species tulip 'Ballerina'

How to plant spring bulbs in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko Want to get bulbs to bloom in spring and summer? Here’s your first tip: Plant in autumn. Every spring, people walk into garden centers expecting to buy tulips and other bulbs to plant immediately in their gardens. It’s understandable, said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. With most other plants, when you see them flowering outside, that’s the time to plant them. With bulbs, you have to plan…

daffodils in Amherst NY

Why you shouldn’t plant spring bulbs too early in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko “While the big box stores have bulbs available before Labor Day, bulbs should not be planted before the beginning of October,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market. “Our bulb suppliers won’t send them till the end of September. We usually have them in stock by the first week in October.” Autumn is the time to plant bulbs that flower in spring, but planting them too early could damage or even kill them. When…

dandelion with seeds blowing

Act now on weed seeds, lesser celandine, gypsy (spongy) moths & roses

by Connie Oswald Stofko Some gardening tasks have a small window of opportunity. Here are four things you should do in your garden now. Stop weeds before they pop out of the ground Pre-emergent herbicides stop weeds before they even pop out of the ground– they act on seeds at the germination stage. The optimal time to use pre-emergent herbicides is early in the spring, just before the forsythias bloom or while they are in bloom. Corn gluten meal is…

pansies in a watering can at Mischler's in Williamsville NY

Get pansies now to brighten outdoor spaces, large & small

by Connie Oswald Stofko Pansies are in bloom now and can add color to your garden, porch or patio. While cold temperatures won’t kill pansies, temperatures in the 20s Fahrenheit can damage the blooms, said Jessica Limardi, who is on the staff at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. Nightime temperatures may get that low in the coming week. “Without a good thick blanket of snow, the flowers can get damaged, so pull them close to the…

purple crocuses in Amherst NY

Gardening tasks for early spring in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko After weeks of snow covering our gardens, we can see plants again here in Western New York! The sun has been shining. At times, the weather’s so warm, you can be outside without a sweater. We can tackle some gardening tasks now that we couldn’t do just a couple of weeks ago. But it’s still early spring and the weather fluctuates. The afternoon warmth can be followed by freezing temperatures at night. A stretch of warm…

giant allium in pot courtesy Mischler's in Williamsville New York

Reminder: Plant tulips, allium & other bulbs now for spring flowers

by Connie Oswald Stofko In spring, people see giant alliums in their neighbors’ gardens, then run into garden centers expecting to buy that plant, said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. “You can’t buy them in spring,” Yadon said. The same goes for crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, fritillaria and other spring bulbs. If you want those flowers in spring, plant the bulbs in autumn. You can plant them now through mid-November, if you can still…

volcano mulch illustration muffin and donut

Reminder: no mulch volcanoes

by Connie Oswald Stofko It seems to be the start of volcano season in Western New York. Mulch volcanoes (those neat, cone-shaped piles of mulch at the base of trees) are showing up again. They may look nice to you, but they’re not good for the trees, according to garden experts. Mulch volcanoes can slowly kill trees. Check out our previous article on mulch volcanoes to find out why you shouldn’t use mulch volcanoes and how you can properly mulch…

colorful spring garden

How to create a beautiful spring garden in Western New York

_____ by Connie Oswald Stofko “It changes every day,” said Tom Homme of his spring garden in Pendleton. There’s never a lull in the landscape of Tom Homme and his wife Darcie because he has spent the past 11 years working to create gardens that are interesting in all four seasons. We got a peek at what makes his winter garden attractive in this previous article. You will be able to see the Hommes’ garden in person this summer on Open…

pansies

It’s spring in Buffalo! 7 gardening tasks you can do outside now

by Connie Oswald Stofko by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s spring on the calendar, and it feels likes spring in our gardens, too! Snowdrops and crocuses are blooming while daffodils and hyacinths are budding. It’s been sunny and warm outside! Here are a few things you can do in your spring garden in Western New York. Take a walk in your yard Pick up any trash that has blown into your yard. See if you have damage from rabbits, deer or…

daffodil in March snow

Tomatoes & daffodils: when you can’t wait for spring

by Connie Oswald Stofko It seemed like we had winter and summer at the same time last week. There was plenty of snow at our house to make a snowman, and my husband participated while wearing shorts! In spite of that, it’s not spring yet– not even on the calendar! But here are a couple of topics for this time of the year when we can’t wait for spring. A trick to plant (some) seeds outside now Last week we…