No, you can’t plant cannabis in WNY yet, but you can prepare for next year

by Connie Oswald Stofko There seems to be confusion over which home gardeners can legally plant cannabis in Western New York. Right now only people that have their medical cannabis card from their practitioner can grow cannabis, said Melissa Moore, co-coordinator of the Horticulture Program and instructor of Cannabis at Niagara County Community College (NCCC). Those people can grow up to six plants per person, and a total of 12 plants per residence. People without a medical card are not…

yard covered in lesser celandine

More on lesser celandine in WNY: questions & discussion for next year

by Connie Oswald Stofko A month ago, I published Lesser celandine is back: What to do if it’s already out of control, but I still keep getting questions from readers. I also have gotten comments on that article and previous lesser celandine articles about how bad the situation has become on their property. Let’s address some of these issues. You can’t apply herbicide once the plant has flowered. Why? Here’s the answer from Andrea Locke, coordinator of WNY PRISM (Partnership for Regional…

bee dandelions violets

No Mow May: what people in WNY are doing & why

by Connie Oswald Stofko We talked about No Mow May in an article last year. The idea is to take a break from mowing your lawn until the end of May. That way, you’re allowing plants in your lawn to flower, providing early food for bees and other pollinators. “But it’s just a starting point,” said Matthew Shepherd, director of Outreach & Education at the Xerces Society. “We want to see landscapes transformed. We want lawns that are less manicured, where…

graphic of four leaves in four seasons

Pruning, composting & more in ‘The Optimistic Gardener’

Why should you prune? What do the terms “greens” and “browns” mean for composting? Those are just two of the topics in the newest edition of The Optimistic Gardener, the local horticulture newsletter for Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties. It is produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in those counties. Find the newsletter on the gardening page of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua (on the lefthand side) and in Cattaraugus (on the righthand side)….

lamium 'Pink Pewter' courtesy Ball Horticultural Company

Plants for dry shade & more at Mischler’s 69-cent sale; starts April 21

by Connie Oswald Stofko Shady areas can be a challenge for gardeners, and if the shady area is dry, that’s even more difficult. If you have an area like that, try planting lamium. “It’s drought tolerant,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses. “It grows in dry shade areas. That’s a hard thing to find.” What’s even better is that you can buy it during the 69-cent Perennial Sale at Mischler’s, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. The…

hyacinths and daffodils in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in WNY’s warm spring weather

by Connie Oswald Stofko It looks like we will have a week of warm spring weather in Western New York! It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy some gardening tasks. But don’t get ahead of yourself–some tasks should wait a little longer. See what’s happening in your yard See what plants have started to grow. Pick up any trash that blew into your yard. Look for damage from rabbits, deer or moles and voles. Check for winter storm damage. Some things you…

lesser celandine covering lawn in Buffalo New York

Lesser celandine is back: What to do if it’s already out of control

by Connie Oswald Stofko I have been writing about lesser celandine for 11 years, but I realized I hadn’t addressed in detail what to do if your whole yard, or a large section of your yard, is covered with lesser celandine. Here are questions I got from a local gardener: Hi Connie, I bought a new house last spring in the Elmwood Village (area of Buffalo). It’s beautiful but both the front and back yards are total carpets of lesser…

illustration of garlic bulbs by Stofko

Can we plant garlic in April in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko When should you plant garlic? The usual recommendation is October. (It overwinters and you harvest around July.) But maybe you can plant garlic in April in Western New York–and harvest the same year! I got a comment on this previous article last October from a local gardener. She had planted garlic in April: Last fall I had hand surgery and wasn’t able to get my garlic planted. I did it in spring and had a beautiful…

spring flowers in small pots at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

5 tips from Botanical Gardens’ Spring Flower Show to use in your landscape

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s lovely just to walk around the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens during the Spring Flower Exhibit. The fragrance of hyacinths scents the air. Spring bulbs that won’t flower in our gardens for a few more weeks are already in bloom. And flowers that might bloom at different times in your garden are all blooming at once, creating a garden fantasy. And if you look carefully, there are some things you can try in your…

portable table for gardening in Niagara Falls, NY

Make a handy, portable work surface with tip from Niagara Falls gardener

by Connie Oswald Stofko Do you need a work surface for potting and other gardening tasks? Would it be helpful if you could easily move that table from one area to another? Use this great tip from Rick Martinez of Niagara Falls, NY: “Since my garden is made up of a series of ‘garden rooms,’ I found that a stationary work surface just wasn’t working. An easy solution to my problem consisted of two large plastic garbage bins and a…