picking up autumn leaves in tarp in Amherst NY

Don’t waste those leaves! 3 tips to turn autumn leaves into compost

by Connie Oswald Stofko Autumn leaves are so valuable for your garden. You can rake them onto garden beds to serve as mulch. This can help protect your plants during the winter. After that, many of us still have plenty of leaves left. These are great for compost. Here are three tips to make the most of your autumn leaves. Gather leaves up in a tarp. I used to rake my leaves into a pile. Then I would pick them…

compost bin in Amherst NY garden

Easy compost bin, research study & more items too good to miss

Speed up compost with this no-turn bin I love these instructions for making a bin for a compost pile that you don’t have to turn. It’s cheap and very, very easy. Compost piles need oxygen to carry on the decomposition process. One way to speed up your compost pile is to turn the pile with a pitch fork. This design by Fred Davis of Hill Gardens of Maine allows air to circulate throughout the pile so you don’t need to…

lilac transplant from gardening-enjoyed.com

Put your garden to bed: Tips from Toronto writer & horticulturist

Labor Day is approaching, the kids are heading back to school and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Autumn is on its way, but that doesn’t mean that the gardening season is over, according to Toronto garden writer Ken Brown. Brown, a horticulturist who landscaped exhibits at the Toronto Zoo, will be the featured speaker at Lockwood’s Greenhouses Fall Garden Fair to be held Saturday, Sept. 8 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. The fair includes several great talks and demonstrations…

formal beds in front yard in West Seneca NY

Couple expresses differing gardening styles in West Seneca

Carl and Doris Swan bought a house with three acres of land on Center Road in West Seneca as an investment property. After 43 years, they’re still there. “I figured we weren’t going to stay long,” Carl said, “but we did.” Over the last 10 or 15 years, areas that formerly were used by the children and grandchildren for playing ball are becoming gardens, and the Swans have developed different gardening styles. The Swans showed their gardens during the first…

trees in Amherst NY

‘Fungi & great moments in history’ among talks at ReLeaf Conference

If it weren’t for fungi, we wouldn’t have the Ten Commandments or the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s the tongue-in-cheek assessment of George Hudler, professor at Cornell University, who will speak on “Great Moments in History and How Fungi Got Us Here.” His entertaining talk will be part of the 20th annual statewide ReLeaf Conference, where you will have the opportunity to learn from professionals from across the country and Canada and to tour local community forestry projects,…

Jerusalem artichole or sunchoke flowers in Amherst NY

Celebrate Earth Day in your garden

Gardeners treasure the chance to get outdoors and work with plants. They feel the rhythms of the seasons. They’re in tune with nature and want to make their corner of the world a better place. Earth Day is coming up this Sunday, April 22, so this seems like a good time to review ways we gardeners can be more effective in helping the environment. Many of the tips on our list today are things we’ve talked about in previous articles,…

leaves for garden compost in Buffalo NY

Speed up your compost pile by balancing key ingredients

In an earlier article, we told you why you should save autumn leaves and we gave you some basic information on composting. In another article, we gave you more details on what to put in your compost pile. Today we’re going to give you more advanced information on composting. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of work, there are ways to speed up your compost pile. David Clark, horticulturist, shared tips on composting at a recent seminar…

Spring Flower Show by Kathy Struckle

Hurry and plant spring bulbs now. Plus, three other autumn reminders

Take advantage of this beautiful autumn weather we’re enjoying in the Buffalo area and tackle some gardening projects. Here are some reminders of things you can do right now. Reminder #1: Hurry and plant spring bulbs. If you want spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils, hurry and plant your bulbs now before the ground freezes. That tip is from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, where today 16 volunteers and several staff members planted spring bulbs– 4,500 of…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Update: Where you can get worms for composting in the Buffalo area

A lot of you have asked where you can get red worms for composting. In an April article, we told you that Buffalo Reuse was planning to sell worms for composting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’ll have a stock available anytime soon, so your best bet is to go to a bait shop. I went to Big Catch Bait and Tackle, 2287 Niagara St., Buffalo. Greg Becker, an employee there, said the red worms used for composting are easily…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Turn garbage into compost for your garden with red wriggler worms

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some amazingly beautiful compost a couple weeks ago in an Earth Day demonstration at Buffalo ReUse. The compost was dark brown and crumbly and pure, with almost no soil mixed in. The secret to this compost is red wriggler worms. They eat garbage and turn it into compost. “They eat their weight in garbage every day,” explained Kevin Hayes, executive director at Buffalo ReUse. “They’re voracious.” The earth worms that you find in your…