flat spot and hole in petunia

Don’t create flat spots when you water containers

  by Connie Oswald Stofko When you have a mixed container of annuals that includes flowers such as petunias, the plants are supposed to be in a tall, rounded mound with no flat spots. If yours don’t look like that, you’re probably watering wrong, said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. To water prevent holes and flat spots, use a watering can and water slowly. If you have a spikey flower in the center…

container of flowers on deck railing

Have fun with containers & accept failures, says Buffalo gardener

    by Connie Oswald Stofko Martha and Dan Meegan have many gorgeous container plantings in their yard at 35 Montrose Ave., Buffalo, which they shared this month on the Samuel Capen Garden Walk. But not every gardening project works out the way you plan. “You’re going to fail at some,” Martha said, pointing to a small group of sad pots. “I left those out for people to see.” I loved that demonstration of encouragement to her visitors! I always…

get more flowers by deadheading video

Get more flowers by deadheading

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you know how to deadhead? Deadheading is removing the spent flower from a plant to encourage more flowers to grow. In this short video, learn how to deadhead the correct way with Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. They grow Gardener’s Own™ brand plants. Mike Weber Greenhouses is one of the wonderful sponsors of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com…

colorful window box in shade

A tip for shade gardens, plus list of garden walks this weekend

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a quick tip for shady gardens: use annuals. I talked with Kathleen Pratt on the Amherst Garden Walk last weekend, and visitors exclaimed over how much color she had in her gardens even though her yard is so shady. One way she does it is by using annuals. Pictured is the window box on her shed. It contains wandering Jew, which is a plant many of us use indoors; begonias, coleus and fuchsia. The trailing…

hose slowly watering plant

Rainfall has been below normal in WNY, so keep watering

  by Connie Oswald Stofko In the past few weeks, I’ve seen clouds, heard thunder and even felt a few drops of rain in my Amherst garden. (I think I counted a total of 13 drops.) It’s not unusual to have a dry spell like this, but you need to remember to keep watering your garden. At the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, they measured just .11 inch of rain since May 23, said meteorologist David Thomas. (I didn’t…

plastic bottle protecting sprout

Tips on deer, composting & more for Western New York

  by Connie Oswald Stofko I am fortunate that so many Western New Yorkers share gardening tips with me. People often share tips with me after I give a talk. Unfortunately, I am so busy scribbling down notes about the tips themselves that I don’t always get the name of the person who shared the tip. My apologies. Today I’ll share a few of the tips I’ve accumulated. If you have a tip that worked for you, you can share…

pansies with rain drops in Amherst

Breath of spring– Pansies now available at Mischler’s

It’s the first day of spring! Some days, the sun feels so warm you can venture out in just a sweater. Well, it’s warm enough if you’re getting some exercise, like breaking down the mounds of snow still left in your driveway. But it is warm enough for pansies! You can get pansies at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Pansies are a cool weather annual. They don’t mind cool temperatures and they can tolerate some frost. That’s why…

orange butterfly plant and anise hyssop

What to plant for monarchs; learn more at GROW Jamestown Garden Fair

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re over 40, you probably remember seeing lots of monarch butterflies when you were a kid. Maybe you even saw the caterpillar form its amazing chrysalis, then emerge as a butterfly. But if you’re younger, you may not have had that experience, said Betsy Burgeson, supervisor of Gardens and Landscapes at the Chautauqua Institution. The number of monarchs has been declining for years, but Burgeson will tell you how you can help increase their numbers by hand-raising monarchs….

Cassia didmobotrya flower

Plant that smells like buttered popcorn offered at Great Plant Sale

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I’m pretty excited about this plant,” said Kristin Pochopin, director of Horticulture at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. She was referring to an annual called Cassia didmobotrya, whose unique feature is that when you rub the leaves, it smells like buttered popcorn. The scent is most noticeable in late summer and early fall. Popochin was familiar with this plant when she worked for a wholesale grower in Pennsylvania, but hasn’t seen it much in our area. It’s…

container garden in front yard

Not sure where to create garden bed? Try it out with containers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Our front lawn is big and open, so it used to be the place to play catch or soccer. Now that the kids are grown, I thought I’d use some of that space for growing plants other than grass. Since the front yard is a bit sunnier than the back, I especially wanted to try vegetables, which need some sun. The problem was that I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the new garden to be….