plum tomatoes in Buffalo NY area

6 tips for growing your own tomatoes in Buffalo area

There’s nothing like a freshly picked tomato, and tomatoes are easy to grow everywhere in the Buffalo area. You don’t even need a garden– a very simple container will do. Thomas Mitchell, a horticulture teacher at Niagara County Community College, shared tips on growing vegetables during a presentation at Plantasia, Western New York’s premier garden and landscape show held in March. Mitchell’s number one point was that you have to have good soil. I demoted that tip to number two…

tar spot on leaves in Buffalo NY

Dealing with tar spot, plus two other timely tips for fall

Here are three helpful tips for autumn, courtesy of the free newsletter from Heimiller Greenhouses. Tip #1: How to deal with tar spot When it comes to tar spot, there’s bad news and good news and more bad news. The bad news is that tar spot is an ugly black fungus that seems to infect Norway maples, to a greater or lesser degree, every year, according to Lisa Heimiller of Heimiller Greenhouses. The good news is that while tar spot…

Jerusalem artichole or sunchoke flowers in Amherst NY

The coolest plant ever: Jerusalem artichoke (also known as sunchoke)

I don’t know why everyone doesn’t grow the Jerusalem artichoke, also known as sunchoke. This plant starts out from nothing and grows a dramatic ten feet tall in one season. It flowers in September, adding autumn interest to your garden. You can plant it in fall, so it gives you a chance to putter in your garden now. If that weren’t enough, it’s a food plant. The roots are delicious! I hadn’t heard of this marvelous plant until I got…

two boys in Hamburg NY school garden

Take a lesson from this elementary school garden in Hamburg

“All of this is to teach our children where food comes from,” said Tricia Miller, volunteer coordinator for the Giving Garden at Union-Pleasant Elementary School in Hamburg. “If children grow it and taste it, their willingness to eat it and try more things grows.” The garden at Union-Pleasant Elementary School started three years ago because parents were concerned about food in the schools, Miller said. They decided a garden would be a good way to educate children about healthy food…

front yard in Niagara Falls NY 2011

Niagara Falls gardener shares tips on starting tomatoes from seed

First you notice the color, then you notice the fragrance when you visit the gardens surrounding the home of Barbara and Howard Sperry on Ashland Ave. in Niagara Falls. Sometimes Barbara likes to shake the lavender and other plants to better enjoy the aroma. The Sperrys shared their garden, along with many gardening tips, during the Historic Niagara Falls Garden Walk on Saturday, July 16. The event was presented by the Main Street Business and Professionals Association. Arts in the…

window box at Hamburg NY home

Every gardener is an artist, says Hamburg man

by Connie Oswald Stofko Jeff Leyonmark of Hamburg believes every gardener is an artist. In addition to gardening, they all seem to have other creative interests as well. They build or paint or cook. This artistic part of life is something that is important for Jeff to share with his children. “I want to bring art everywhere,” he said. He and his wife Wendy shared their garden with visitors on Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, during Buzz Around…

Tomaccio dried tomato

Tomaccio: 9-foot plants yield tomatoes that are great for drying

A new tomato this year is the Tomaccio, which has an intense, sugary flavor when eaten fresh or dried. Not only is the fruit supposed to be delicious, but the plant is a stunning specimen for your garden– it can grow to be nine feet tall! The plants at Lockwood’s Greenhouses are already four feet tall, said Teresa Buchanan, general manager. They’re getting clusters of tomatoes, too. But don’t worry, it’s not too late to plant, Buchanan said. In fact,…

plum tomatoes in Kenmore Mercy roof garden

Hospital food gets zest with herb garden on roof of Kenmore Mercy

by Connie Oswald Stofko Unused space on a roof has been turned into an herb garden at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in Kenmore, and it is adding fresh taste to meals there. “We’re trying to change institutional food,” said Kathy Kubiak-McAlpine, food service manager at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. “We want people to view it in a new light.” “It’s not the same old hospital food,” said Vinny Richter, chef at the hospital, pictured above. Kubiak-McAlpine got the idea for the garden…

tomatoes organic gardening

A minimalist approach to vegetable gardening

Adventures in Organic Gardening By Laura Sileo-Lepkyj You know the “Set it and forget it” motto on the infomercial? That’s the kind of gardener I am. I set the plant in the ground and forget about it. I describe my method as survival-of-the-fittest gardening. No special coddling, practically zero watering, and certainly no umbrellas set up to protect delicate plants from the sun. Seriously? People actually do that? If it doesn’t survive where I plonk it, it just wasn’t meant…

sculpture garden Elmwood Ave. Buffalo

Buffalo sculptor shares tips on cheap gardening

Gardening doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. “I didn’t spend one cent on this garden,” said Dave Derner, who created a backyard retreat at 1088 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, where he lives above Half & Half Trading Co. He got plants that nurseries or co-ops were going to throw out. Friends gave him plants as well. Many of the plants flourished. “I just put things in and let them grow,” Derner said. “It’s amazing how things just want to grow.”…