yellowjacket

What should you do about yellowjackets & hornets? Nothing

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yellowjackets and hornets have been very active lately, and if they sting, it can hurt. “But if you can avoid them for another month, nature will take care of them,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Both yellowjackets and hornets will die off in the cold weather, he said. The yellowjackets make their home in the ground and hornets make their nest high in a tree. Neither will use the…

dew on blades of grass

Seeing child make sand castles out of pesticide caused landscaper to change his practices

by Connie Oswald Stofko Caution. Warning. Dangerous. Keep out of reach of children. That’s what you’ll find on the labels of pesticides and other chemicals that people routinely spray on their lawns, said Paul Tukey, and he used to spray them, too. Tukey shared his story of how he went from routinely using chemicals with warning labels to using all-organic practices in his landscaping business. Now he is chief sustainability officer for Glenstone, a contemporary art museum in Potomac, Maryland….

green peach aphids

Aphids don’t need males to breed; see how to deal with them

Aphids can cause problems in your garden because they feed on so many different plants. Not only that, aphids can breed quickly. Aphids can reproduce asexually– no males are necessary, according to an article on aphids in this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, produced by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. Spring and summer aphids are all females and so are their offspring. Find out more about aphids and what you can do if they…

late blight on tomatoes

Late blight is affecting tomatoes, potatoes in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko All of Western New York is at risk for late blight, said Emily Reynolds, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County. Late blight was confirmed on tomato plants in Chautauqua County this weekend, she said, and the genotype is still being determined. The first report in the state came from Erie County on July 10, according to a blog post on late blight published by the New York State IPM Program. (IPM is integrated…

blacklegged ticks, adults and nymphs

Could you get sick from a tick while gardening in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko “Compared to 10 years ago, calls and questions about ticks have more than doubled,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. The geographic range of ticks has been increasing, he said, and ticks can transmit Lyme disease as well as other diseases. Are you at risk in your garden? Your garden probably isn’t a high-risk place, but the areas near your garden might be. If your yard has well tended beds…

info to hang on door with lawn tips from Erie County

Keep your lawn green & weed-free without pesticides

Tips on how to keep your lawn healthy without pesticides are being distributed through the Erie County Environmental Management Council, an advisory board to Erie County Department of Environment & Planning. They’ve printed it as something you can hang on your door. Get a full-size pdf of the doorhanger: Here’s the front and here’s the back. Here are the tips you will find on the doorhanger: Don’t cut the grass too short! Taller 3-inch grass outcompetes weeds, better withstands drought…

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Watch for Asian longhorned beetle in your pool, look for damage to trees in August

Check your pool filter during August for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive beetle that could cause serious damage to New York State’s street trees and forests. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding its annual Swimming Pool Survey. People without pools can help by learning how to recognize the beetle, as well as the signs it leaves behind. See more below. The DEC and partners will also be hanging tags on host trees to…

Good news: Invasive water chestnut almost eradicated at Jamestown Audubon— you can help

When it comes to invasive species, it’s great to hear some good news for a change. The Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) is nearing the finish line in eradicating the European water chestnut that first appeared in 2013. It took hundreds of volunteers over five summers to get to this point, with a major pull by volunteers on June 24. Soon after that, staff from Western New York PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) dressed in waders and moved…

impatiens with white coating of downy mildew

If you see downy mildew on impatiens, please contact researcher

by Connie Oswald Stofko Downy mildew on impatiens has been found in Lockport, and if you find it on your impatiens plants, too, a Cornell researcher wants your help. Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, has been providing us with information on this disease that will kill impatiens since my first article on impatiens in 2012. Daughtrey works in the the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, directed…

water in garden and closeup of slug

It’s a slug fest out there: dealing with slugs in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Everybody got some rain this past week, and some folks got a lot! Kathy Shadrack lives with her husband Mike on a hilly property in Hamburg. She edits the newsletters of the Western New Hosta Society and the Buffalo Area Daylily Society and included this in a recent hosta message: “We had a waterfall down our terraces and we have new mini-streams etched under our deck. Furthermore, our road was flooded—wait for it— at the TOP of…