spider plant

Caring for spider plants, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

Spider plants are popular for indoors because they look great with a waterfall of foliage and little “spiderlets” of leaves. They’re easy to care for, too, according the article in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County. Read more about spider plants here.  Also in this month’s edition, read: Fall fungi, which discusses mushrooms that pop up in your lawn Crazy about clematis This month in the garden,…

large fungus in lawn in Amherst

Why are there mushrooms in my lawn & what should I do about them?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s an email I got recently from a reader: Hi Connie, Would you be so kind as to post this question for me?  I thought we were lacking rain so why do I have these HUGE mushrooms growing in my front lawn that gets lots of sun?   This is only my 2nd summer in WNY and I am confused!   Thanks a bunch o’ coreopsis, Pam Anderson Lewiston Sometimes I ask readers to share tips…

Ideal time to plant grass: mid-August to mid-September

  by Connie Oswald Stofko The best time to plant grass is from mid-August to mid-September, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. By the time the seeds sprout, the cooler, wetter autumn weather will be here and you won’t have to water as much. Don’t plant grass seed in late September or in October because the seed will sprout, but then die in cold winter temperatures. If you miss the late summer/early fall window…

pest and weeds in spring

6 pests & weeds to watch out for during spring in WNY

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Now is the time that certain troublesome insects and weeds can show up in your garden, and now is the time to take action. Today we’ll talk about six insects and weeds to watch out for in spring: red lily leaf beetle, ticks, mosquitoes, lesser celandine, creeping Charlie and crabgrass. Red lily leaf beetle Calls have started coming in from gardeners who have spotted the red lily leaf beetle, so it’s time to look closely…

orchid dyed blue

Don’t be misled by gardening myths; learn more at Plantasia

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I finally got fed up with the baloney I saw on the Internet,” said Carolyn Stanko, associate professor of horticulture and biology at Niagara County Community College and a senior CNLP. She’d see posts of bogus gardening information, but other readers would think it was true and share it. “I finally had to stand up and preach the truth!” she said. She will help you separate gardening fact from fiction when she presents “Garden Myth Busting –…

grass on lawn in autumn in Amherst NY

You can sow grass seed in November in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you have bad patches of lawn, you can take steps in November to repair them by using what is called the dormant seeding method. November isn’t the best time to sow grass seed, but if you missed the ideal period (mid-August to mid-September), you can sow in November, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Don’t plant grass seed in late September or in October because the seed will sprout,…

dew on blades of grass

Seeing child make sand castles out of pesticide caused landscaper to change his practices

by Connie Oswald Stofko Caution. Warning. Dangerous. Keep out of reach of children. That’s what you’ll find on the labels of pesticides and other chemicals that people routinely spray on their lawns, said Paul Tukey, and he used to spray them, too. Tukey shared his story of how he went from routinely using chemicals with warning labels to using all-organic practices in his landscaping business. Now he is chief sustainability officer for Glenstone, a contemporary art museum in Potomac, Maryland….

info to hang on door with lawn tips from Erie County

Keep your lawn green & weed-free without pesticides

Tips on how to keep your lawn healthy without pesticides are being distributed through the Erie County Environmental Management Council, an advisory board to Erie County Department of Environment & Planning. They’ve printed it as something you can hang on your door. Get a full-size pdf of the doorhanger: Here’s the front and here’s the back. Here are the tips you will find on the doorhanger: Don’t cut the grass too short! Taller 3-inch grass outcompetes weeds, better withstands drought…

creeping Charlie in Amherst NY

What to do about creeping Charlie, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko In this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County give us some hints on what to do about creeping Charlie, a weed that many of us struggle with. As they suggest, I will get out there now. It’s easier to get rid of this weed when you catch it early, and it’s easier to pull out when the ground is wet. In the article, you will not…

lesser celandine in yard

Don’t let your lawn get to this point, dig up lesser celandine now

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’ve been getting emails from people wanting to know what to do with lawns filled with lesser celandine. My best advice is to not let it get that far. Dig it up now. And do it this year when you have only a few patches! This is a serious weed, said Carol Ann Harlos, Master Gardener, garden writer and speaker. “You have two choices,” Harlos said. “You can either spend the time and dig it out…