hellstrip with flowers in Buffalo NY view from sidewalk

Tips for planting an unused space: the ‘hellstrip’ between street & sidewalk

by Connie Oswald Stofko People call it the “hellstrip.” It’s that section between the sidewalk and street where people generally grow nothing but grass. It’s where the plows deposit the heavy, salty snow from the street. Garbage cans get tossed there. Dogs do their business there. What in the world could you grow there? Flowers and herbs. That’s what Elaine Clutterbuck of Buffalo grows in the three-season garden she has established in her hellstrip. This past summer her garden was…

Fascinating green roof project under way in Springville; you can help

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Springville Center for the Arts is seeking volunteers to start seedlings for its green roof project. You’ll get seeds that you are asked to start in containers and nurture until they’re ready to be transplanted onto the green roof. You don’t have to live in Springville to participate. In addition to the seedling program, volunteers are needed for the installation of the green roof on the building that the arts center is rehabilitating at  5 East Main…

Start seeds inside now for cool-weather crops; start seeds for tomatoes in a few weeks in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s finally time for us to start thinking about starting seeds inside! Cool-weather vegetables Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all this snow melts at a nice, steady pace so that our garden beds will be dry enough to for us to plant cool-weather vegetables in April. As the folks from Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg told us in a previous article, cool-weather vegetables are the crops that can take some cooler weather and light frosts. They…

Plant food now: broccoli & other veggies from seed for fall as well as fruit trees & bushes

by Connie Oswald Stofko If your garden was wet or you were busy and didn’t get any food plants in your garden this spring, don’t fret. It’s not too late. You can plant vegetables, including broccoli, from seed. You can also plant fruit trees and bushes. Vegetables Now is the time to plant seeds for many vegetables that you can harvest in fall. In addition to broccoli, seeds that you can sow now include lima beans, coriander, dill, collards and…

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…

el at Pelion Garden in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel and herb garden under leaves: Did the plants survive this cold winter?

by Connie Oswald Stofko In November, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, showed us how she extends the growing season in the Pelion Community Garden at City Honors School in Buffalo. She insulated the herb bed by adding a thick blanket of leaves and, after two frosts this fall, the parsley was still green. On another raised bed with a grow tunnel, the broccoli, kale and cabbage were still doing well even though the temperature had dipped to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. But…

herb sign and accent plants at Mike Weber Greenhouses

Welcome Mike Weber Greenhouses, our new premium partner

Please welcome our new new premium partner, Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. Mike Weber Greenhouses is known for their Gardener’s Own™ brand plants that they grow themselves. You can buy these high-quality plants at their garden center as well as at Wegmans and at other independent garden centers. As you plan your herb garden, plan a stop at Mike Weber Greenhouses. They grow 95 different varieties of herbs. It’s a popular place for flowers, too– They specialize…

Shakespeare garden planned for Karpeles Manuscript Library on Porter; fundraiser set

“At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish snow in May’s new-fangled mirth.” Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare   by Connie Oswald Stofko Flowers, herbs and trees mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare will be featured in a new Buffalo Shakespeare Garden that is planned for the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue, Buffalo. The grand opening is planned for spring 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. A fundraiser for the project…

Got clay or rocks in your soil? Use pallets to create a raised bed– It’s simple!

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may be reluctant to start a new garden bed if you have a site that’s less than ideal. Maybe it’s full of stones that you would have to sift out or pick out by hand. Or maybe the soil is compacted or riddled with clay, so you face the prospect of having to work in lots and lots of compost to break it up. An easier solution is to create raised beds using pallets. This idea…

How to keep basil over winter: Free class discusses growing tomatoes inside, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The days are getting shorter and colder and soon we’ll be seeing snow in Western New York, but you can continue to grow food plants– inside! In this article, Jak Kochems, horticulture consultant at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping in the Getzville area of Amherst, gives us tips on how to bring basil plants inside and care for them over the winter. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill…