red lily leaf beetle

Invasive Species Week: learn & help in WNY

WNY PRISM is marking New York Invasive Species Awareness Week with a series of events. Want a chance to win a prize? After attending an event, fill out the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week survey. To see the statewide webinar series, check out the 2023 NYISAW Statewide Website and Calendar. __________ Saturday, June 3 Walk and Talk 10 a.m. – 12p.m. Pfeiffer Nature Center’s Eshelman Property, 1420 Yubadam Rd., Portville WNY PRISM will be guiding folks on a leisurely…

mosquito Culex pipiens

Mosquitoes bugging you? Keep them out of your WNY landscape

One way to keep mosquitoes from biting you is by keeping them out of your yard in the first place. The most common mosquito in New York State is Culex pipiens, which has a very small territory. It usually stays within 300 feet of its breeding site, according to this page on mosquitoes from New York State Integrated Pest Management (NYS IPM). If you and your Western New York neighbors make sure there are no breeding sites, everyone can have a…

yard covered in lesser celandine

More on lesser celandine in WNY: questions & discussion for next year

by Connie Oswald Stofko A month ago, I published Lesser celandine is back: What to do if it’s already out of control, but I still keep getting questions from readers. I also have gotten comments on that article and previous lesser celandine articles about how bad the situation has become on their property. Let’s address some of these issues. You can’t apply herbicide once the plant has flowered. Why? Here’s the answer from Andrea Locke, coordinator of WNY PRISM (Partnership for Regional…

lesser celandine covering lawn in Buffalo New York

Lesser celandine is back: What to do if it’s already out of control

by Connie Oswald Stofko I have been writing about lesser celandine for 11 years, but I realized I hadn’t addressed in detail what to do if your whole yard, or a large section of your yard, is covered with lesser celandine. Here are questions I got from a local gardener: Hi Connie, I bought a new house last spring in the Elmwood Village (area of Buffalo). It’s beautiful but both the front and back yards are total carpets of lesser…

woodchuck and shadow

What does Woodchuck Day mean to WNY gardeners?

by Connie Oswald Stofko When will spring get here? We’re supposed to find out on Thursday, Feb. 2: Groundhog Day. Maybe we should call it Woodchuck Day because we call these animals woodchucks. If the groundhog or woodchuck doesn’t see its shadow, that’s supposed to mean we get an early spring. So for an early spring, we want overcast weather on Thursday. But if it’s sunny and the groundhog does see its shadow, that means winter will linger for six…

bare trees and leaves on tree in autumn in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in your late-autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, Western New York has seen winter weather already, but the calendar says it’s still autumn. With a few days of milder weather in the forecast, get outside and do those late-season tasks while you can. Harvest herbs & cold weather veggies If you have any herbs or cold-weather vegetables, such as parsley, onions and peas, still growing, don’t let them go to waste. Harvest them now while they’re not hidden under a blanket of snow….

brown marmorated stink bug Buffalo area

Fewer brown marmorated stinkbugs in WNY? It seems likely!

by Connie Oswald Stofko I didn’t see many brown marmorated stinkbugs in October, which is the time when they are usually trying to get into our houses. Other Western New York gardeners have told me they have seen fewer–or even none–this fall. Could the population of brown marmorated stinkbugs be declining in Western New York? “It does seem to be that way,” said Liam Somers, state entomologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Brown marmorated stinkbugs in…

iris with leaves in Buffalo Niagara New York

Prevent iris borer by removing iris leaves in autumn in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko In general, gardeners in Western New York are encouraged to keep perennial leaves and stalks in place to create winter interest, but one plant you should cut down is the iris. “We encourage folks to cut the iris leaves down after the first heavy frost,” said Marilee Farry, president of the Western New York Iris Society. “What is important is not to throw those leaves into the compost pile but to either burn them or put…

adult spotted lanternflies

Save the grapes & other crops from spotted lanternflies in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko I hope you’ve been keeping your eyes open for the invasive spotted lanternfly. In July, a spotted lanternfly was found in West Seneca, but it was dead. Then in September, more than 100 live spotted lanternflies were found in Buffalo. Not only can it damage garden plants, the spotted lanternfly (SLF) can wreak havoc on vineyards. “SLF can have a devastating impact on vineyards, as we’ve seen in neighboring states, so we need everyone’s help to…

squirrel holding tulip bulb copyright Stofko

Protect your flower bulbs from squirrels in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko “I’ve planted bulbs, gone into the house, and the squirrels come back ten minutes later to steal my bulbs,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market. “They’re viscous little things!” Jablonski-Dopkin offers tips for keeping squirrels away from your newly planted bulbs. You still have plenty of time to buy and plant bulbs. In Western New York, plant bulbs in October or November. The soil should be cool, about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In…