bird in hanging basket

What can you do to prevent birds from nesting in hanging baskets?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: Have you heard of any way to deter pesky little birds from nesting in my hanging planters? Carol Thibault of Elma We love birds visiting our gardens, but I can see where it would be a nuisance if birds nest in hanging baskets. When you try to water your plants, you disturb the birds, and if you don’t water, your plants will die. Plus, the nest may mess up the…

fungus on crab apple

How to deal with fungus on crabapples, lilies

by Carol Sitarski Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the fungal spores may be growing. This spring’s rain seemed to be nonstop. Don’t get me wrong— we needed rain to replenish our water tables, but with the good comes the bad. The bad is all the fungus that may start growing on our susceptible trees and plants. Already I have seen this happening on crabapple trees and Asiatic lilies in my area and…

seating area with southwestern feel

Scattered seating areas means there’s always a place to sit in the shade

  by Connie Oswald Stofko No matter how hot it gets, you can always find a shady spot to sit in the yard of Sharon and Bob Rowitsch of Springville. They have made a point to create seating areas throughout their half-acre landscape. You can see their gardens during the Scene Garden Walk, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8 in Springville. Pick up maps at Fiddler’s Green Park, Franklin and S. Buffalo St.,…

rose and buds in Amherst NY

Tips from Master Gardeners for June, plus wet weather tips

by Connie Oswald Stofko To prevent and treat diseases in roses, now is the time for weekly spraying, according to June’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. The tips on rose care are in the article on what to do in the garden in June. That article also tells you what you spray, including organic suggestions. The other articles in this month’s issue include one on the beautiful and…

healthy impatiens by Stofko

Odds may be in our favor for impatiens this year; you can help researchers

  by Connie Oswald Stofko What are the odds your impatiens will do well this year? Well, we had a drought last summer, so that’s good. The dry weather inhibited the spread of downy mildew, which is the blight that has been plaguing  Impatiens walleriana, the plant that shade gardens had come to know and love for decades. Then again, our spring has been wet and cool, which are conditions that help the disease thrive, said Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate…

Emerald Ash Borer larvae

Don’t move ash wood; there’s one big Restricted Zone now for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

There used to be eight separate Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Restricted Zones in New York State, and now they’ve been expanded and merged into one big zone. In the Restricted Zone, you can’t move potentially infested ash wood, which includes firewood, logs, branches and nursery stock. The new EAB Restricted Zone includes part or all of Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Chemung, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Genesee, Greene, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans,…

stinging nettle

Stinging nettle: weed or crop?

by Paul Hetzler, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County If you have a nettle patch, put away the weed killer and consider yourself lucky to have this tasty plant. Many gardeners don’t like stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) because they are painful to touch. The plants sprout little hypodermic needles on their stems, leaves and even flowers. These glass-like silica-based needles, called trichomes, inject a mixture of irritating chemicals upon contact. So why would you risk putting it in your…

red lily leaf beetles mating

Wasp could help battle red lily leaf beetle, but not soon

by Connie Oswald Stofko A parasitic wasp could help Western New York gardeners battle the red lily leaf beetle, but that help is still years away, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. What to do now with red lily leaf beetle Now is the time to look for the red lily leaf beetle, which can cause extensive damage to lilies and a spring bulb plant called fritillaria. The pests aren’t a problem for daylilies,…

creeping Charlie in Amherst NY

What to do about creeping Charlie, plus more tips from Master Gardeners

by Connie Oswald Stofko In this month’s issue of WNY Gardening Matters, the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County give us some hints on what to do about creeping Charlie, a weed that many of us struggle with. As they suggest, I will get out there now. It’s easier to get rid of this weed when you catch it early, and it’s easier to pull out when the ground is wet. In the article, you will not…

lesser celandine in yard

Don’t let your lawn get to this point, dig up lesser celandine now

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’ve been getting emails from people wanting to know what to do with lawns filled with lesser celandine. My best advice is to not let it get that far. Dig it up now. And do it this year when you have only a few patches! This is a serious weed, said Carol Ann Harlos, Master Gardener, garden writer and speaker. “You have two choices,” Harlos said. “You can either spend the time and dig it out…