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cucurbit downy mildew on leaves in New York State

Downy mildew is affecting cucumber, melon, pumpkin, squash in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re having trouble with your cucumber, melon, pumpkin or squash this year, you’re not alone. A disease called cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) has already been identified in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties. This map shows the spread of CDM. Chautauqua County and Northern Pennsylvania expect to see the disease soon. Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauaqu County would like gardeners to send in samples of suspected cases of CDM. (See more below.) Unfortunately,…

wild turkey

Help count wild turkeys in your area of Western New York

It’s not uncommon for Western New York gardeners to see turkeys trotting through a nearby field or even across their own lawn. How many wild turkeys are there this year? That’s what the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would like to know. And they’d like your help. During August, you can participate in a survey, recording how many adults and poults (young of the year) you see during normal travel. To make a report, click the “Summer…

robin died from mysterious disease

Mysterious bird deaths—stop feeding birds for now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sick and dying songbirds have been showing up from Florida to Pennsylvania with strange symptoms: crusty eyes, blindness and headshaking. Birds may be found on the ground, disoriented and unresponsive.  This has been labeled a “mortality event”– where a large number of animals die within a short period of time due to what appears to be a similar cause. No affected birds have yet been reported in Western New York, but one was found on July…

formal gardens in Western New York in summer

See four-season garden in summer in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’ve seen it in winter, you’ve seen it in spring and now you get a peek at Tom Homme’s four-season landscape in summer. If you’d like to visit this Pendleton garden in person, you have one more chance this week. This is the last week of Open Gardens for 2021. Open Gardens take place Thursday and Friday. Like any other perennial garden, Homme’s garden changes throughout summer as one plant ends flowering and another comes into…

dandelions in lawn

Dandelions can produce clones & more from WNY Gardening Matters

Dandelions can produce clones, according to an article by Carol Ann Harlos in WNY Gardening Matters. These common plants can use a process called apomixis, which is asexual reproduction without fertilization. The plants produced are identical to the parent plant. Read more here. Other new articles are: Article 161: Adapting Gardening to Your Physical Needs Article 163: Gardener Assistance with Monitoring Downy Mildews Affecting Cucurbit Plants and Basil Article 164: Pollen  WNY Gardening Matters is produced by the Master Gardeners…

inside of famous shed in Buffalo NY

See the most famous shed in the world & more on Garden Walk Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jim Charlier wanted to build a gardening shed. But where could he put a shed in his small Buffalo yard? His wife Leslie suggested taking down the jungle gym that their daughter Margaux didn’t use and put a shed there. “It was Leslie’s idea,” Charlier said, “then I took it to the nth degree.” This elaborate, quirky and practical shed is just one of the cool things you can see this weekend on Garden Walk Buffalo,…

box tree caterpillar

New threat to boxwoods! Look for box tree moth now in WNY

Don’t let a new invasive insect get established in Western New York. The box tree moth is an invasive pest that can significantly damage—and potentially kill—boxwood plants if left unchecked. Boxwood plants imported from Canada this spring could have been infested with the box tree moth. Box tree moths can produce several generations between June and October, so acting now is essential to prevent this pest from establishing itself in Western New York, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture…

giant hogweed from NYS DEC

Reminder: Don’t touch giant hogweed or wild parsnip

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time that giant hogweed plants are blooming, making it a prime time to spot this invasive plant, according the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Giant hogweed can cause severe skin and eye irritation, including painful burns and permanent scarring. Getting even a tiny amount of the sap in your eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness.  The DEC also warns of wild parsnip, which can burn your skin. Giant hogweed…

lettuce and kale plants

Reminder: Plant now for fall, winter crops

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can plant a second crop of cool weather vegetables now in Western New York. As the name implies, cool weather vegetables actually like cooler temperatures. Cool weather vegetables include basil, beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, peas, radishes and spinach. Here are some reasons why you should try planting cool weather vegetables now: Plants such as lettuce won’t bolt in the autumn like they do when temperatures get warm in spring. Basil likes warm night temperatures…

garden in East Side Garden Walk

Six garden walks, including East Side, set this weekend in Western New York

It’s another amazing week for gardening events in Western New York! You can visit six garden walks this weekend, and several have nighttime tours, too. The East Side Garden Walk, which debuted in 2018 but was canceled during the pandemic in 2020, is back. You can visit again– or visit it for the first time. More than a garden tour, the East Side Garden Walk is a way for residents to take control of the narrative for their community, according…

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