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photo illustration of soil

See Master Gardeners in person ‘under the tent’ for questions, soil tests

Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County will be available to answer gardening questions and receive soil samples ‘under the tent’ on the Roycroft Campus, 21 South Grove St., East Aurora, NY from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday, now through Sept. 30, weather permitting. To see if the session is closed due to weather, refer to the Gardening Page of their web site or their Facebook page after 8:45 a.m.on the day of your visit. They will be adhering to…

rocks and flowers installed by Busy Beaver Lawn and Garden

Before & after: How my front yard went from ho-hum to awesome

by Connie Oswald Stofko by Connie Oswald Stofko The part of my landscape that everyone sees– the front yard– was so plain it bordered on unattractive. (See the before images below.) I knew what I wanted to achieve, but I didn’t know what it should look like or how to make it happen. So I called in the experts at Busy Beaver Lawn & Garden and gave them a list of things I wanted to accomplish. That list included: Create…

Asian longhorned beetle in pool

Look for signs of two invasive dangers to trees in WNY

Western New Yorkers should watch for signs of oak wilt and Asian longhorned beetles (ALB), two invasive dangers to trees. Neither has been found yet in Western New York, but if either is here, early detection could help stop the spread. You might also begin to notice tar spot, which is common on maples here. It’s ugly, but doesn’t damage the tree. Oak wilt Oak wilt disease is a fungal disease that affects both red and white oaks, but red…

rain on flowers by Stofko

Four reasons why WNY gardeners like summer rain

by Connie Oswald Stofko This spring we endured long, cold stretches of rain. Or snow. We couldn’t wait for dry, sunny days. Summer finally arrived and brought those hot, dry days, but perhaps we’ve had more than you would like. Yesterday I waited for rain that never arrived. Here are four reasons Western New York gardeners like rain in the summer: If it rains enough, we don’t have to water. While some gardeners enjoy the task of watering, others would…

stages of Gypsy moth

Insect damage? It might be gypsy moth caterpillar or fourlined plant bug

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have seen damage to your plants recently and not known what was causing the damage. Here are two possibilities: gypsy moth caterpillar and fourlined plant bug. The worst is over for this year, but you should be on the lookout for them next year. Below is some general information on Gypsy moth caterpillars and fourlined plant bugs. If you have more questions about damage to plants or if you want an identification of an…

watercolor of flower by Judith Kosinski

Watercolor classes being held online by Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is holding a variety of new online art classes beginning today, Tuesday, July 21.  There are watercolor classes for all skill levels, including a foundational level for beginners with little to no experience, a beginner level for those looking to learn more techniques, an intermediate level for those with more experience, and an advanced masters class for those looking to fine tune their skills.  The classes will be held online via Zoom. All classes are suitable for anyone…

lettuce and kale plants

How to get a second crop of vegetables & herbs this year in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can harvest vegetables and herbs into the fall–and even winter–when you plant cool weather vegetables at this time of year. Unlike plants such as tomatoes and peppers that need warm weather to thrive, cool weather vegetables are plants that actually like the cooler temperatures. Some can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. See the table below for more than 20 herbs and vegetables you can still plant this year. “Many experienced gardeners, not…

Sweet Emotion abelia from Proven Winners

When to plant shrubs, plus shrubs new to you & a longtime favorite

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t hurry to plant shrubs in Western New York. That’s one tip from Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. We’ll give you more details on when to plant shrubs, as well as a suggestion for a tried-and-true shrub and a couple of shrubs that may be new to you. When to plant shrubs When people lose shrubs, it’s usually because they planted too early. “Wait until Father’s Day,”…

Shadrack garden visited by garden communicators

Open Gardens continue for three more weeks; get booklet or app now

Walk through lovely landscapes during Open Gardens in July. These are selected gardens that you can visit on Thursdays and Fridays at certain times and dates. The gardens are clustered in 12 geographic areas that you can visit over the course of five weeks. 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…

Japanese beetle

Check your plants now for Japanese beetles

“We are getting reports from some gardeners that Japanese beetles are showing up now,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. The Japanese beetle, which is native to Japan, is a highly destructive plant pest here. In Japan, natural predators keep the population in check. Hand picking works well in small gardens but must be repeated frequently, Farfaglia said. Neem oil is also an option for control. See more details in our previous article here. Also…

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