bamboo and fountain in Niagara County

What should she do about neighbor’s bamboo?

From time to time, we post a question and ask for input from our readers. If you have an idea on how to help, please leave a comment. I hope you can help with a gardening concern I have. My neighbor has bamboo growing in their front yard. Right now it’s sending shoots out into just their yard. However, I’m terrified it will creep into my yard. I’ve read some scary things online about bamboo. Can you tell me how…

trees in Amherst NY

‘Fungi & great moments in history’ among talks at ReLeaf Conference

If it weren’t for fungi, we wouldn’t have the Ten Commandments or the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s the tongue-in-cheek assessment of George Hudler, professor at Cornell University, who will speak on “Great Moments in History and How Fungi Got Us Here.” His entertaining talk will be part of the 20th annual statewide ReLeaf Conference, where you will have the opportunity to learn from professionals from across the country and Canada and to tour local community forestry projects,…

armyworms hiding in turfgrass from University of Nebraska closeup

Army worms reach epidemic levels; wacky weather spurs other damage

Wheat and hay crops in Western New York are being damaged by an epidemic of armyworms, but unless your yard backs up to a wheat field, your lawn probably won’t be affected. That’s according to John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Cooperative Extension is also fielding calls from gardeners concerning problems with aphids brought on by mild weather as well as continuing problems with plants that were damaged by frost this spring. Armyworms damage feed…

gazing ball in Kenmore NY

Light up a gazing ball, make a trap for fruit flies, plus more news

This is another one of those articles I like to think of as potpourri– a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I hope you find something that’s useful or entertaining. Light up a gazing ball. These instructions for making a lighted gazing ball, like the one you see at left, come from Kathi and Craig Schwab of Kenmore: “We used an extra LED light that we had, put it inside the globe and connected the lighted gazing globe…

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…

Quit smoking now– it’s bad for your plants

“All plants are sensitive to smoke,” David Clark said in answer to a question during a recent horticulture class at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Thursday, Nov. 17 is the 36th Great American Smokeout. Protecting your houseplants is one more reason for you to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. If you smoke, you probably notice that you have to wash your windows and mirrors…

tar spot on leaves in Buffalo NY

Dealing with tar spot, plus two other timely tips for fall

Here are three helpful tips for autumn, courtesy of the free newsletter from Heimiller Greenhouses. Tip #1: How to deal with tar spot When it comes to tar spot, there’s bad news and good news and more bad news. The bad news is that tar spot is an ugly black fungus that seems to infect Norway maples, to a greater or lesser degree, every year, according to Lisa Heimiller of Heimiller Greenhouses. The good news is that while tar spot…

slug photo from Kathryn Olmstead

Garden slugs prefer Budweiser to other American, Canadian beers

If your garden has ever been bothered by slugs, you probably already know this great tip about beer. Take an old pie tin, splash in some beer, and set the tin near  your affected plants. The slugs crawl in and meet their doom. What you may not know is that slugs prefer Budweiser. At least that’s what Kathryn Olmstead found in her admittedly unscientific study, which she described in an article for the Bangor Daily News. Olmstead edits and designs…

Japanese beetle in Buffalo NY area

Buffalo area gardeners can take steps to prevent pest invasions

by Connie Oswald Stofko Buffalo-area gardeners are familiar with the Japanese beetle. These bugs are pretty, but so damaging to our gardens. As you might guess from the name, Japanese beetles come from Japan, where they’re not much of a nuisance because their natural enemies keep them in check. In our area, grubs damage lawns by feeding on grass roots. The adult beetles attack the foliage, flowers or fruits of more than 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants. Unfortunately, Japanese…

blue spruce on Summer Street in Buffalo NY

Lush Buffalo garden with full-grown trees was planted on top of asphalt

A 20-foot blue spruce, along with a birch, crab apple, dogwood and Japanese maple, are part of what is essentially a giant container garden built on top of a narrow asphalt driveway in Buffalo. Ellie Dorritie of 415 Summer St. shared her gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo on July 30 and 31. More than 350 gardens were on display during the event, which is the largest garden tour in the nation. Dorritie’s back garden includes brick pathways, which you can…