bumble bee on goldenrod by Stofko

Identify and help native bees in your garden

Did you know that the native bumble bee is more effective than honey bees at pollinating crops such as tomatoes? That’s just one reason gardeners should care about native bees, according to the Wild Bee ID. Another reason gardeners should care about native bees is that pollinator populations have been declining at alarming rates all across the continent, primarily due to habitat loss and pesticide poisoning.  The makers of the Wild Bee ID app hope that gardeners in North America…

red mums

How to find plants, decorations, landscapers & more

by Connie Oswald Stofko I often get emails from readers asking where they can find a certain plant or locate a landscaper. It’s easy. Look at the ads on Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com and go to our Gardening Directory. When you click on an ad, it will take you to the website of that business, where you can see more about what they have to offer as well as the business’s contact information. In our Gardening Directory, you can scroll through the businesses…

healthy impatiens by Stofko

Autumn updates: 3 plant diseases and a pest

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here are updates on three diseases and one pest: downy mildew on impatiens, tar spot on maple leaves, late blight on tomatoes and potatoes, and the brown marmorated stink bug. Maybe you’ve been dealing with these issues for years, or you might be noticing one of these for the first time. John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County, gives us updates. Impatiens There’s good news and bad news about impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)….

succulents blooming in September

Seven ideas for autumn gardening in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s officially autumn on the calendar, but there are still gardening things to do. Here are some ideas we have shared in past articles. Even if they’re not new to you, it’s always good to get a reminder. Tasks you can do in your autumn garden: Harvest, weed, water & enjoy Debug your houseplants before bringing them inside Test soil and amend it if necessary Enjoy waves of spring color in a single spot or even…

Should you cut back roses in autumn?

After reading a previous article about roses, a reader asked a follow-up question: “Hello! I was always told to cut back rose bushes in the fall. That’s wrong?” Here is the response from Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society: Save the hard pruning for spring. In the fall, cut off any broken stems. Some gardeners like to cut their rose bushes down to a height of 18-24 inches in the fall to prevent wind and snow…

yarn marking a particular plant

Quick tip on marking one plant in a bunch of similar plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s easy to designate a patch of plants– there are many kinds of plant markers you can buy or make. But what if you want to remember where one particular plant is in that bunch? I have columbine with yellow flowers as well as columbine with flowers that are yellow with a bit of red in them. I’d like to save the seeds from the yellow-with-red variety. Of course, now that the seeds have developed, the…

daffodil hyacinth tulips and narcissus

Plant bulbs in fall for spring blooms

by Connie Oswald Stofko Every spring I hear of someone who wants to plant tulips. If you want tulips, you can’t wait until spring! This is the time to plant tulip bulbs. The same goes for crocuses, daffodils or narcissus, hyacinths and allium. This the time of year when garden centers generally have spring bulbs available, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. He recommends getting them planted right away; they have a rather short shelf life. If…

deer eating in winter

My new talk ‘Oh, Deer!’ helps you protect your plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko One of the things that gets gardeners in Western New York riled up is deer. These hungry critters can wreak havoc in a garden. There’s no magic solution to keep deer from eating your plants, but there are things you can do that might help. Unfortunately, even if you find something to keep the deer away for awhile, the deer might get used to that deterrent. Then you have to try something else. The good news…

green tomatoes

How to ripen green tomatoes before frost or late blight damages them

by Connie Oswald Stofko I received this question from a reader, and it’s probably something that will help other gardeners, too. My tomatoes have just started to ripen. If I pick them totally green, before they get late blight, will they ripen in a bushel basket? Paula You can pick green tomatoes and get them to ripen with flavor and color similar to what you would have gotten if they were ripened in the field, according to this article from…

anemone September Charm In Amherst NY

Tips for creating a great autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko As we move into autumn, how is your garden doing? Is it still interesting? If not, take steps now to have a better autumn garden next year. Get inspiration from some past articles: 4 big tips for creating a garden with year-round interest Create a beautiful autumn garden; see how Amherst gardener does it Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden It’s autumn, and this Amherst garden is still blooming!…