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garlic scapes in Western New York

Reminder: It’s time to harvest garlic scapes in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I love garlic because it’s easy to grow. Plus, you get two harvests per season! The first harvest is when you cut the scapes and the second is when you dig up the bulbs. Harvesting garlic scapes The curlicue stems, which are the flower stalks, are called scapes. You should cut off the scapes. If you don’t, the plant will divert resources away from the bulb to the scape, leaving you with a smaller bulb. Besides,…

gardens and waterfall in Elma

Open Gardens start July 1; buy guide now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time to buy the guidebook that will show you the way to nearly 100 exceptional gardens to visit during select hours on Thursdays or Fridays for five weeks.  Open Gardens begin July 1 and continues through July. To get all the information, you need an Open Gardens guide. There are three ways to get the guide: Purchase one online here ($20 donation). Buy the Open Gardens smartphone app ($4.99). It has GPS, maps, photos and garden…

agastache, phlox and aster

Quiz time: What’s the deadline for planting perennials in WNY?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I like gardening quizzes because they’re fun. If you get the answer right, you feel smart. And if you don’t know the answer, you learn something new. See the answers and explanations below the questions. 1. What is the deadline for planting perennials in WNY? A. Memorial Day B. June 15 C. Middle of September 2. What is the best way to water your plants? A. Place a hose near the base of the plant and…

adult spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly is in NYS; learn how to track this invasive pest

Gardeners and other residents are asked to look out for the spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest that poses a severe threat to our landscape trees–and to forest and agriculture as well. There’s bad news and good news. The bad news is that the SLF has been spotted in several locations in New York State. The good news is that it hasn’t spread to much of the state. Learn how to help in these online events: Monday, June 7 at 1…

green peppers on plant

What to do with your extra plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you ever bought plants and found you had extras? You have space for two cherry tomato plants and one beefsteak, but each variety comes in a package of four. What do you do with the extras? First, are you sure you don’t have space? You don’t need a lot of space to garden. Containers aren’t just for flowers; you can plant vegetables in containers, too. One local gardener I met planted fruit trees in containers….

tomato on vine

15 tips for vegetable gardens in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just beginning to grow vegetables, you’ll find great tips here from Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca.  She covers the basics– vegetables need sun– to more random tricks– always plant very hot peppers in containers. Browse through these tips to see how you can improve your vegetable garden this year. Find a sunny space Most vegetables need six straight hours of sun….

watering can with plants in garden

Reminder: water your plants, buy locally

by Connie Oswald Stofko Water your plants When it comes to watering, pay special attention to anything that you have recently planted. Any plants in containers need extra attention, too. Don’t use the weather forecast in deciding whether you should water. Just because the forecast predicts a 70 percent chance of rain, that doesn’t mean it will actually rain that day. Or it may rain somewhere in Western New York, but not in your yard. Or it may rain on…

water lilies on pond with small waterfall in Tonawanda NY

Sign up to share your garden on Ken-Ton Garden Tour; deadline is June 4

The Ken-Ton Garden Tour is now accepting applications for this year’s tour. Residents of the Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore can sign up here. If you wish to apply by telephone, contact Sandy at 716-983-6827. The deadline is Friday, June 4. You may display your garden during one or more of the times listed below: Friday, July 16 from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 17 from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, July 17 and 18…

earthworm compared to jumping worm

Jumping worms are serious threat for WNY–Don’t share soil!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Asian jumping worms can damage your soil, making it difficult for plants to grow in your garden. Jumping worms have been identified in Erie County and may be in other parts of Western New York, too. The bad news is that there’s not much we can do to get rid of Asian jumping worms. The good news is that we can try to prevent spreading them. Don’t share soil– your garden soil could contain jumping worms…

sweet potatoes

Is it a yam or sweet potato, plus more from Master Gardeners

Your supermarket may call them yams, but they are probably sweet potatoes, according to an article in the latest issue of WNY Gardening Matters. A true “sweet potato” is not a yam. And a sweet potato isn’t a potato, either. Find out more about sweet potatoes and yams in this article by Carol Ann Harlos. Other articles in this issue are: Not Your Grandmother’s Houseplants Anymore by Vicki Bruning MG Volunteer Meeting Speaker: Dave Zittel by Carol Ann Harlos…

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