succulents blooming in September

Seven ideas for autumn gardening in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s officially autumn on the calendar, but there are still gardening things to do. Here are some ideas we have shared in past articles. Even if they’re not new to you, it’s always good to get a reminder. Tasks you can do in your autumn garden: Harvest, weed, water & enjoy Debug your houseplants before bringing them inside Test soil and amend it if necessary Enjoy waves of spring color in a single spot or even…

watercolor of boats by Jane Stoddard

Watercolor exhibit opens Sept. 26; part of upcoming Water/Ways

We talk about water a lot in this magazine. We need it to help our plants grow. We’re careful in our gardening practices so we can keep our waterways clean. The many ways that water is used will be demonstrated in a watercolor exhibit by Dan Meyer and Jane Stoddard at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Rd., Amherst. A preview showing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. The watercolors are available for purchase….

Butterfly on yellow flower by Stofko

I need your help! Please answer this quick survey today

by Connie Oswald Stofko I appreciate my readers, and I know you will be honest with me. I love producing Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com each week, and I need some direction on how to keep my business thriving. Please help me out by answering my quick, eight-question survey. If you subscribe, please open the email you received this week and go to the survey from there. If you don’t subscribe, you can find the survey here. Thanks for your support!…

Should you cut back roses in autumn?

After reading a previous article about roses, a reader asked a follow-up question: “Hello! I was always told to cut back rose bushes in the fall. That’s wrong?” Here is the response from Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society: Save the hard pruning for spring. In the fall, cut off any broken stems. Some gardeners like to cut their rose bushes down to a height of 18-24 inches in the fall to prevent wind and snow…

yarn marking a particular plant

Quick tip on marking one plant in a bunch of similar plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s easy to designate a patch of plants– there are many kinds of plant markers you can buy or make. But what if you want to remember where one particular plant is in that bunch? I have columbine with yellow flowers as well as columbine with flowers that are yellow with a bit of red in them. I’d like to save the seeds from the yellow-with-red variety. Of course, now that the seeds have developed, the…

Arbor Day poster 2019

Artwork sought for two Arbor Day poster contests

Contests for artwork for two Arbor Day posters are being held by the Urban and Community Forestry program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). One contest is for all members of the public and the other is for fifth-grade students. Both contests aim to promote the value of trees in the environment and New Yorkers’ lives. Contest winners will have their artwork replicated as either the 2020 New York State Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster or…

daffodil hyacinth tulips and narcissus

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…