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 at…

dichondra in window box in Amherst NY

Now is time to get annuals– along with advice you didn’t even know you needed!

by Connie Oswald Stofko It was well into June when I finally turned my attention to the window boxes on my front porch, which is the main point of interest in my plain front yard. It seemed like every other gardener in Western New York had their pots of annuals out already, and I felt like I was running behind. But what I learned was that waiting until June to go to your local garden center can work to your…

coleus Lord Voldemort in Buffalo

5 tips for making an impact in your landscape without flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You don’t have to have a flower to make an impact,” said Kristin Pochopin, interim director of horticulture at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. You can see that lesson on display at this year’s Celebration of Coleus and Color, which is again sponsored by Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com. The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, June 18 through Sunday, July 24. This exhibit is included with regular admission to the…

vegetables herbs and flowers in pot in West Seneca

Why you should plant veggies in containers, plus a shocking tip on caring for veggies!

by Connie Oswald Stofko First of all, there is still time to plant vegetables. The best time to plant vegetables is the first week in June until about June 10, said Jen Weber, retail manager at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. The ground is warm, the nights are warm and the danger of frost has passed. So yes, you still have time to plant vegetables, but do it soon–The Fourth of July is too late, she said….

agastache Acapulco salmon and pink

Four great annuals that you might not know about

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re tired of using the same annuals every year or you’re new to gardening and don’t know where you start, here are some interesting suggestions for annuals from Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. These plants all like sun. Varieties of cuphea “It’s a nice, reliable, good overall plant,” said Jill Kisker, grower at Lockwood’s, referring to different varieties of cuphea. It’s also known as cigar plant for the shape of its flowers. “The hummingbirds…