don't use lawn fertilizer with phosphorus

Keep our waterways clean: look for zero on lawn fertilizer

Do you like swimming or fishing or clean water in general? Then help our lakes, rivers and creeks by not spreading phosphorus on your lawn. If you fertilize your lawn, look for a bag with a zero in the middle. Fertilizer labels have three numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as 22-0-15. Excess phosphorus has made many waterways in New York State un-swimmable and un-fishable, according to the New York State…

Elle Pots at Mike Weber in West Seneca NY

Mike Weber’s introduces ‘4-packs without the plastic’

by Connie Oswald Stofko You’re probably familiar with four-packs and six-packs, those plastic containers that hold four or six small plants. This year Mike Weber Greenhouses is introducing something called Elle Pots. “Think of a four- or six-pack without all that plastic,” said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. The Elle Pots start with a tube of strong, biodegradable paper that is filled with potting mix. Seeds or cuttings are planted into…

white oak (Quercus alba) L. with acorns

Help save life on Earth by planting trees & more; see POLLINATOR

There are things you can do to help save life on Earth, and the newest edition of POLLINATOR is focused on the many ways we can help. POLLINATOR magazine is produced by the Pollinator Conservation Association, a non-profit based in Western New York. One thing we keep hearing about is planting trees, said Lynda Schneekloth in the article “Nature Based Climate Solutions” in the Winter 2020 edition. Schneekloth is professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo and longtime climate, social and…

pea starts at Mischler's

Plant cool-weather vegetables in garden now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Peas, lettuce, broccoli and beets are some of the vegetables you can plant in your garden now. These are cool-weather crops that don’t mind the chilly temperatures we have at this time of year. You can start these plants from seed or you can buy vegetable starts (small plants), said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. “With plant starts, you can have an instant garden,” Yadon said. But don’t…

lesser celandine in yard

Kill lesser celandine before it flowers; look for it now

by Connie Oswald Stofko Don’t wait until you see the pretty yellow flowers. Look for lesser celandine and get rid of it now. If you want to use an herbicide, you must do it now before the plant flowers. Why you should get rid of lesser celandine If you’re not careful, lesser celandine can spread until you have no grass or other plants in your lawn. Even worse, it can spread into wild areas and wreak havoc there. Lesser celandine…

red lily leaf beetle by

Start to check for red lily leaf beetle in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I received this message from Tess in Binghamton: “Red lily beetles have arrived early! Picked a dozen of them out of the flower bed today, March 20, 2020, in Binghamton NY area!!” It’s not too early to start looking for them in Western New York, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County “They do show up early, as soon as the foliage breaks ground,” Farfaglia said. In past years, “I’ve gotten calls…

snowdrops flowers by Stofko

Gardening things you can do now despite the COVID-19 cancellations

by Connie Oswald Stofko Plantasia is cancelled. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is closed until at least April 20. Lots of other places and activities are shut down, too. It’s disappointing, but we all need to do what we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19. But here is good news: Spring is arriving on March 19. The weather seems to be getting milder. And there are actually some gardening activities you can do now! I’ll list…

water feature in garden in Hamburg NY

Four landscape design ideas that you may have never seen before

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you go on garden walks or visit Open Gardens, it’s nice to just gaze at the beautiful landscapes. It’s also helpful to get new, practical ideas you can use in your own yard. We’ll do both in this article, looking at views from the landscape of Sue and Russell Rich in Hamburg. When they moved in 25 years ago, there was almost nothing in the yard, but now they are surrounded by beautiful garden beds….

Symphoricarpos 'Proud Berry'

Order now for Great Plant Sale so you don’t miss out; deadline is April 10

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time to place your pre-order for the Great Plant Sale at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The deadline to order is Friday, April 10, but don’t wait–some plants sell out early. You can order online. You’ll pick up your pre-ordered plants at the Great Plant Sale at the Botanical Gardens from May 14-16. There will be other plants for sale then, too, that you don’t have to pre-order. But if you…

slender false brome

Invasive grass & more news from Master Gardeners

An invasive plant that has been identified in Genesee County and may be other parts of Western New York is slender false brome, according to an article in the latest issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Erie County. Because slender false brome looks so much like other grasses, it may be undetected in other counties. See more about the plant in this article by Lisa Marie Gee. Other articles in this issue are: Find out…