Got clay or rocks in your soil? Use pallets to create a raised bed– It’s simple!

by Connie Oswald Stofko You may be reluctant to start a new garden bed if you have a site that’s less than ideal. Maybe it’s full of stones that you would have to sift out or pick out by hand. Or maybe the soil is compacted or riddled with clay, so you face the prospect of having to work in lots and lots of compost to break it up. An easier solution is to create raised beds using pallets. This idea…

It’s time to start seeds for cool weather veggies in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko It’s time to start seeds inside for cool weather vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, said Julie Emerling, a grower at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Wait until the end of March to start lettuce and spinach, she said. They’re cold tolerant, but they can’t take frost the way that vegetables like cabbage can. Find out more about when to plant cool weather vegetable plants outside in this article from last year. It’s still…

Make food a permanent part of your Western New York yard with edible landscapes

by Connie Oswald Stofko When we want to grow food, we generally think of smallish plants that we would categorize as “vegetables” or “herbs,” such as tomatoes or zucchini or parsley. Today we’re going to challenge you to think bigger. When you think of food, think of trees and shrubs. The concept is called edible landscapes, said Fred Safford, who is in charge of trees and shrubs at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. It’s a way to work with…

Learn how to keep chickens & more at urban farming event in Buffalo

You can tour an urban farm, learn about keeping chickens and learn the basics of aquaponics during Growing Green Spring Urban Agriculture Training, hosted by the staff of Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP). It takes place Friday through Sunday, March 7 to 9 in Buffalo. The cost for Saturday only is $150; for Sunday only, $125; free for the Friday evening reception, and $225 for all three days. The deadline to register is Feb. 28. Click here to register. At the…

Celery update: It’s not going strong, but amazingly, it’s still growing!

by Connie Oswald Stofko Back in March I told you how to start a new celery plant from the celery stump. In September I harvested some of the stalks, but then I left the plant outside to see what it would do. We had a long and mild autumn, and through most of November, the celery plant looked pretty much the same way it did in September– see photo at right. Then we got that cold snap with temperatures in…

grow tunnel in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel lets you grow veggies during winter in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko The temperature was in the teens this past weekend, but the vegetables in the grow tunnel at City Honors School in Buffalo are still going strong. In this video, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, shows us how the grow tunnel can extend the gardening season, allowing us to grow vegetables in autumn and winter in Western New York. She describes how the grow tunnel was constructed, and it seems pretty easy. There have been some developments since…

video on how to protect herb garden with leaves

Did you rake leaves this weekend? Use them to protect your herb garden

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you’re like the folks in my neighborhood, you were raking up those dry autumn leaves during the beautiful Western New York weather this weekend. But I hope you didn’t set those leaves out to the curb just yet. Instead, use those leaves to prolong the productivity of your herb garden. Caesandra Seawell, garden manager at the garden at City Honors School in Buffalo, also known as Pelion Community Garden, shows us how they use a…

Want an indoor flowering plant that’s really different? Grow tea!

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you want a really different kind of plant to grow indoors this fall and winter, grow tea. Yes, tea. The stuff you steep in hot water and drink. You can buy Sochi tea, a tea plant from the Sochi area of Russia, at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Our climate is almost, but not quite, mild enough to grow tea outside all year long in our gardens, said Fred Safford, who is in charge…

How to keep basil over winter: Free class discusses growing tomatoes inside, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The days are getting shorter and colder and soon we’ll be seeing snow in Western New York, but you can continue to grow food plants– inside! In this article, Jak Kochems, horticulture consultant at Arbordale Nurseries and Landscaping in the Getzville area of Amherst, gives us tips on how to bring basil plants inside and care for them over the winter. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill…

It’s time to plant sunchokes in WNY & I will share some with you

by Connie Oswald Stofko I’m beginning to harvest my sunchokes, which I think are the coolest plants ever, and I’ll give some to anyone who wants to plant them. You can plant them now in Western New York. The only catch is that I don’t want to mail them, so I ask you to arrange to pick them up. If you don’t live near me (I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst), you probably work with someone whose cousin lives…