lantana in bloom

Seven annuals that can take the heat in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’re enjoying a cool break in the weather, but summer has just started. Temperatures are going back up into the 80s– or higher. Be prepared with annual flowers that can take the heat. Here are seven recommendations from Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville.  These flowers will bloom all summer. Most of them are also drought tolerant, so you don’t have to water them constantly when the weather is hot and dry. Consider…

dead daylily blossom

Reminder: How to make your garden look good for visitors

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you will share your landscape on a garden walk or just have a few friends over for a barbecue, you want your yard to look nice. Here are some tips on how to make your gardens look attractive to visitors. Here’s an article on how to prepare for a garden walk that is just as appropriate for a casual get-together. It links to other articles with more tips. Be sure to read the comments left…

railroad in garden in Lewiston NY

See gardens, vendors & more in Lewiston GardenFest

by Connie Oswald Stofko “You pull into Lewiston and see all the flowers,” said Doreen Albee, second vice president of the Lewiston Garden Club. “It happens because of a dedicated group of 45 people.” The club’s big projects, such as the plantings at town buildings, are supported by the vendor portion of the Lewiston GardenFest. The Lewiston GardenFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20 on Center Street from 4th to…

ladybug hippodamia convergens

Got aphids? Buy lady bugs in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko “It seems like a lot of people are battling aphids this year,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market. A great way to get rid of aphids is to let ladybugs gobble up the aphids. But what if ladybugs haven’t discovered the aphids on your plants yet? You can buy live ladybugs at Urban Roots, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. The ladybugs aren’t in stock today (Tuesday, June 8, 2021), but Jablonski-Dopkin…

garlic scapes in Western New York

Reminder: It’s time to harvest garlic scapes in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I love garlic because it’s easy to grow. Plus, you get two harvests per season! The first harvest is when you cut the scapes and the second is when you dig up the bulbs. Harvesting garlic scapes The curlicue stems, which are the flower stalks, are called scapes. You should cut off the scapes. If you don’t, the plant will divert resources away from the bulb to the scape, leaving you with a smaller bulb. Besides,…

agastache, phlox and aster

Quiz time: What’s the deadline for planting perennials in WNY?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I like gardening quizzes because they’re fun. If you get the answer right, you feel smart. And if you don’t know the answer, you learn something new. See the answers and explanations below the questions. 1. What is the deadline for planting perennials in WNY? A. Memorial Day B. June 15 C. Middle of September 2. What is the best way to water your plants? A. Place a hose near the base of the plant and…

green peppers on plant

What to do with your extra plants

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you ever bought plants and found you had extras? You have space for two cherry tomato plants and one beefsteak, but each variety comes in a package of four. What do you do with the extras? First, are you sure you don’t have space? You don’t need a lot of space to garden. Containers aren’t just for flowers; you can plant vegetables in containers, too. One local gardener I met planted fruit trees in containers….

tomato on vine

15 tips for vegetable gardens in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just beginning to grow vegetables, you’ll find great tips here from Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca.  She covers the basics– vegetables need sun– to more random tricks– always plant very hot peppers in containers. Browse through these tips to see how you can improve your vegetable garden this year. Find a sunny space Most vegetables need six straight hours of sun….

watering can with plants in garden

Reminder: water your plants, buy locally

by Connie Oswald Stofko Water your plants When it comes to watering, pay special attention to anything that you have recently planted. Any plants in containers need extra attention, too. Don’t use the weather forecast in deciding whether you should water. Just because the forecast predicts a 70 percent chance of rain, that doesn’t mean it will actually rain that day. Or it may rain somewhere in Western New York, but not in your yard. Or it may rain on…

earthworm compared to jumping worm

Jumping worms are serious threat for WNY–Don’t share soil!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Asian jumping worms can damage your soil, making it difficult for plants to grow in your garden. Jumping worms have been identified in Erie County and may be in other parts of Western New York, too. The bad news is that there’s not much we can do to get rid of Asian jumping worms. The good news is that we can try to prevent spreading them. Don’t share soil– your garden soil could contain jumping worms…