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basket of tomatoes and cucumber by Stofko

Reminder: You risk a setback if you rush tomatoes

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re one of those Western New York gardeners who like to plant your tender vegetables during Mother’s Day weekend, I hope you checked the forecast first. Last night we had a frost advisory for all of Western New York. Tender vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, can’t tolerate frost! In fact, they want nights–nights, not days– that are at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be a few days before we see even daytime…

Go Public Gardens

15% off memberships to Botanical Gardens

To celebrate Go Public Gardens Day, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is offering 15 percent off all memberships from now through May 16. Use coupon code: Gardens2021 at checkout. Throughout the week, public gardens are emphasizing their importance and impact as community resources and catalysts for change and resilience. They are encouraging the public to visit, engage, donate and/or volunteer….

illustration of garden from grass by Stofko

How to turn lawn into garden in spring

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s spring! If you want to start a new garden in your yard, you will have to remove the grass first. Darren Cotton, founder and president of The Tool Library in Buffalo, shares the steps he followed when he and his partner Michael Reyes created new cutting gardens last year. (The purpose of a cutting garden is to grow flowers that will be picked. Reyes is a floral designer.) Cotton, who is an urban planner and graphic…

plants for sale in pots illustration copyright Connie Oswald Stofko

Plant sales, exchanges set in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Many garden groups in Western New York are holding plant sales and plant exchanges in the coming weeks. Here’s the list I have so far; there might be more sales to come. Check back to our Events page often to see what’s new. And when you’re looking for plants, please don’t forget our local garden centers! Garden Friends of Clarence Garden Friends of Clarence will hold a perennial plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday,…

volcano mulch illustration muffin and donut

Reminder: no mulch volcanoes

by Connie Oswald Stofko It seems to be the start of volcano season in Western New York. Mulch volcanoes (those neat, cone-shaped piles of mulch at the base of trees) are showing up again. They may look nice to you, but they’re not good for the trees, according to garden experts. Mulch volcanoes can slowly kill trees. Check out our previous article on mulch volcanoes to find out why you shouldn’t use mulch volcanoes and how you can properly mulch…

perennial garden in Lancaster NY

How to start a perennial garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to start a new garden with perennials, you could plop some random plants into the ground and hope for the best. But putting some thought into what you’d like your garden to be will make you happier in the end, said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. (They are now open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m….

tree roots

Do trees communicate, plus other Arbor Day news

by Connie Oswald Stofko Arbor Day is April 30, and it’s a time to think about trees. Do trees communicate? It appears that trees communicate and cooperate with one another. This fascinating article by The New York Times describes how mycorrhizas–networks of fungi in the soil–can pass carbon, water, nutrients, alarm signals and hormones from tree to tree. Use trees to save energy Trees that are situated in the proper location can shade your house in summer. In winter, trees…

garden along bike path

Volunteers needed for ‘bike gardens’ along Erie Canalway Trail

Volunteers are needed to help maintain the gardens in a seven-mile section of the Erie Canalway Trail that has been adopted by Sandy Guzzetti and her husband Mike through the adopt-a-trail program of Parks & Trails New York. “Our unique approach to the trail is to plant gardens and put bike art in each trailhead/road intersection,” said Guzzetti, team leader. “No other place on the 338 miles of trail across New York State does this.” The gardens are attractive and they…

colorful spring garden

How to create a beautiful spring garden in Western New York

_____ by Connie Oswald Stofko “It changes every day,” said Tom Homme of his spring garden in Pendleton. There’s never a lull in the landscape of Tom Homme and his wife Darcie because he has spent the past 11 years working to create gardens that are interesting in all four seasons. We got a peek at what makes his winter garden attractive in this previous article. You will be able to see the Hommes’ garden in person this summer on Open…

don't use lawn fertilizer with phosphorus

Don’t use phosphorus on your lawn; ‘Look for the Zero’

To keep our Western New York waterways clean, go phosphorus-free when using lawn fertilizer and “Look for the Zero.” On a fertilizer bag, you’ll see three numbers. The number in the middle is for phosphorus. For lawns, choose a fertilizer that has a zero in the middle. Excess phosphorus is a threat to many New York waterbodies, triggering algae blooms and sometimes rendering waters unswimmable and unfishable, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). That’s why…

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

B1G1 sale on annuals at Mischler's

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021 | 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sales on perennials, shrubs & more at Mike Weber Greenhouses