clay in soil

Clay soil: compost is better than sand

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you have clay soil, should you add compost or sand? Compost. “In the long run, by far, the best thing you could possibly add is organic matter,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Organic matter can be compost, autumn leaves, peat moss or other plant material. Organic matter is better because you have to add so much sand to loosen the clay, it’s not practical, Farfaglia said. I asked this…

don't use lawn fertilizer with phosphorus

Keep our waterways clean: look for zero on lawn fertilizer

Do you like swimming or fishing or clean water in general? Then help our lakes, rivers and creeks by not spreading phosphorus on your lawn. If you fertilize your lawn, look for a bag with a zero in the middle. Fertilizer labels have three numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as 22-0-15. Excess phosphorus has made many waterways in New York State un-swimmable and un-fishable, according to the New York State…

Centaurea montana courtesy Ivy Garth

Mischler’s 59-cent perennial sale to start on Friday!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Hurray! One of Western New York’s favorite gardening events is taking place on the planned date! Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses will hold its yearly 59-cent perennial sale starting this Friday, April 24. The plants are sold only in packs of four plants at $2.36 per pack. You will order your plants online. When you order, you’ll indicate what date and time you would like to pick up your plants at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville….

collage showing gardening resources

Videos, online classes and ongoing resources for WNY gardeners

Although in-person gardening classes and workshops are canceled, there are still many ways you can get gardening information for Western New York. An advantage is that you can get information from other counties without having to drive long distances. If you have a favorite resource, please share by leaving a comment below. Horticulture classes from Botanical Gardens The great series of horticulture classes taught by smart and fun David Clark for the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens didn’t get…

horticultural student photo illustration in Amherst NY

Amherst Garden club offers scholarship for college students in horticulture

The Amherst Garden Club is offering a $1,000 scholarship for a college student who is a resident of Erie or Niagara County. Applicants should have completed at least one year of study by May 2020. Since the funds are intended to be used for tuition, applicants must be enrolled in an accepted program for the 2020-2021 school year. The student should be studying horticulture, landscape design, floriculture, conservation, ecology or another pertinent program. The deadline to apply is June 20….

Elle Pots at Mike Weber in West Seneca NY

Mike Weber’s introduces ‘4-packs without the plastic’

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’re probably familiar with four-packs and six-packs, those plastic containers that hold four or six small plants. This year Mike Weber Greenhouses is introducing something called Elle Pots. “Think of a four- or six-pack without all that plastic,” said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. The Elle Pots start with a tube of strong, biodegradable paper that is filled with potting mix. Seeds or cuttings are planted into…

collage of spring plants

Latest updates on businesses

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden centers seem to be catching up to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 situation. There aren’t as many changes this week as there have been in the last couple weeks. Here is the information I have for the businesses I work with. Things keep changing, so if you have specific questions about a business’s hours or what they have in stock, please contact them directly. You can see their contact information in our Gardening Directory….

white oak (Quercus alba) L. with acorns

Help save life on Earth by planting trees & more; see POLLINATOR

There are things you can do to help save life on Earth, and the newest edition of POLLINATOR is focused on the many ways we can help. POLLINATOR magazine is produced by the Pollinator Conservation Association, a non-profit based in Western New York. One thing we keep hearing about is planting trees, said Lynda Schneekloth in the article “Nature Based Climate Solutions” in the Winter 2020 edition. Schneekloth is professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo and longtime climate, social and…

pea starts at Mischler's

Plant cool-weather vegetables in garden now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Peas, lettuce, broccoli and beets are some of the vegetables you can plant in your garden now. These are cool-weather crops that don’t mind the chilly temperatures we have at this time of year. You can start these plants from seed or you can buy vegetable starts (small plants), said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “With plant starts, you can have an instant garden,” Yadon said. But don’t…

How to buy plants & more while keeping social distance

by Connie Oswald Stofko Garden centers are working hard to make the necessary changes so that you can get plants and supplies while staying safe. In my Gardening Directory, I have added categories for businesses that are open or opening soon as well as where you can order online, get delivery or use curbside pickup. Here is the information I have for the businesses I work with. Things keep changing, so if you have specific questions about a business’s hours…

Visit our Comprehensive
Gardening Directory

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Sep 26, 2020 - Sunday, Sep 27, 2020 | 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Fairy festival at Botanical Gardens

Saturday, Sep 26, 2020 - Sunday, Sep 27, 2020 | 3:00 pm

Fairy garden workshop for kids-- online