deer eating in Buffalo NY winter Jan 2011

Keep deer and rabbits out of your garden in the Buffalo area

  by Connie Oswald Stofko The image at left is lovely if it’s on a Christmas card, but aggravating if it’s actually happening in your garden. I’ve written before about ways to keep deer and rabbits out of your garden. Even if you read those articles when they were published, take a second look and make sure you take a look at the comments sections. Readers have followed up and shared great tips! I think it’s time to address the…

two boys in Hamburg NY school garden

Take a lesson from this elementary school garden in Hamburg

“All of this is to teach our children where food comes from,” said Tricia Miller, volunteer coordinator for the Giving Garden at Union-Pleasant Elementary School in Hamburg. “If children grow it and taste it, their willingness to eat it and try more things grows.” The garden at Union-Pleasant Elementary School started three years ago because parents were concerned about food in the schools, Miller said. They decided a garden would be a good way to educate children about healthy food…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Update: Where you can get worms for composting in the Buffalo area

A lot of you have asked where you can get red worms for composting. In an April article, we told you that Buffalo Reuse was planning to sell worms for composting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’ll have a stock available anytime soon, so your best bet is to go to a bait shop. I went to Big Catch Bait and Tackle, 2287 Niagara St., Buffalo. Greg Becker, an employee there, said the red worms used for composting are easily…

David Clark rose class in Hamburg NY

Learn about growing and tending roses in Buffalo area

by Connie Oswald Stofko Growing roses in the Buffalo area isn’t as hard as some people think. In the video below, David Clark, professional horticulturist, gives quick tips on selecting roses, caring for roses and managing pests. Want more in-depth information? Clark will give a class on the topic at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. The cost for the class is $12. For reservations, call 649-4684 or visit the shop….

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Turn garbage into compost for your garden with red wriggler worms

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some amazingly beautiful compost a couple weeks ago in an Earth Day demonstration at Buffalo ReUse. The compost was dark brown and crumbly and pure, with almost no soil mixed in. The secret to this compost is red wriggler worms. They eat garbage and turn it into compost. “They eat their weight in garbage every day,” explained Kevin Hayes, executive director at Buffalo ReUse. “They’re voracious.” The earth worms that you find in your…

sparrows in juniper in Buffalo-Niagara area

Keep Earth Day in mind as you set your gardening goals

by Mike Van Der Puy On the border of my lot stands a mature evergreen bush that holds little aesthetic appeal for me. At six feet high and about eight feet in diameter, it does function to some degree as a windbreak. Its primary function, however, is serving as the equivalent of Starbucks to many sparrows. They come here for daily chitchat, protection from the weather and protection from that hawk watching from the nearby maple. The sparrows have not…

Sharon Webber talks with Gary Barnes of Buffalo

Here’s why great soil is so important to your Buffalo area garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sharon M. Webber, CNLP was once called to a home with a problem. It had a fairly new landscape, installed just two years before, but the plants weren’t thriving. In fact, normally tough and sturdy varieties of plant, such as forsythia, spirea, day lilies and even black-eyed Susans, were declining, big time. When you want to know why, she said, “Always go to the soil.” It turned out the initial installation had used soil pulled from…

Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' in Amherst NY

The grass that made me cry, and my best organic gardening tip ever

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj It was potting day last weekend. Oh, how I expected the tears to flow. We’ll be moving in January and I had made a list of a few of the rarer items in my garden that I want to take with me: the newly planted peach tree saplings, the purchased but luckily never planted Japanese holly, the similarly unplanted Corylus avellana “Contorta.” Since the ground will be frozen solid when we move, I…

caryopteris wide angle

Mums are nice, but think outside the box for autumn color in your garden

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj Mums are everywhere now. Heck, you can even buy them at gas stations. I’ve got fifteen dollars on pump number three, this Slim Jim, and oh, a burgundy cushion mum, please. While I do love mums’ bushy blooms and their pungent smell, I have other plant friends that bring a different look to my garden. Rest assured they require only loving neglect, as I’ve talked about in previous columns. Caryopteris “Sunshine Blue,” seen…

tomatoes organic gardening

A minimalist approach to vegetable gardening

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj You know the “Set it and forget it” motto on the infomercial? That’s the kind of gardener I am. I set the plant in the ground and forget about it. I describe my method as survival-of-the-fittest gardening. No special coddling, practically zero watering, and certainly no umbrellas set up to protect delicate plants from the sun. Seriously? People actually do that? If it doesn’t survive where I plonk it, it just wasn’t meant…