early winter gardens in Amherst NY and East Aurora NY on the same day

Early winter (late autumn?) gardening tips for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko I often write articles about what you can do your garden right now. But today, what you can do in your garden depends on whether you live in the northern part of Western New York or the south. Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Southern Erie counties are getting heavy lake effect snow. The rest of Western New York is looking at a few flurries. But as we gardeners know, the weather in Western New York can fluctuate….

egg clusters of spotted lanternfly on tree

What do spotted lanternflies look like now in WNY?

Spotted lanternflies (SLF), invasive pests that have been identified in Western New York, look different in different seasons. Right now you should look for egg masses. The adults lay eggs from September through November or until the first killing freeze. The egg masses start out white and change colors over a few weeks to pinkish and then to brown. The egg masses are about one inch long. Eggs can be found on any outdoor surface from October through June. Good…

spangled fritillary butterfly, red leaf, and bumble bee

Use the leaves, leave the leaves, or rake to curb?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Where do our pollinators go in the winter? A lot of them stay right here in Western New York. You may have created a welcoming habitat for them in spring, summer and autumn with native plants. Now it’s time for us to create a welcoming habitat for them during winter. It’s easy, too! Just leave the leaves. Why leave the leaves? We need pollinators, and pollinators need those fallen leaves in order to survive over the…

cold frame in Buffalo NY

Learn about cold frames & more in Optimistic Gardener newsletter

Want to extend your growing season by constructing a cold frame? Check out the article by Laura A. Marsala, apprentice Master Gardener volunteer, in the newest edition of The Optimistic Gardener. That is just one of the many helpful articles you’ll find in the publication produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Other topics in this edition include a discussion of whether tulips are perennials and a look at a gardener who turned…

coleus Hottie

Tips on overwintering plants in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time to think about overwintering plants so you can enjoy them next year. In “What plants do you overwinter in Western New York?”, you’ll find guidelines on which plants are happy outside in the winter, which plants you should bring inside and which plants might be difficult for you to overwinter. That article includes links to many other helpful articles. Here are more related topics:…

opening frame for video on How to Divide Perennials in Western New York

Autumn is a good time to divide perennials; see new video

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is your hosta overtaking your heuchera? Or just getting too big for your small garden? You may need to divide your plants, and autumn is a good time to do it. Find out more about dividing plants with Lyn Chimera of Lessons from Nature. And if you need more tips, check out these articles:…

Aster in flower as well as buds

Autumn isn’t here yet, but we can prepare in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’re having 90-degree weather in parts of Western New York–I hope you don’t think it’s already autumn! Just because the kids are going back to school, it doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up our gardening tools. Here are some tips that you can use now or in the coming weeks as we prepare for autumn….

bare trees and leaves on tree in autumn in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in your late-autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, Western New York has seen winter weather already, but the calendar says it’s still autumn. With a few days of milder weather in the forecast, get outside and do those late-season tasks while you can. Harvest herbs & cold weather veggies If you have any herbs or cold-weather vegetables, such as parsley, onions and peas, still growing, don’t let them go to waste. Harvest them now while they’re not hidden under a blanket of snow….

evergreens in pots in Williamsville NY garden

Tips for winter garden: keep pots from cracking; evergreens are a must

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now that it’s autumn, have you turned your back on your gardens, or will your landscape give you pleasure even throughout winter? Keep your autumn and winter gardens appealing with these two tips from Jay Jinge Hu, who shared his Williamsville landscape on Open Gardens for the first time this year. Keep ceramic & cement pots from breaking in winter I have always advised gardeners to bring their concrete or ceramic pots inside for the winter….

autumn leaves in Amherst NY by Stofko

Why autumn is the best time to start a garden bed in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s a lot easier to start a garden bed in autumn than in spring. Why? Because time is on your side. In spring, you would have to rush to get a new garden bed ready. When could you start? In April, when the ground is soggy or still frozen? Maybe in May, if the weather is nice on a day when you have off from work. If you prepare your garden bed now, there’s no rush–and…