brown marmorated stink bug near window

These stink bugs won’t harm you or house; may damage plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko Gardeners are once again beginning to notice brown marmorated stink bugs flying and crawling in their homes. These invasive pests are looking for a place to spend the winter. They don’t pose any harm to humans and they won’t damage your home. However, they are ugly and annoying in your house. They make a loud buzzing when they fly and a big thump when they land. When you squish them, they stink. More important, they feed on…

single iris bloom by Stofko

Super Readers has a new level: is it for you?

by Connie Oswald Stofko When I rolled out Super Readers, I was grateful for the support I received from readers– both financially and through the wonderful ideas they shared with me. Several readers suggested that there should be a level between the Daisy Level ($10) and the Sunflower Level ($50). What a stupendous idea! Starting now, you can be a Super Reader at the Iris Level ($30). To show my appreciation, at the Iris Level you will receive: An ebook with…

graphic for drought watch

7 WNY counties now on ‘drought watch;’ what it means to gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko Cattaraugus and Allegany counties were recently added to the list of counties on drought watch, joining these five counties already on the list: Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Orleans and Genesee. Wyoming County still has normal water conditions, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). A “watch” is the first of four levels of state drought advisories: “watch,” “warning,” “emergency” and “disaster.” See a map of current drought conditions here. Understanding drought watch A…

milk jug used to water plant

Clever tip to make sure your plant gets enough water at the roots

by Connie Oswald Stofko We haven’t had much rain lately, so if you have new trees, shrubs or perennials, continue watering them to make sure they have a strong root system before the ground freezes. Sprinkling water on top of the soil every day doesn’t help. The water has to get all the way down to the roots. Here’s an easy way to water deeply. This tip is from Kat in Amherst: To water new or expensive plants I use…

butterfly weed in bloom

New York Flora Atlas offers info & photos on wild plants in WNY

__________ by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to find out about plants that grow wild in Western New York, check out the New York Flora Atlas. This online resource is a work in progress. It provides information about habitat, taxonomy, native/non-native status and more. (A plant that grows in the wild may be an introduced species and not a native plant.) Images are also being added. There are many ways you can find information. For example, you can search…

raised garden beds keep out deer

How to have a productive garden when you’ve got deer & kids

by Connie Oswald Stofko When Lindsay and Timothy Dzielski had their garden in the backyard, the deer ate everything. The groundhog and squirrels got a share, too. The garden also competed for space with all of the kids’ toys. So in March, when things suddenly closed down because of the pandemic, they tried something new. They built raised beds in a dead space along their driveway. “This is how you enjoy gardening while you enjoy wildlife,” Timothy said. “People never…

gardening tools in The Tool Library in Buffalo

The Tool Library now serves all 8 counties of WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko People from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties can now borrow tools from The Tool Library, 5 W. Northrup Place, Buffalo. “It’s a bit of a drive, but somebody could save a couple hundred dollars by borrowing tools,” said Darren Cotton, founder and president of The Tool Library. The Tool Library, a non-profit program that lends tools to people to help them in their gardens and homes, originally served residents in Erie and Niagara…

dahlia in garden

Free online classes on dahlias & more; anyone can attend

No matter where you live, you can attend this series of garden talks with the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Genesee County. The gardening-themed programs will be held via Zoom. The classes are free. Pre-registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to join the program. Scheduled classes are: Noon Thursday, Oct. 1 “Easy Preserving” Learn some quick and easy ways to preserve fall bounty from the garden. The instructor will demonstrate how to safely…

collage on climate change

How gardeners can understand & adapt to climate change

by Connie Oswald Stofko What does climate change mean for your garden? As the climate continues to change, how will you, as a gardener, keep up with the changes? This is Climate Week, and in this article we’ll bring you some resources to help you understand climate change and adapt as a gardener. Ebook on climate change for gardeners What do you see when you look at your garden? A flower here, a tree there, a butterfly over yonder? Your…

autumn leaves and sky in Williamsville NY

Keep track of leaf change in WNY

It’s the first day of autumn and leaves are just beginning to change color in the Ellicottville area, according the most recent Fall Foliage Report produced by Ellicottville is the first place in Western New York to report leaves beginning to change color. Reports are obtained from volunteer field observers and reflect expected color conditions for the coming weekend. Reports are issued every Wednesday afternoon, so tomorrow’s report may reflect more WNY areas where the leaves are changing color….

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