photo illustration of seeds by Stofko

New seed library opens at Orchard Park Library

by Connie Oswald Stofko A seed library started May 11 at the Orchard Park Library and it’s already popular. About a week after the seed library was set up, the stock of seeds in the drawers had to be replenished, said Tim Allman, library assistant. The Orchard Park Library is located at S-4570 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park. When you enter the library, immediately to your right, in the book nook where the Friends of the Library hold their sale,…

eggplant Listada courtesy Seed Savers Exchange

Tasty eggplants that you can’t buy: grow these heirlooms yourself

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard that if you want flavorful tomatoes, go for heirloom varieties. But did you know that there are heirloom and specialty varieties in other vegetables including eggplants, cucumbers and peppers? “These are varieties that you wouldn’t even see in a supermarket,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. Urban Roots carries about 35 varieties of heirloom and specialty vegetable plants. “We choose varieties that…

iris 'Inviolate' in Western New York

Iris & Perennial Show set; anyone can enter the judging

The WNY Iris Society will hold its annual Iris and Perennial Show from 1 to 4  p.m. Saturday, June 4 at the Reinstein Library, 1030 Losson Rd., Cheektowaga. New this year: Anyone can enter to win ribbons and awards. To compete for prizes, the iris must have its cultivar name and the perennial must have its botanical name. People entering plants in the show should be at the Reinstein Library by 9 a.m. Judging will occur from 11 a.m. to…

monarch with grayish sky

Reaching out to our fellow gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko I don’t know what to say. On Saturday a man shot 13 people, leaving 10 dead, at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. The suspect said his intention was to kill Black people. What does one say when something this horrifying happens? I have no words. But we can’t ignore what happened. Here are some ways you can help. Since the Jefferson Avenue Tops is closed, MAP (Massachusetts Avenue Project) will join BFLO Wormworks, Faithful…

red lily leaf beetles mating

Lily beetles, veggies, mulch volcanoes: update & tips in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here is one update and two reminders for the beginning of the growing season in Western New York. Some gardeners say they have seen fewer red lily leaf beetles in past years. Get tips on growing vegetables in gardens and in containers. Mulch volcanoes are popular, but bad for your trees. Are there fewer red lily leaf beetles in WNY? A few gardeners mentioned to me that they saw fewer red lily leaf beetles in Western…

Great Plant Sale at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Find unusual plants this week at Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Great Plant Sale will again be on site in the Administration Building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. There is no admission charge. Your online gardening magazine,, is proud to sponsor the Great Plant Sale! I’ll have a table there, too, so please stop by and say hello! The Great Plant Sale will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 13 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m….

seating area with grape vines in Kenmore NY

Share your garden on Ken-Ton Garden Tour; deadline is June 3

The Ken-Ton Garden Tour is accepting applications for this year’s tour. All interested gardeners in the Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore are welcome to register online here or call Sandy at 716-983-6827. The deadline to register is Friday, June 3; please register as soon as possible. You may display your garden during one or more of the times listed below: Friday, July 22 from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, July 23 from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday &…

earthworm compared to jumping worm

Update on jumping worms; please send reports

Two recent articles from WNY Gardening Matters give updates on jumping worms, an invasive species that leaches nutrients from soil, making it difficult for most plants to grow. Jumping worms have been found in Western New York. NY iMapInvasives is trying to track where jumping worms are and where they haven’t gotten to yet. Please look in your yard and let NY iMapInvasives know whether or not you see this invasive pest. WNY Gardening Matters The first article says that…

Great Plant Sale at Buffalo Botanical Gardens in Buffalo

Plant sales galore being held by nonprofits in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko With many events put on hold for three years, this spring offers plant sales and plant exchanges galore! In addition, the Great Plant Sale at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will be held on site again. And Gardens Buffalo Niagara will hold a day trip to Rochester to see specialty nurseries. Below is a list of nonprofits that are holding plant sales and exchanges in Western New York. I’m sure there are more sales…

tomato on vine

Reminder: Don’t rush to plant tomatoes in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Western New York gardeners who like to get their tomatoes planted outside on Mother’s Day should probably wait a bit longer this year. What are the chances you will get another frost in your area? Even if you don’t get a frost, the forecast calls for lows in the 40s Fahrenheit this week. And the soil is still cold. Find out why putting out your tomatoes too early can actually cause a setback to your plants…