Clay, tree roots & shade: Get tips in this video

by Connie Oswald Stofko I love Western New York gardeners. I tried waiting out the rain Sunday, but it just kept getting worse, so around 1 p.m. I made my way out to the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, a garden walk that covers parts of Amherst and Cheektowaga. I stopped at the home of Terrie and Jerry Newman at 194 Lamarck Dr. The description on the map said they had struggled with clay soil, something that a lot of Western New…

Plant food now: broccoli & other veggies from seed for fall as well as fruit trees & bushes

by Connie Oswald Stofko If your garden was wet or you were busy and didn’t get any food plants in your garden this spring, don’t fret. It’s not too late. You can plant vegetables, including broccoli, from seed. You can also plant fruit trees and bushes. Vegetables Now is the time to plant seeds for many vegetables that you can harvest in fall. In addition to broccoli, seeds that you can sow now include lima beans, coriander, dill, collards and…

garlic scapes in Western New York

It’s time to harvest garlic scapes in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you grow garlic plants in Western New York, you don’t harvest the bulbs until late summer, but you can harvest the scapes right now. Your hard neck garlic plants have probably developed curlicue stems called scapes, which are the flower stalks. While they look great in your garden, if you leave them in place they will divert the plant’s energy from the underground bulb. If you want a nice large head of garlic, cut off…

plants from garden center in Western New York

5 tips for shopping for plants this weekend in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko This weekend is probably the biggest shopping weekend for gardeners. Our gardens should be dry enough to dig in by now, and by the end of May, the danger of frost should have passed, so we’re all excited to buy tender plants and put them in our gardens now. To help you get the most out of your shopping excursion, take a look at these tips. Decide what you want to get out of your garden…

Tomato Old German courtesy Terra Organic

Heirloom tomatoes aren’t pretty, but can be fun to grow

by Connie Oswald Stofko Heirloom tomatoes may look weird to you. They’re purple or creamy yellow or even striped. And that’s why some people like them. “From that angle, they’re really fun,” said Jen Weber, retail manager at Mike Weber Greenhouses, 42 French Rd., West Seneca. You can buy heirloom tomatoes now at Mike Weber Greenhouses, and if you want to plant them now, go for it, Weber said. She has checked with Western New York  farmers and they are…

el at Pelion Garden in Buffalo NY

Grow tunnel and herb garden under leaves: Did the plants survive this cold winter?

by Connie Oswald Stofko In November, Caesandra Seawell, garden manager, showed us how she extends the growing season in the Pelion Community Garden at City Honors School in Buffalo. She insulated the herb bed by adding a thick blanket of leaves and, after two frosts this fall, the parsley was still green. On another raised bed with a grow tunnel, the broccoli, kale and cabbage were still doing well even though the temperature had dipped to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. But…

Things you can do in your garden now & tips to push the season

by Connie Oswald Stofko The weather will be warmer this week and it will be great to get outside and work in your garden. There are many things you can do in your garden right now, and, if you’re an impatient gardener, we have a few tips on how you might try to push the season from Teresa Buchanan, garden center manager at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg. Now is a great time to plant trees and shrubs, Buchanan…

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…