closeup of basket of tomatoes and cucumbers in Amherst NY

Share your extra harvest

Is your zucchini going wild? Did you plant more peppers than you can use? Do you have so much garlic you are no longer afraid of vampires? Share your extra harvest with people who will appreciate it. Groups such as Friends of Night People are happy to get fresh, nutritious food to share with the working poor and others who need a little help. Do you know of a food bank or soup kitchen that is looking for fresh food from home…

Sansevieria

Easy houseplant for beginners, plus more from Master Gardeners

If you want an easy plant to grow indoors, choose sansevieria, also known as snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue or bowstring hemp. That’s the recommendation from Lisa Marie Gee in an article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Sansevieria is a good houseplant for beginners because it will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and some neglect. Sansevieria can do well in light ranging…

Tips & inspiration for wild winter weather in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko and Stephen Vermette We’ve had some wild weather in the past week: lots of snow, wind, an official blizzard, and dangerously cold wind chills. But yesterday it felt like spring, with strong sun and temperatures around 60. Now some areas have flooding, and more flooding is possible. Tomorrow we might get freezing rain. Later in the week the forecast is for rain, then snow. Find out what you can do in your landscape in these changing conditions, and remember…

spring bulbs sprouting

What does this warm weather mean for your WNY garden?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve been enjoying weather in the 50s, and it might go up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days. What does this mean for our gardens in Western New York? Spring bulbs First, if the snow in your yard has melted, you’re probably seeing spring bulbs such as daffodils and hyacinths sprouting. That’s usual for this time of year, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. If you didn’t…

treetops and cloud in Hamburg NY

New group forming on permaculture; intro presentations set for Feb. 4 & 11

by Connie Oswald Stofko A new group called Permaculture of Greater Buffalo will hold an introductory presentation on permaculture from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 in Ashker’s Juice Bar & Cafe, 1002 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo. The same presentation will be given at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Ashker’s. The room is small, so attendance is limited to 15 people at each meeting. Please RSVP online. At the group’s very first meeting, held earlier this month, an informal…

flowers on sunchoke in Amherst NY 2013

Get free sunchokes & plant them now; tell us how they grew for you

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s the time of year to harvest sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and for me to share them with local gardeners. I’ll give you some for free, but there’s one catch. You have to pick them up or get someone you know to pick them up. I don’t want to have to mail them. I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. If you don’t get out this way, you probably have a neighbor or cousin…

annuals in pots in Amherst NY

What does this mild autumn weather mean for Western New York gardens?

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s up with this warm weather in Western New York? We can’t predict these things with 100 percent accuracy, but because of El Niño, it looks like we are going to have a mild autumn and early winter, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Our winter may not be as cold as the two previous winters have been, “which would be nice for a change,” he added. We may not…

Lewiston GardenFest

Tip: Plant Egyptian walking onions & mark your calendar for Lewiston GardenFest

by Connie Oswald Stofko Carol Ann Harlos will give a talk on herbs at the 10th annual Lewiston GardenFest, which will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, on Center Street in Lewiston. I asked her to share one tip as a preview. “Plant Egyptian walking onions,” Harlos said without hesitation. Why? “Because they walk through your garden!” she said. The plants get bulbils or bulblets at the top of the stem, the…

Fascinating green roof project under way in Springville; you can help

by Connie Oswald Stofko The Springville Center for the Arts is seeking volunteers to start seedlings for its green roof project. You’ll get seeds that you are asked to start in containers and nurture until they’re ready to be transplanted onto the green roof. You don’t have to live in Springville to participate. In addition to the seedling program, volunteers are needed for the installation of the green roof on the building that the arts center is rehabilitating at  5 East Main…

watering garden in late autumn in Buffalo NY

Last-minute autumn tasks for gardens in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everybody in Western New York is supposed to get some snow today, and some of us may get a lot of snow. The temperatures are bitter. Is your garden ready for winter? John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County, shares some last-minute autumn tasks for your garden. Drain your hoses and bring them inside. It wasn’t until I started typing this that I realized I hadn’t done that. I could picture the…