bee and milkweed flower in Buffalo

No, there’s no labeling on use of neonicotinoids in plants or seeds

by Connie Oswald Stofko I got this question from a reader: Hi Connie, How can we be sure that we aren’t buying plants that have been treated with neonics, or grown from seeds containing neonics? Is there a standard label to look for? Or certain brands that don’t deal in them? Thanks. Kristen Buffalo Since I’m not a gardening expert, I contacted someone who knows more about  neonicotinoids, which are used in pest control. I talked to John Farfaglia, the…

Learn how to have a pretty garden while being kind to the environment at Lockwood’s Fall Fair

by Connie Oswald Stofko We gardeners want to be kind to the environment, but it can seem so complicated. We may know that we should have a sustainable landscape, though many of us probably can’t define exactly what that means. We should be organic, which encompasses so many different gardening practices. Can we do it all and have a pretty garden at the same time? Yes, and gardening expert Sally Cunningham will tell you how during a talk at 10…

Start seeds inside now for cool-weather crops; start seeds for tomatoes in a few weeks in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s finally time for us to start thinking about starting seeds inside! Cool-weather vegetables Let’s keep our fingers crossed that all this snow melts at a nice, steady pace so that our garden beds will be dry enough to for us to plant cool-weather vegetables in April. As the folks from Lockwood’s Greenhouses in Hamburg told us in a previous article, cool-weather vegetables are the crops that can take some cooler weather and light frosts. They…

Got clay? Don’t want to dig? Want a new bed over lawn? Try lasagna gardening in autumn

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s autumn, and here’s an outside project you can do today: create a lasagna garden. Lasagna gardening is a method where you apply material to your garden bed in layers, like in a lasagna. Lasagna gardening has several advantages: You don’t have to till or dig your garden bed. The technique works with clay or other poor soil. You can create a new bed over lawn. It’s not labor intensive. It’s organic. You don’t have to…

grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

Watch local cooking challenge & learn to cook with native plants

Sumac, a native plant, is pretty this time of year with its large red, cone-shaped flowers. You can see these small trees in parks or in the wild, and they make a great landscape plant. But did you know sumac is edible? There are quite a few native plants you might want to start growing for food– If you know how to cook with them. In this article we’ll tell you about two events where you can get ideas on…

front garden in Buffalo NY

Gardener goes old school with organic gardening in Buffalo

“We’re from New York City,” said Shawn King. “It’s all concrete there. When we got here and saw all this land, we just started planting.” She and her husband, Lew-Jean, have lived for 27 years at 166 Lasalle Ave., Buffalo. I visited them on July 13 during the Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk. “We’ve always had a garden,” Shawn said. “The love of gardening was instilled in me by my grandmother.” In the front yard, a neat arrangement of flowers…

pretty backyard is pesticide free in Buffalo NY

Pesticide-free yard in Parkside is kid-friendly & pretty, too

You may be used to seeing small yellow signs warning you to keep your children and pets off a neighbor’s lawn because it had recently been sprayed with a pesticide. A different kind of yellow sign is displayed in the front yard at 82 West Humboldt, Buffalo: “Pesticide Free. This area safe for children, pets and other living things.” “To me, it’s worth avoiding pesticides,” Dan Cadzow said. “You track it inside on your shoes and the kids play on…

Check on your amaryllis and other items too good to miss

I walked into my basement this weekend and was surprised to see that my amaryllis bulbs were leafing out. I shouldn’t have been surprised; this is precisely what they were supposed to do. I am forcing them to bloom indoors so I can enjoy gorgeous flowers in the middle of winter. But out of sight, out of mind. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t notice their activity until the leaves were quite long and I had a flower bud. If…

Goldthwait garden in Lancaster NY

Family has Certified Wildlife Habitat in their Lancaster yard

Feeding wildlife started with feeding her own family, explained Molly Goldthwait of 78 Woodlawn, Lancaster. She and her husband Leon used to buy organic produce, but that got too expensive to do when they had their children, Beatrice, 10, and Henry, 7. By creating organic gardens for their own food, they created a supportive environment for wildlife. The Goldthwait Family shared their yard during the Lancaster Garden Walk on July 21 and 22. To qualify for the Certified Wildlife Habitat…