soap slivers to keep deer and rabbits out of your garden

Simple and cheap tips for preventing deer & rabbits from eating your plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can never have too many tips for keeping deer and rabbits away from our plants. Even if we find something that works, the animals often get used to that technique and we have to try something else. Here are a bunch of tips. One is from me, but the rest are ones that local gardeners have shared with me. (These tips are often shared in quick conversations, so I often don’t have the name of…

For desperate gardeners, new idea to keep deer out of your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some beautiful gardens when I was in Atlanta a couple weeks ago to attend the conference of GWA: The Association of Garden Communicators. But since the climate is so different there, I wasn’t sure I would be able to bring back any tips that would help us here in Western New York. Then we went to the home of Lee Dunn and her husband Mike. There I saw something that should interest gardeners who…

annuals in pots in Amherst NY

What does this mild autumn weather mean for Western New York gardens?

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s up with this warm weather in Western New York? We can’t predict these things with 100 percent accuracy, but because of El Niño, it looks like we are going to have a mild autumn and early winter, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Our winter may not be as cold as the two previous winters have been, “which would be nice for a change,” he added. We may not…

CD's to keep deer away in Amherst NY

Use old CD’s to keep deer & rabbits away, plus more tips on garden pests

by Connie Oswald Stofko When it comes to dealing with pests such as deer and rabbits, the bad news is that there is no single technique that works all the time. The good news is that there are lots and lots of things you can try. When I speak to gardening groups, I get a chance to talk with gardeners, and they’re happy to share what works for them. I’m always coming across new ideas on how to deal with pests….

deer eating at Tift Farm in Buffalo NY

Suburban sprawl isn’t taking habitat from deer; it’s creating havens for them

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re a gardener who has complained about deer eating your plants, you’ve probably had someone respond with “Well, the deer were here first.” But gardeners who have been in their house for a few decades insist they were there before the deer. They’re right. While many people think that we are encroaching on the deer’s long-established habitat when we build new developments, suburban sprawl is actually creating refuges for deer, said Paul D. Curtis, associate…

herb garden at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village

Get tips from history to deal with a combination of dry and wet conditions in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko A combination of gardening problems faces Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, the 35-acre historical interpretive center in Amherst that showcases 19th century buildings set up like a village. Much of the landscape is boggy, so gardens can be wet early in the season. In addition, there’s no irrigation system, and hoses can’t reach all the gardens, so there’s no easy way to water plants during the dry summer months. To deal with these conditions, Buffalo Niagara Heritage…

Mystery of the empty bird feeder solved, plus a tip on woodchucks

by Connie Oswald Stofko When I was at the recent meeting of the Garden Friends of Clarence, Linda Klimczak, one of the members, told me about the mystery of her empty bird feeder and sent me the video that you can see below. Klimczak had gotten a squirrel-proof bird feeder and set it out on her back patio. Although the bird feeder holds quite a lot of seed, the next day it was empty. The mystery of the empty bird…

rustic village scene in Lancaster NY garden

Vignettes by gardener are backdrop to Lancaster mini-walks

Karen Deutschlander of 36 Stephens Ct., Lancaster, thinks that gardening is less about growing plants and more about decorating. That makes her gardens a welcoming backdrop to Art in the Gardens, the first of three mini-walks to be held by the Lancaster Garden Walk in conjunction with Lancaster’s Old Home Days. Art in the Gardens will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 30. Six artists will display their work in six gardens. Works of Conrad Borucki, a…

deer in Western New York from Donna Brok

Keep deer, rabbits & mice away, plus more items too good to miss

Keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and mice away with Bounce dryer sheets Use Bounce dryer sheets to keep deer away, says Bob Bracikowski of Opportunities Unlimited in Niagara, who showed us recently how to create a succulent garden. In the vegetable garden at Opportunities Unlimited, everything was being eaten, week after week. “During my lunch hour I could watch the deer eat the cabbage right in front of me,” he said. Then he tried a tip he got from a farmer:…

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…