Kenny Coogan with carnivorous plant

Carnivorous plant lovers: Hear author originally from Niagara Falls

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have enjoyed the information on carnivorous plants that Kenny Coogan, co-founder of the Western New York Carnivorous Plant Club, shared with us back in 2012. Coogan has moved to Florida, but he’ll be back in Buffalo to talk about his book– just released Oct. 1– called Florida’s Carnivorous Plants: Understanding, Identifying, and Cultivating the State’s Native Species. While the title focuses on Florida, Coogan includes information that WNY gardeners will like, such as how the plants digest insects and…

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…

adult spotted lanternflies

Save the grapes & other crops from spotted lanternflies in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I hope you’ve been keeping your eyes open for the invasive spotted lanternfly. In July, a spotted lanternfly was found in West Seneca, but it was dead. Then in September, more than 100 live spotted lanternflies were found in Buffalo. Not only can it damage garden plants, the spotted lanternfly (SLF) can wreak havoc on vineyards. “SLF can have a devastating impact on vineyards, as we’ve seen in neighboring states, so we need everyone’s help to…

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…


Drought watch ends in WNY; don’t burn leaves

Six Western New York counties have been taken off drought watch: Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.  The drought watch was designated in August due to the below-normal precipitation during the previous three months. There have also been low stream flows and low groundwater levels. The status of these counties was changed Oct. 9 because of recent rainfall and higher levels of ground and surface water. Now all of Western New York is is in the normal range. A…

illustration of garlic bulbs by Stofko

Reminder: You can plant garlic now in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardening season isn’t over yet! You can plant garlic now. Here are six reasons why you should plant garlic. (The first reason is that garlic easy to grow. I can’t grow zucchini, but I can grow garlic!) That article also covers how to plant garlic and how to harvest garlic and garlic scapes….

mums outside Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens: Coleus, creatures, mums & after-dark events

by Connie Oswald Stofko With three exhibits going on at once, there’s a lot to see at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Gardening tip: It’s fun to stroll through the exhibits, and while you’re doing that, keep your eye open for something you can replicate in your own garden. Coleus & Creatures Exhibit Colorful creatures made out of live plants are on display during the new Coleus and Creatures Exhibit. The exhibit includes a…


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…

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…