Start seeds inside now for cool-weather crops; start seeds for tomatoes in a few weeks in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s finally time for us to start thinking about starting seeds inside! Cool-weather vegetables Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all this snow melts at a nice, steady pace so that our garden beds will be dry enough to for us to plant cool-weather vegetables in April. As the folks from Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg told us in a previous article, cool-weather vegetables are the crops that can take some cooler weather and light frosts. They…

steps in Whittemore garden in Hamburg NY

A natural slope adds interest to colorful shade garden in Hamburg; garden walks are coming!

by Connie Oswald Stofko A natural slope combined with raised beds add interest to the Hamburg yard of Barb and Dave Whittemore. “There are seven steps to the top deck,” Dave pointed out. “We really have vistas with this. The elevations make a world of difference. That’s one thing I really enjoy.” A screened-in seating area is perched at the top of the garden looking down on the main part of the yard. “You can sit up there and see…

Artichoke-ImperialStar from WAtleeBurpee

Want a plant that is different, pretty and yummy? Try artichokes

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want to try something different in your spring garden this year, the folks at Lockwood’s Greenhouses suggest the artichoke. If you like to cook and eat artichokes, you’ll naturally be drawn to this plant, but it’s interesting in several ways to gardeners. First, it gets beautiful gray-green foliage, making it a wonderful accent plant, said Teresa Buchanan, garden center manager. You can enjoy it as a lovely addition to your flower bed. The plant…

Wave petunias from Powarski in West Seneca NY

Lush flower garden grows from cracks in concrete driveway in West Seneca

Some of us have trouble growing flowers in our garden beds, but Jerry Powarski of West Seneca can get them to grow in his concrete driveway! Powarski didn’t plant the flowers; they were “volunteers.” The seeds dropped off from flowers that had been growing the previous year in nearby pots and found their way into the cracks in his driveway. Not only does he allow them to grow in the driveway, he weeds out any competing plants. The really difficult…

Start seeds outside now using milk jug, other containers in ‘winter sowing’

by Connie Oswald Stofko This is actually an update of a tip from David Clark, the nationally known horticulture speaker who teaches at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Winter sowing is great because it gives us gardeners in Western New York something to do when it’s cold and snowy out. You plant hardy seeds in old milk jugs or other containers and set the containers outside now. The seeds will know when they should sprout in the spring….

potted perennials in winter at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Clever perennial planter from spring still looking good into winter at Mischler’s

We’ve had snow and cold, yet this perennial container that was planted up in the spring is still going strong. Mark Yadon of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville, designed this creation called “Winter Green.” He planted it up as a demonstration at the Lewiston GardenFest in the third week of June this year. As we told you in September, there are two tricks to this planter. First, Yadon chose perennial plants that keep their color after…

sparkling punch & ice punch poinsettias at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Enjoy your poinsettias for weeks or months with proper care; see new varieties at Mischler’s

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can enjoy your poinsettia plant for weeks or even months if you care for it properly. “The main thing is don’t overwater them,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of  Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “They don’t need to be watered nearly as much as people water them.” If the plant is in foil, take the foil off, water the plant at the sink, let the excess water drain out of the…

frostfog courtesy Donna Brok Garden Walk Garden Talk

Frost is only weeks (days?) away in WNY; protect tender plants to prolong growing season

It’s just a matter of weeks (or perhaps days) before we get frost in Western New York. Although he doesn’t know of any parts of Western New York that have gotten frost yet, there was a frost advisory Sunday night for the Town of Andover in Allegany County, said Mark Holt, Agriculture-Horticulture community educator for Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. That frost advisory prompted him to send along some tips on protecting tender plants from frost….

mass of mums at Lockwood's in Hamburg NY

Should you treat mums as perennials or annuals?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are mums perennials? For almost all the varieties that you will find for sale in Western New York, the answer is no. Local growers will call them fall mums or garden mums, but they won’t call them hardy because they’re not. And they definitely won’t call them perennials. There are two reasons that mums aren’t considered perennials, according to staff at Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg and Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. The first reason is…

corpse flower blooming at Buffalo Botanical Gardens

Time-lapse video shows you fast growth of Morty the corpse flower at Botanical Gardens

Even if you visited Morty the corpse flower at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens before it opened and while it was in bloom, it is hard to appreciate how quickly the flower grew. You can get a better idea of the tremendous growth of this rare plant by watching a time-lapse video created by the Botanical Gardens, which you can see below. The time-lapse video starts at the end of July when Morty was placed on display and…