scoop of soil in garden trowel

Is your garden soil contaminated? What you should know

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is the soil in your garden contaminated? If so, is it okay for you or your kids to be working in the soil? Will the vegetables you grow there be safe to eat? The answers to these questions are complicated, and we don’t have all the information we would like. That’s according to Hannah Shayler, extension associate at the Cornell Waste Management Institute. She is working on Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities, a research and education partnership…

Northeast native flowers from National Garden Bureau

Perennial for 2013 is ‘wildflower,’ says National Garden Bureau

2013 has been named the Year of the Wildflower by the National Garden Bureau, the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry. Each year, the National Garden Bureau showcases a plant in each of three categories: vegetable/edible, annual and perennial. The showcased plants are supposed to be popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse and versatile. The wildflower (though it’s more of a category than a plant) certainly meets those criteria. We talked to representatives of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484…

deer in Western New York from Donna Brok

Keep deer, rabbits & mice away, plus more items too good to miss

Keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and mice away with Bounce dryer sheets Use Bounce dryer sheets to keep deer away, says Bob Bracikowski of Opportunities Unlimited in Niagara, who showed us recently how to create a succulent garden. In the vegetable garden at Opportunities Unlimited, everything was being eaten, week after week. “During my lunch hour I could watch the deer eat the cabbage right in front of me,” he said. Then he tried a tip he got from a farmer:…

agricultural fair Genesee Country Museum

Call for entries in agricultural fair & more items too good to miss

Deadline nears for registering entries in agricultural fair You can enter your heirloom vegetables, cut and dried flowers, herbs and more in the annual exhibition and fair to be held at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford. The deadline for entries is Friday, September 14. Anyone can enter. Entrants will receive a one-day free admission to the fall fair. Many of the categories include a 19th-Century as well as a 21st-Century section. In addition to…

There’s still time to buy and plant seeds in Western New York

There is still time to start some crops from seeds this year, said Ray Crawley, manager at Goodman’s Farm Market, 2227 Cayuga Dr. Ext., Niagara Falls, NY. Seeds are currently 50 cents per packet or three packets for $1. Lettuce, spinach and Swiss chard all do better in cooler weather, and you can start them from seed. You eat the leaves, so it doesn’t take long to get something to harvest. The farmers who supply Goodman’s Farm Market grow Swiss…

lilac transplant from gardening-enjoyed.com

Put your garden to bed: Tips from Toronto writer & horticulturist

Labor Day is approaching, the kids are heading back to school and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. Autumn is on its way, but that doesn’t mean that the gardening season is over, according to Toronto garden writer Ken Brown. Brown, a horticulturist who landscaped exhibits at the Toronto Zoo, will be the featured speaker at Lockwood’s Greenhouses Fall Garden Fair to be held Saturday, Sept. 8 at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. The fair includes several great talks and demonstrations…

netting over berry bushes in vegetable garden Lockport NY

Keep birds out of your berries & six more tips for growing food

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may remember Jim Gugliuzza of Lockport, who earlier showed us how to braid garlic. He has large fruit and vegetable plots in his yard on Walnut Street that he shared during Lockport in Bloom in July. The sign that hangs there sums it up– Check it out below right. Gugliuzza had lots of great information on growing fruits and vegetables. Here are seven tips I hope you find useful: Keep birds out of your berries….

mint water on Argyle in Buffalo NY

Make a refreshing drink & other items too good to miss

Minted water is a refreshing summertime beverage For an easy and refreshing drink this summer, try minted water. I tasted this light beverage in the garden of Kathy and Ed Burke on Argyle Park during Garden Walk Buffalo. Simply place mint in cool water and let it set. Mint is easy to grow and spreads quickly, so this is a great way to use large bunches. It was hot during Garden Walk Buffalo and visitors appreciated this summertime treat. You…

wagon and bed container gardens in Buffalo NY

Buffalo gardener gets apples and peaches from potted plants

“You can put anything in containers and you can put containers anywhere,” said Walter Kozlowski, who grows even apple and peach trees in pots– and harvests fruit! Kozlowski shared his unusual container plantings, vegetable gardens and flower beds during the Black Rock & Riverside Tour of Gardens on August 4. The event also featured a Starry Night Garden Tour in the evening. Kozlowski grows colonnade apple trees, a type that grows straight up and stays short. You can see them…

Job at Botanical Gardens, better tomatoes in the future & more

Botanical Gardens seeks full-time education coordinator The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. is seeking a qualified individual for the full time position of education coordinator. The qualified individual should be creative, innovative, highly motivated and have a love for education, science and the environment. Candidates should possess superior organizational skills, and understand how to create and execute lesson plans. This individual should have a passion for working with children of all ages and abilities as well as…