. Why starting your seeds too early…

oak leaf on pine needles

Take steps now to have great soil next year

  by Connie Oswald Stofko A couple of simple tests can tell you what steps you have to take to improve your soil– or let you know that you are already on the right track. There are three kinds of tests you might do, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. The first is a pH test to find out how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Farfaglia recommends that every gardener do this test…