Pests & Weeds

Why you should plant butterfly weed, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

March 7, 2017
butterfly weed

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a butterfly magnet. It’s a native plant and doesn’t get serious diseases. Not only that, deer usually avoid it. The only negative thing about the plant is that it has “weed” in its name, according to an article in this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the...
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Prune oak trees now to protect against spreading disease called oak wilt

January 17, 2017
oak wilt

Pruning oak trees in winter can help protect the oaks from becoming infected with oak wilt, a fungal disease that can be deadly for oaks, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The disease was discovered in six new locations in New York State last year and can be spread by beetles...
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Simple and cheap tips for preventing deer & rabbits from eating your plants

November 15, 2016
soap slivers to keep deer and rabbits out of your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can never have too many tips for keeping deer and rabbits away from our plants. Even if we find something that works, the animals often get used to that technique and we have to try something else. Here are a bunch of tips. One is from me, but the...
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For desperate gardeners, new idea to keep deer out of your garden

October 4, 2016

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some beautiful gardens when I was in Atlanta a couple weeks ago to attend the conference of GWA: The Association of Garden Communicators. But since the climate is so different there, I wasn’t sure I would be able to bring back any tips that would help us here...
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Fungal disease may affect vinca minor, plus more info from Master Gardeners

August 30, 2016
vinca minor in Amherst NY by Stofko

If you’re noticing dying stems and leaves on your vinca minor (also known as myrtle or periwinkle), it might not be due to the dry weather. It might be a fungal disease. You find out more in the article “Potential Problem with Vinca Minor,” one of the articles in September’s edition of WNY Gardening...
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Oak tree suddenly lose leaves in August? Tell DEC

August 15, 2016
oak wilt

If you see an oak tree suddenly lose leaves during August, report it to the New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The tree could have oak wilt, a very serious tree disease in the eastern United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots and home landscapes. Report suspected cases...
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Look for this invasive insect in your pool

August 2, 2016
Asian Longhorned Beetle from New York State Department Environmental Conservation by Jessica Cancelliere

It’s again time for pool owners to check their filters and skimmers for the Asian longhorned beetle. If you find one, please report it during the annual Citizen Pool Survey being held through Aug. 30 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). If you don’t have a pool, you can still...
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How are gardeners dealing with red lily leaf beetle?

July 19, 2016
red lily leaf beetle

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: “My Asiatic lilies were attacked by the lily beetles last year. “This year they (the red lily leaf beetles) are back in my garden. I literally pulled about 6-8 of my lilies and just tossed them out because they were so bad and distressing...
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Onions, garlic may have a new pest; get other info from Master Gardeners, too

July 5, 2016
Adult allium leafminers

by Connie Oswald Stofko A pest identified in December in Lancaster County, PA may be headed our way. Called the allium leafminer, it likes leeks, onions, garlic, chives, shallots and green onions. It is not known how the allium leafminer may affect ornamental species. You can read more about its habits, how it damages...
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Choose plants that appeal to pollinators, plus more great tips for June

June 14, 2016

When adding new plants to your garden, choose those that support bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects. They love fall asters. That’s one of the tips for June contained in WNY Gardening Matters, published monthly by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Another tip: Apple trees usually set more...
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