tulips in Cleve-Hill Cheektowaga NY

Help a reader: What perennials do you plant around tulips to cover the dying leaves?

Here’s a question from a reader: Does anyone have suggestions for perennials to plant with spring bulbs this fall that will emerge and cover the leaves of the tulips and daffodils after they bloom and then slowly turn yellow?  It’s a south-facing spot with much sun and good drainage, along my garage wall.   Thank you!   Val Betts  Lake View (Hamburg)   I talked to Claudia Kolbe-Hawthorne of the Cleve-Hill section of Cheektowaga last year about how she gets…

black-eyed Susans in Amherst

Help this reader: What’s a good perennial for sun?

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here’s a question from a reader: “I’m considering removing my Stella de Oro daylilies (I have seven in a very sunny location) since they are no longer rewarding me with blooms. They are a great deal of work and not much reward. “Wondering what perennial you would recommend for full sun?” Linda Liberi, Williamsville This is the kind of question I think would benefit from a wide range of opinions. What would you suggest for Linda?…

squirrel eating on roof

Help a reader: How can you keep squirrels from eating your tomatoes?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader sent me this question that I can’t answer, but I hope one of my readers can. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment below. Does anyone have suggestions for deterring squirrels? Every year my friendly neighborhood squirrel gets in my garden eats my tomatoes. He even actually brings them up on my porch sometimes and leaves the peels and uneaten portions laying there. It’s very frustrating that he picks my fruit before I…

yarn around tomato cage in Buffalo NY area

Help a reader: Is it safe to use concrete reinforcing wire around tomatoes?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader sent me this gardening question that I can’t answer, but I hope one of my readers can. Can we use concrete reinforcing wire in our gardens? If you can answer his question, please leave a comment below. Here’s the whole question: Hi Connie.  I have a question for you or one of your readers.  I’ve read a lot about using concrete reinforcing wire to make sturdy tomato cages.  All I’ve ever seen about that wire is…

lawn problem from Martha Neri of Williamsville NY

Can you help this reader with a lawn problem?

by Connie Oswald Stofko A reader came to me with a gardening question. Do you have any suggestions on how she can resolve her problem? If so, please leave a comment. Here’s her question: I have an area of my lawn that has had moss, bare spots and grayish/brown grass for several years. It isn’t getting smaller despite suggested treatments from my lawn maintenance company. They recommended lime but it didn’t work. They tested the pH and it is within…

Question: What happened to the color on the hydrangea tree blossoms?

Here’s a question from a reader: Hi!  I have another hydrangea tree question. My H. Paniculata Limelight is now three years old. The first two years I had large blooms that started out slightly green, changed to a bright white, then turned pink. (See the bright white blooms here.) This year there were many smaller blooms. Some stayed green from August to the present (Oct. 7), and a few went from green to white and back to green.  I missed…

Help a reader: Can you prolong the bloom of a spiderwort?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I received this question from a reader: I have several spiderwort (transcandentia) in a variety of colors. I love the plants, however, their bloom only lasts until late afternoon, then they close up. Is there anything I can do to extend their bloom time or is this just typical of the plant? Also, can they be cut back to bring another full blooming young plant at a certain time during the summer?   Thanks, Dawn Brennan I…

Help a reader: Is there a trick to using soaker hoses?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I received this question from a reader: Is there some trick to using soaking hoses? The round black ones that are slightly smaller around than a regular hose are the ones I bought and they are made by Swan so that’s usually a good brand. I have a 100-foot perennial bed that I have been nagged about literally for years to put in hoses so I don’t have to spend so much time watering. I bought…

Help a reader: What is this awful plant?

by Connie Oswald Stofko   A reader sent me this question: “I have what I assume is a weed every year in one garden bed. I cannot get rid of it no matter what I try. It is green leafed and grows on a stem that snakes under ground. The stem is reddish purple under ground and the leaves come up from that as it spreads all over. It can get very tall. It’s coming up already. It twists through…

Is it too late to plant perennials in Western New York?

I got this question from a reader: I bought some perennials that I didn’t get a chance to plant: leopard’s bane, hardy aster, cone flowers and Munstead lavender.   It has already frosted once I believe. Is it to late too plant outside? If so, can I store them indoors in the same containers that they came in?   Thanks, Deborah In the two days since I received this question, Western New York has had snow as well as frost….