wrapping paper

Before you buy wrapping paper, consider this: Can you compost it?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Those glossy wrapping papers are so pretty when they’re on a package, but what happens to the gift wrap after the package is opened? You might think that adding wrapping paper to your compost pile is a great way to use up the paper, but think again. Some wrapping paper can actually contaminate your compost with heavy metals– and that could affect your garden, too. Many kinds of gift wrap contain heavy metals such as lead,…

garden in snow by Stofko

Winter makes a surprise visit—What it means for your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Last week, I told you it was it was leaf season and gave you ideas on how to use all those autumn leaves. But before we could get the leaves raked — many leaves are still on the trees! — we got snow that broke records for Nov. 11. So what does all this snow mean for your garden? Snow provides insulation — yay! “I don’t think this is going to be a bad thing,” said…

pink poinsettia from Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Holiday events set at Botanical Gardens

Mark your calendar for holiday events at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Note that the Botanical Gardens will be open 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 and will be closed on Dec. 25. Admission to the Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit and to Santa’s Workshop are included with admission to the Botanical Gardens. Prices are $12.50 for adults, $11 for seniors (62+), $11 for students (13+), $7 for kids 3-12, and…

holly raguza, Bugwood.org

Good news: No lanternfly infestations found, but your help is still needed

The good news is that there hasn’t yet been a documented spotted lanternfly infestation in New York. That’s wonderful because the spotted lanternfly can damage many kinds of plants. In addition, it can secrete so much messy “honeydew” that people can’t go outside without getting honeydew on their hair and clothes. If this insect becomes established in New York, it could impact our forests, agriculture and tourism. Your help is needed to keep this invasive and destructive insect out of our area, according…

autumn leaves on grass

It’s leaf season! 9 tips for using autumn leaves in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko We enjoyed many weeks of beautiful autumn color in Western New York this year! Now it’s time for the leaves to fall. The bad news is that our recent strong winds brought down branches as well as leaves. I hope you didn’t sustain any damage. The good news is that the fallen leaves give us things to do in our landscapes at this time of year. And those leaves can be used in so many ways!…

orchid from Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Orchid show set for Nov. 9 & 10 at Botanical Gardens

An orchid show will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9 and 10 by the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Hours are 10 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. The show will feature dozens of hand-picked and award-winning orchid exhibits dispersed throughout the Botanical Gardens for visitors to enjoy. Exhibitors include members of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society, Genesee Region Orchid…

Christmas banner with poinsettias

How to find gardening gifts, holiday decorations & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko Where can you find a gift for a gardener? A lovely centerpiece for any of the many holidays coming up? Or an indoor plant to brighten your living room as the days get darker? Look at the ads on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com and go to our Gardening Directory. When you click on an ad, it will take you to the website of that business, where you can see more about what they have to offer as well as…

Hosta 'Sum of All'

Three tips on overwintering perennials in containers

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s time to think about some simple steps to overwinter your plant. These tips should work with any kind of perennial that is winter hardy; that is, any perennial that would come back in spring if it was planted in a garden bed over the winter. Bonus tip: Before we get into that, let me say that I was impressed by this stunning hosta at the home of Marcia and David Sully in Eden. I’ve written…

Halloween bat

Bats: spooky creatures or garden helpers?

It’s Bat Week, time to raise awareness about the important role bats play in our environment and our gardens. What you might not know about bats All of New York State’s bats eat insects. A single little brown myotis bat can consume 1,000 mosquito-sized insects in just one hour! The bat is the only mammal that can truly fly. (Flying squirrels glide, but don’t fly.) Bats are extremely long lived, compared to mammals of similar size. The oldest documented one was…

blossom end rot in tomatoes

What calcium has to do with blossom end rot in tomatoes

Blossom end rot is connected to a calcium deficiency, but, oddly enough, adding calcium to the soil doesn’t help. Read more in the article here to find out why. That’s just one of the articles you’ll find in the most recent issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Here are the other articles you’ll find in this issue: Earwigs are invasive insects that may cause minimal damage to plants but…