tomatoes organic gardening

A minimalist approach to vegetable gardening

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj You know the “Set it and forget it” motto on the infomercial? That’s the kind of gardener I am. I set the plant in the ground and forget about it. I describe my method as survival-of-the-fittest gardening. No special coddling, practically zero watering, and certainly no umbrellas set up to protect delicate plants from the sun. Seriously? People actually do that? If it doesn’t survive where I plonk it, it just wasn’t meant…

Carlos and Susan Gartin of Buffalo

Gracious patio garden graces once-abandoned lot in Buffalo

What was once an abandoned lot is now a lovely backyard patio for Susan and Carlos Gartin. They shared their creation during the Black Rock and Riverside Tour of Gardens on Saturday, Aug. 7. The lot is on East St., just behind their home at 169 Dearborn St.  It had been a dumping ground for asphalt, concrete and bricks, and the weeds grew seven feet high, Carlos said. The Gartins bought it in August 2009. Now flower beds are tucked…

Rosa Dream Come True organic gardening in Western New York

The (relative) pampering of roses

Rosa Dream Come True Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I generally practice a survival-of-the-fittest approach to gardening, but I admit to pampering my roses a bit. I figure they deserve it for the joy they bring me. Few other flowers make me literally tear up from their beauty. I planted my roses last spring. I have mostly English roses because I love the heavy fragrance and voluptuously full blossoms. The exceptions are my Grandiflora “Dream Come True” and…

cutleaf weeping peashrub organic gardening

Try vinegar and boiling water in your organic garden

Adventures in Organic Gardening by Laura Sileo-Lepkyj In my previous column, I promised I would tell you what exactly is industrial strength acetic acid, and why I was lugging around boiling water on a 90-degree day. In answer to the first part: Industrial strength acetic acid is, simply put, high-power vinegar and is used in manufacturing and chemical labs. In answer to the latter: because I had a momentary lapse in judgment. Why would a gardener be interested acetic acid?…

organic gardening column

Join me as I dive into organic gardening

by Laura Sileo-Lepkyj I started my adventures in organic gardening almost by accident when I decided to enter my garden in the Amherst garden walk this spring. As I was filling out the application, I had a dilemma: what boxes should I check to describe the various features of my garden? Sculptures? Nope. Native Plants? Not so much. Pond? Nada. Arbors/Pergolas? Seriously? I was getting worried. What did I have to offer that makes my garden unique? Then there appeared…

Wild daisies are sweet garden flower for Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Have you ever considered growing wild daisies in your garden? Some people think of them as weeds, but they have a treasured spot in my garden. They’re hardy and easy to grow.  Whether we get a hot, dry summer or a cold, rainy summer, the daisy can take it in stride. They do like sun, but you may be able to grow them in shadier spots, too. (Correction: I had written that these are native plants,…