hyacinths and daffodils in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in WNY’s warm spring weather

by Connie Oswald Stofko It looks like we will have a week of warm spring weather in Western New York! It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy some gardening tasks. But don’t get ahead of yourself–some tasks should wait a little longer. See what’s happening in your yard See what plants have started to grow. Pick up any trash that blew into your yard. Look for damage from rabbits, deer or moles and voles. Check for winter storm damage. Some things you…

illustration of garlic bulbs by Stofko

Can we plant garlic in April in Western New York?

by Connie Oswald Stofko When should you plant garlic? The usual recommendation is October. (It overwinters and you harvest around July.) But maybe you can plant garlic in April in Western New York–and harvest the same year! I got a comment on this previous article last October from a local gardener. She had planted garlic in April: Last fall I had hand surgery and wasn’t able to get my garlic planted. I did it in spring and had a beautiful…

cauliflower

Start of a new gardening season: Plant seeds for cool weather vegetables

by Connie Oswald Stofko We still have wintry weather in Western New York, but you can begin sowing seeds now–or soon–for cool weather vegetables. As their name implies, cool weather vegetables can withstand cooler temperatures in the air and soil. That means you can transplant cool weather seedlings outside weeks earlier than you can for tender vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers. In a previous article, Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo, lays…

bare trees and leaves on tree in autumn in Amherst New York

Tasks you can do in your late-autumn garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko Yes, Western New York has seen winter weather already, but the calendar says it’s still autumn. With a few days of milder weather in the forecast, get outside and do those late-season tasks while you can. Harvest herbs & cold weather veggies If you have any herbs or cold-weather vegetables, such as parsley, onions and peas, still growing, don’t let them go to waste. Harvest them now while they’re not hidden under a blanket of snow….

illustration of garlic bulbs by Stofko

Reminder: You can plant garlic now in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The gardening season isn’t over yet! You can plant garlic now. Here are six reasons why you should plant garlic. (The first reason is that garlic easy to grow. I can’t grow zucchini, but I can grow garlic!) That article also covers how to plant garlic and how to harvest garlic and garlic scapes….

arbor with kiwi tree in East Buffalo NY

See quirky, innovative farms on Urban Farm Day

by Connie Oswald Stofko Cheryl Harris of Buffalo was surprised when she was asked to share her large backyard on Urban Farm Day. She doesn’t view it as a farm, even though it’s a large space that grows plants in the city. But what else describes an urban farm in Western New York? Like our gardening, our urban farms are innovative, unusual and quirky. One lets you pick your own worms. Another grows microgreens inside. Still another supplies a pay-as-you-can…

basket of tomatoes and cucumber by Stofko

Reminder: share your extra produce

by Connie Oswald Stofko Are you one of those gardeners who don’t know what you’re going to do with all that zucchini? Or maybe you had a bumper crop of tomatoes. Or peppers, squash, basil… . There are places near you that would be thrilled to take that extra food off your hands. FeedMore WNY distributes food to hungry people throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. They partner with 300 agencies. You can find food pantries near you on the…

snow peas in November in Amherst New York

Plant now in WNY: cool weather veggies

by Connie Oswald Stofko There’s a whole group of herbs and vegetables that you can grow now–from seed! These herbs and vegetables may take a month or two–even three months– to reach maturity. By then the weather will be cool, cold or freezing, but these plants like it that way. If you’ve never tried planting a crop of vegetables that you harvest in autumn or winter, try it this year. There are so many cool weather herbs and vegetables to…

orange and red peppers

Inflation: Ideas for growing food in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Maybe you haven’t noticed, but food prices are going up and may continue to rise. Food plants may be a good investment right now. To deal with inflation, consider growing vegetables, herbs or fruit that: You are really going to eat Are expensive to buy You can share with others Plant what you like to eat I used to have a large section of garden filled with chives. They grow easily and get a pretty purple…

eggplant Listada courtesy Seed Savers Exchange

Tasty eggplants that you can’t buy: grow these heirlooms yourself

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may have heard that if you want flavorful tomatoes, go for heirloom varieties. But did you know that there are heirloom and specialty varieties in other vegetables including eggplants, cucumbers and peppers? “These are varieties that you wouldn’t even see in a supermarket,” said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager of Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market, 428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo. Urban Roots carries about 35 varieties of heirloom and specialty vegetable plants. “We choose varieties that…