lily pads protect fish in pond from heron

Protect fish in ponds from heron, plus final 2019 garden walk

by Connie Oswald Stofko The pond in the photo the may look overgrown, but all that foliage serves a purpose: It stops herons from eating fish in the pond. In this article, you can also find details on the last garden walk for 2019: the Black Squirrel Home and Garden Walk in Niagara Falls. Stop herons from eating your fish Marcia Panzarella shared her Camden Ave. landscape last week during the Northwest Buffalo Tour of Gardens. She has a pond,…

symptoms of late blight on tomatoes

Late blight spotted nearby; report it if you see it on your tomatoes

Late blight, a devastating disease of tomatoes and potatoes, has been detected in northern Pennsylvania (Erie County, Pennsylvania). If you see it on your plants, please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension in your county. Late blight is best known for causing the Irish Potato Famine and can kill plants in just one week, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. It is caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads dozens of miles on storm fronts, so it could come to your…

brown and yellow leaves on bottom of tomato plant

Why are leaves on my tomato plant turning yellow or brown?

by Connie Oswald Stofko The leaves on the bottom of my tomato plants are turning yellow, then brown. Don’t worry; it’s normal, says Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses at 42 French Rd., West Seneca. “That’s what happens when the plant starts making tomatoes,” she said. “It’s better to have an ugly plant with lots of tomatoes than the other way around. By the end of summer, you should have a dead-looking tomato plant.” That’s what…

two bees on a flower

Good news for bees, plus more from Master Gardeners

Due to the much publicized and well researched problems caused by neonicotinoids, the Environmental Protection Agency has banned 12 pesticides because of the harmful effect neonicotinoids have on bees, according to “Good News for Bees and the Environment” by Lyn Chimera. Unlike traditional pesticides, “neonics” are systemic, meaning that when taken up by the root system, the entire plant becomes toxic to insects. That article is one of the three articles in this month’s edition of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by…

garlic plants with scapes

It’s almost time to harvest garlic; when can you plant?

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can generally harvest garlic in mid- or late-July. The foliage starts to die back, which is an indication that the garlic is ready. Once your garlic is harvested, you’ll have an empty spot in your garden until October, the recommended time to plant garlic. But do we have to wait until October to plant garlic? As we discussed in a previous article, maybe not. Last year, I planted my garlic in intervals starting in August….

oak leaves showing symptoms of oak wilt

Watch out for oak wilt in July, August

The good news is that oak wilt, a serious disease for oak trees, hasn’t been spotted in Western New York yet. The bad news is that it has been identified in Ontario County, southeast of Rochester, as well as in other parts of New York State. See a map here. The good news is that if oak wilt is found, steps can be taken to keep it from spreading. July and August is the time to spot oak wilt disease,…

garden beds in center of yard

Prepare for Open Gardens & get tips from Hidden Gardens of Eden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Open Gardens will be held on Thursdays and Fridays starting next week, so get your booklet now. The booklet lists the locations of the gardens as well as the times and dates that each garden is open. The organizers even included suggested routes to help you see all the gardens. The booklet is available for a $10 donation at many local garden centers– see the list here.  The Open Gardens are like garden walks, but they take…

giant hogweed from NYS DEC

What to do if you spot giant hogweed in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader from Eden contacted me last week because he had spotted giant hogweed and wanted to know how to report it. I’m so glad he remembered seeing information about giant hogweed previously on this site. This is a seriously dangerous plant. It can cause severe skin and eye irritation, including painful burns and permanent scarring. Getting even a tiny amount of the sap in your eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness. See more here….

What type of rose is good for your garden? How do you care for roses?

by Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society There so many different types of roses. Which one is right for you? Here are a few examples of different types of rose bushes that grow well in our area. You can also find out more about roses at the 70th annual Rose Show to be held by the Western New York Rose Society from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at the Galleria Mall, One Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga. You’ll be…

reuse plastic container to protect garden plants

Can’t recycle those items anymore? Use them in your garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Now that we can’t recycle as many kinds of items as we did before, can we find ways to reuse them in our gardens? We already use lots of odds and ends in our gardens, but today let’s reach a little higher. Let’s look specifically at items that you can’t recycle anymore — items that get thrown in the trash and end up in a landfill. And let’s look at things that you were throwing into…