lawn with trefoil flowers

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

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…