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…

species tulip 'Ballerina'

How to plant spring bulbs in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Want to get bulbs to bloom in spring and summer? Here’s your first tip: Plant in autumn. Every spring, people walk into garden centers expecting to buy tulips and other bulbs to plant immediately in their gardens. It’s understandable, said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. With most other plants, when you see them flowering outside, that’s the time to plant them. With bulbs, you have to plan…


Dealing with frost in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The official first day of autumn arrived last Thursday, and immediately, it seemed, Western New York temperatures took a nose dive. An overnight frost advisory was issued last week for Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. This week overnight temperatures may dip into the 30s in many parts of Western New York. That’s significant because frost can occur even if the air temperature is above freezing, according to our previous article. The article also explains why even 36-degree…

squirrel holding tulip bulb copyright Stofko

Protect your flower bulbs from squirrels in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I’ve planted bulbs, gone into the house, and the squirrels come back ten minutes later to steal my bulbs,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market. “They’re viscous little things!” Jablonski-Dopkin offers tips for keeping squirrels away from your newly planted bulbs. You still have plenty of time to buy and plant bulbs. In Western New York, plant bulbs in October or November. The soil should be cool, about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In…

autumn leaves changing color in Amherst NTY

Autumn leaves turning color in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Autumn leaves are beginning to change color across Western New York, according to the most recent Fall Foliage Report produced by We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, which we need to make up for our dry summer, but it can dim the colors of autumn leaves. For the most spectacular color displays, the best weather conditions are a succession of warm, sunny days, according to “Science of Fall Colors” from the US Forest Service. Cool but…

rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' in garden in Eden New York

Yes, there are perennials that flower in autumn in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Who doesn’t have Japanese anemones?” Margaret Raupp asked as we toured the flower gardens at her home in Eden. Me. I don’t have Japanese anemones, and I bet many of you don’t have then either. Why? Because we don’t visit gardens when they are blooming. That’s why I asked Raupp, who shares her landscape on Open Gardens, to show me some of the flowers that bloom in September. I visited her about 10 days ago, on…

taking phot of garden with phone

Autumn: Take photos of your perennials, make plant labels

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know where all your perennials are–now. But what about next spring when all the plants–perennials and weeds alike– are tiny? You can take a guess on what’s in that spot. Or you can invest some time now so that, in spring, you’re not weeding out your beloved flowers. First, take photos of your gardens now while your perennials are still standing. See more here. Second, label your plants. Tip: I have used…

yellow and orange pansies at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Welcome autumn with seasonal flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko Freshen up your landscape with autumn annuals. From traditional mums to a newer variety of ornamental peppers, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses has plants to brighten up your autumn landscape. Let’s start with mums. There are early-season, mid-season and late-season mums. They bloom at different times, depending on the variety. Early-season mums are available now. When I took these photos last week, the flowers were just opening. Some people like to choose a plant whose flowers aren’t…