Plant bulbs in fall for spring blooms

by Connie Oswald Stofko Every spring I hear of someone who wants to plant tulips. If you want tulips, you can’t wait until spring! This is the time to plant tulip bulbs. The same goes for crocuses, daffodils or narcissus, hyacinths and allium. This the time of year when garden centers generally have spring bulbs available, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. He recommends getting them planted right away; they have a rather short shelf life. If…

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…

green tomatoes

How to ripen green tomatoes before frost or late blight damages them

by Connie Oswald Stofko I received this question from a reader, and it’s probably something that will help other gardeners, too. My tomatoes have just started to ripen. If I pick them totally green, before they get late blight, will they ripen in a bushel basket? Paula You can pick green tomatoes and get them to ripen with flavor and color similar to what you would have gotten if they were ripened in the field, according to this article from…

anemone September Charm In Amherst NY

Tips for creating a great autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko As we move into autumn, how is your garden doing? Is it still interesting? If not, take steps now to have a better autumn garden next year. Get inspiration from some past articles: 4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest Create a beautiful autumn garden; see how Amherst gardener does it Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden It’s autumn, and this Amherst garden is still blooming!…

Botanical Gardens project produces vegetables for ‘food desert’

An outdoor Eco Garden installed this spring at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has produced a large harvest of fresh vegetables and herbs that are donated to a local organization, Gerard Place. The Eco Garden is environmentally friendly and produces nutritional food, free of pesticides. It uses composting and vermiculture (composting using worms) as well as rain barrels. So far this season, 180 pounds of fresh vegetables and herbs have been donated from the Eco Garden to Gerard…

mulch volcano around tree

Danger: mulch volcanoes kill trees!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Even if you’ve never heard of mulch volcanoes, you’ve seen them. They’re those neat, cone-shaped piles of mulch at the base of trees. They’re kind of pretty. But like a real volcano, a mulch volcano is dangerous — it can slowly kill your tree. Nobody seems to know how this trend started. The trend continues, I guess, because people copy their neighbors. And then the mulch volcanoes seem to be everywhere. If everybody is doing it,…

woodlands

Woodland owners sought to volunteer with Cornell program

People who own woodland are sought to volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Forest Owner program. Volunteers meet with owners to listen to their woodland goals, concerns and questions, then offer sources of assistance and encourage them to work with professionals. Get more information in an article here. That article is part of the latest issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Erie County. In this issue, you’l also find out how to tell the difference…

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…

monarch on flower of butterfly bush

There is still time to plant perennials, & they are on sale!

by Connie Oswald Stofko No, it’s not too late to plant perennials! In general, you should plant perennials by the middle of September, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. You want to give the plant enough time to establish roots before the ground freezes. Depending on the winter, you might be able to plant later, but you should be safe if you get your perennials in by the middle of September. Now is a good time…