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…

box tree moth

Update on box tree moth & more from WNY Gardening Matters

The box tree moth (BTM) was discovered in traps in Niagara County in July 2021, so everyone in Western New York has to be on the look out, said Lyn Chimera in the article Box Tree Moth: A New Invasive to Watch For. That article is part of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. The BTM damages boxwood as well as euonymus and holly (Ilex species). The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)…

leaves with beech leaf disease

Beech leaf disease found in all of Western New York; report affected trees

Beech leaf disease (BLD), which affects all species of beech trees, has been identified in in all eight counties of Western New York. DEC is asking the public to submit reports through NYimapInvasives if they encounter a beech tree showing signs of BLD. The main symptom to look for on beech foliage is darkened striping between the veins, which is best seen when looking up through the canopy. Leaves with severe symptoms can be heavily banded and crinkled, with a thickened leathery…

greenhouse whiteflies on leaf

Whiteflies in your WNY garden? Don’t worry

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a message I got from a reader: Hi Connie, Would you consider adding the tiny whitefly infestation and organic solutions to rid garden of them in your next newsletter? In the garden, they are everywhere, likely thirsty! Wishing for rain tonight! Thank you, Brigitte Wagner-Ott, Eggertsville I didn’t even know what whiteflies were, and since Wagner-Ott lives down the street from me, I figured I should find out more. She saw something online, but wanted information…

Asian longhorned beetle in pool

Pool owners & others: look for invasive beetle in WNY

The bad news is that the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was found in six areas in the New York City region beginning in 1996. The good news is that it was eradicated in four of those areas! The ALB hasn’t been identified in Western New York yet. But if it arrives here, we want to find it early so we can eradicate it before it damages trees. This invasive beetle attacks and kills maples, birches, willows and other hardwoods,…

Japanese stiltgrass

Help remove invasive grass in West Seneca

Volunteers are needed to help WNY PRISM remove Japanese stiltgrass, a high priority, early detection invasive species, from areas in West Seneca. Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was recently found in parts of Western New York. It is an annual, short grass that quickly spreads to form extensive mats that harm native plants and plant communities. It can also alter soil nutrient cycling processes, facilitate erosion, inhibit tree survival and growth, and reduce habitat and forage for wildlife. The plant is simple to…