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…

use shovel to cut grass away from patio

Reclaim your patio, plus other garden tasks for autumn

by Connie Oswald Stofko This would have been a great weekend for raking leaves. The sun was shining, the weather was mild, and I wanted to do something outside in the yard. Unfortunately, most of the leaves in my neighborhood are still firmly adhered to the trees. This happens to me at this time every year. I have to look around for things to do in my garden and yard. Here’s one task: reclaim your patio or sidewalk from your…

lesser celandine in Buffalo NY by Mike Fabrizio

Get rid of lesser celandine– It’s pretty, but it will take over your lawn

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’ve been noticing the pretty yellow blooms of lesser celandine all over my neighborhood. It’s pretty, but it can take over your lawn. Here’s an email I recently got from a reader: I have this weed and it is now covering my entire back yard and is headed into the front. I literally have one-eighth of my back  lawn left.  I have been digging it out for years and years and it just keeps multiplying. There…

lawn problem from Martha Neri of Williamsville NY

Can you help this reader with a lawn problem?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader came to me with a gardening question. Do you have any suggestions on how she can resolve her problem? If so, please leave a comment. Here’s her question: I have an area of my lawn that has had moss, bare spots and grayish/brown grass for several years. It isn’t getting smaller despite suggested treatments from my lawn maintenance company. They recommended lime but it didn’t work. They tested the pH and it is within…

Foundation planting in Illinois 1925 from Laura Burchfield

Early 20th century innovations include lawns, foundation plantings; learn more at talk

by Connie Oswald Stofko We don’t live the way people did at the turn of the last century, and that’s reflected in our landscapes, said Laura L. S. Burchfield, co-author of American Home Landscapes: A Design Guide to Creating Period Garden Styles. Back then, people had outhouses. They needed a space for livestock. An area called the drying yard was set aside for hanging laundry. By the 1920s and ’30s, there were garages for cars, large lawns and even stone…

dew on blades grass in lawn in Western New York

Reminder: Don’t use fertilizers containing phosphorus on your lawn

In order to help protect our waterways, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding gardeners not to use lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorus. The 2012 Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law prohibits the use of phosphorus fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus. “Too much phosphorus is harmful to the state’s water resources,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Rain and snow runoff…

painted lawn in Lancaster NY

Painted lawn is eye-catching on Lancaster Garden Walk

The flowers in the garden beds are beautiful, but it’s the flowers painted on the lawn that get noticed first at the home of Karen and Bernie Farrell of 78 Brunswick, Lancaster. The flowers were painted by Karen, who has started her own business called Lawntastic, where she does custom painting on lawns. Their front yard was on display during the eighth annual Lancaster Garden Walk on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Karen got the idea for her…