goat's beard

Try goat’s beard, a bold native plant, plus other tips from Master Gardeners

If you want a large, dramatic plant with showy flowers that also attracts lots of pollinators, go for goat’s beard. That’s the suggestion from Lyn Chimera in September’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Goat’s beard (Aruncus dioicus), is hardy in zones 6-8, but needs moist shade in zones 7 and 8. It can get seven feet tall and four feet wide, so make sure you have enough room….

deer eating in winter

My new talk ‘Oh, Deer!’ helps you protect your plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the things that gets gardeners in Western New York riled up is deer. These hungry critters can wreak havoc in a garden. There’s no magic solution to keep deer from eating your plants, but there are things you can do that might help. Unfortunately, even if you find something to keep the deer away for awhile, the deer might get used to that deterrent. Then you have to try something else. The good news…

Asian longhorned beetle in pool

Keep your eyes open for this invasive beetle that can damage trees

This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. If they have invaded Western New York, this is the time when you would see them. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants people to report any sightings of these beetles before they can cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. If you have a pool If you have a pool, you…

symptoms of late blight on tomatoes

Bad news: Late blight could be coming to your tomatoes

Late blight was detected in Genesee, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties on Aug. 16, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Genesee and Chautauqua counties. It could make its way to other parts of Western New York, too, because it can spread dozens of miles on storm fronts. Late blight is a serious disease that can kill tomato and potato plants in just one week, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. It’s best known for causing the Irish potato famine….

lily pads protect fish in pond from heron

Protect fish in ponds from heron, plus final 2019 garden walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pond in the photo the may look overgrown, but all that foliage serves a purpose: It stops herons from eating fish in the pond. In this article, you can also find details on the last garden walk for 2019: the Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk in Niagara Falls. Stop herons from eating your fish Marcia Panzarella shared her Camden Ave. landscape last week during the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens. She has a pond,…

symptoms of late blight on tomatoes

Late blight spotted nearby; report it if you see it on your tomatoes

Late blight, a devastating disease of tomatoes and potatoes, has been detected in northern Pennsylvania (Erie County, Pennsylvania). If you see it on your plants, please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension in your county. Late blight is best known for causing the Irish Potato Famine and can kill plants in just one week, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. It is caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads dozens of miles on storm fronts, so it could come to your…

brown and yellow leaves on bottom of tomato plant

Why are leaves on my tomato plant turning yellow or brown?

by Connie Oswald Stofko The leaves on the bottom of my tomato plants are turning yellow, then brown. Don’t worry; it’s normal, says Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses at 42 French Rd., West Seneca. “That’s what happens when the plant starts making tomatoes,” she said. “It’s better to have an ugly plant with lots of tomatoes than the other way around. By the end of summer, you should have a dead-looking tomato plant.” That’s what…

two bees on a flower

Good news for bees, plus more from Master Gardeners

Due to the much publicized and well researched problems caused by neonicotinoids, the Environmental Protection Agency has banned 12 pesticides because of the harmful effect neonicotinoids have on bees, according to “Good News for Bees and the Environment” by Lyn Chimera. Unlike traditional pesticides, “neonics” are systemic, meaning that when taken up by the root system, the entire plant becomes toxic to insects. That article is one of the three articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by…

garlic plants with scapes

It’s almost time to harvest garlic; when can you plant?

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can generally harvest garlic in mid- or late-July. The foliage starts to die back, which is an indication that the garlic is ready. Once your garlic is harvested, you’ll have an empty spot in your garden until October, the recommended time to plant garlic. But do we have to wait until October to plant garlic? As we discussed in a previous article, maybe not. Last year, I planted my garlic in intervals starting in August….

oak leaves showing symptoms of oak wilt

Watch out for oak wilt in July, August

The good news is that oak wilt, a serious disease for oak trees, hasn’t been spotted in Western New York yet. The bad news is that it has been identified in Ontario County, southeast of Rochester, as well as in other parts of New York State. See a map here. The good news is that if oak wilt is found, steps can be taken to keep it from spreading. July and August is the time to spot oak wilt disease,…