geraniums

How should you overwinter geraniums?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I got a question from a reader on how to overwinter geraniums: Last year I held over my geraniums in the basement in a covered cardboard box. I shook most of the dirt from the roots before putting them in the box. First of the year I started sprinkling them with water while they were still dormant in the box in the basement. Later I brought them upstairs and planted them in potting soil. When they started…

impatiens with white coating of downy mildew

If you see downy mildew on impatiens, please contact researcher

by Connie Oswald Stofko Downy mildew on impatiens has been found in Lockport, and if you find it on your impatiens plants, too, a Cornell researcher wants your help. Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, has been providing us with information on this disease that will kill impatiens since my first article on impatiens in 2012. Daughtrey works in the the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, directed…

row of hanging baskets in West Seneca New York

You may need to fertilize annual flowers more than you think– but not veggies!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Contrary to what many gardeners believe, fertilizing your annuals won’t cause them to “bloom out” or be done blooming before the summer is over, said Jen Weber, retail manager at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. “It’s just the opposite,” Weber said. “Without the fertilizer, your plants won’t reach their potential. They’ll be smaller, thinner, weaker, leggier-looking plants.” In the case of petunias, verbena and calibrachoa (million bells), they will become leggy, won’t bloom…

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…