petunias, ranunculus and other cool-weather plants

Plant some things now; others have to wait until after last frost—or longer

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here is a question that I received from a reader: Hello, I saw that the last frost for my area (in Hamburg) is possible as late as May 22; should I really wait so long to plant anything?  Mariely Ann Ortiz Actually, there are lots of things you can plant outside right now! But some things have to wait until after the last frost — or even longer. And that date you have of May 22…

Seven-sons tree in Western New York

Choosing trees for your landscape

by Connie Oswald Stofko When we think of plants for our landscape, we often forget about trees. With Arbor Day coming up on Friday, April 26, we turn our attention to these huge plants that we sometimes don’t notice. How to choose a tree People need to know what they want out of a tree before they choose a tree for their landscape, said Tom Draves, president of Draves Arboretum, 1821 Sharrick Road, Darien. Draves said some of the things…

coloful shed on Garden Walk Buffalo

Garden Walk Buffalo expands; sign up your garden by May 15

May 15 is the deadline to sign up to share your garden on Garden Walk Buffalo. New this year: the Parkside and Park Meadow neighborhoods are part of Garden Walk Buffalo! Garden Walk Buffalo previously extended from the Niagara River to Main Street and from Canalside to the Scajaquada. Now the walk will also include the Park Meadow and Parkside neighborhoods from Nottingham Terrace to Amherst Street and from Elmwood Avenue to Main Street as well as the area bound by…

woodchuck

Woodchucks are difficult to control; try a rope fence & urine

by Connie Oswald Stofko Maxine Osiewicz of Clarence watched last year as woodchucks decimated her dahlias. “You could see the woodchucks slapping the stems down and eating all the leaves,” she said. Woodchucks (also known as groundhogs) can damage trees and shrubs, too. Woodchucks gnaw or claw woody vegetation, according to a factsheet by Paul  D. Curtis and Kristi L. Sullivan that was produced by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Wildlife Damage Management Program. Woodchucks also strip bark at the…

Seed-starting tips & more help from Master Gardeners

You started some seeds inside and watched them grow into healthy seedlings. Soon after, they were dead. This sudden death is “damping off,” and it can be prevented. Find out how to avoid damping off in an article by Carol Ann Harlos in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters. It’s produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. In addition to the article on damping off, in this edition of WNY Gardening Matters you will…

rows flowers Goodman's Niagara Falls

Find plants, gardening services in WNY

People often ask me how I can offer subscriptions to Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com for free. The answer, of course, is that this great online magazine is supported by local businesses and organizations who want to connect with gardeners. That means that when you’re looking for gardening products and services, this website is a great place to start. Not only can you find wonderful merchandise and services, but these folks are right here in Western New York! Check out the ads that you see…

rose climbing on trellis

Prune roses when forsythia blooms, but don’t cut back climbing roses

Here are two tips from the Western New York Rose Society on pruning and planting roses. Tip #1: Don’t prune or plant roses too soon. Wait until you see forsythia blooming in your neighborhood. When you see those yellow blossoms, you will know it’s the perfect time to start planting and pruning your roses. From Steve Styn, Western New York Rose Society Rosarian Tip #2: Don’t cut back your climbing roses. Just trim the brown tips off in the spring. …

grass with numbers representing zero phosphorus in fertilizer

“Look for the Zero;” don’t use phosphorus on lawns

by Connie Oswald Stofko Most lawns don’t need phosphorus. And if you use a fertilizer containing phosphorus on your lawn, the excess phosphorus can wash off and pollute our waterways. That’s why the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is running its “Look for the Zero” campaign. If you want to use a chemical fertilizer on your lawn, make sure you choose one without phosphorus. Fertilizer labels have three numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of…

path in garden at Plantasia 2019 by Chevalier and Luminated Landscapes

Get tips from Plantasia gardenscapes

by Connie Oswald Stofko Local landscapers created gardens at Plantasia this past weekend around the theme of “Plantasia in Paradise.” Various awards were announced at Preview Night on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the show, visitors were invited to vote for their favorite landscaped garden. It was difficult for many people. I heard one after another say, “Oh, but they were all so good!” After all the votes were counted, Tripi’s Landscaping came out on top and received the People’s…

daffodil buds in spring in Western New York

Things you can do in your garden in this warm(ish) weather in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yesterday I took some kitchen scraps out to my compost bin. The air temperature was only about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and I was surprised by how warm it felt in the sun. It made me want to putter in my garden. But don’t rush things. One thing you have to be concerned about is walking around on a wet lawn or garden bed. Walking on wet soil can compact the soil, which isn’t good for your…