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…

Halloween pumpkin decoration made from old fence

Halloween fun: Be creative in your WNY garden all year long

I visited the yard of Jim “Wak” Nowicki during Garden Walk Buffalo in July. He had lots of interesting elements in his summer garden, including live fish in bowls suspended from tree branches, which we’ll talk about more toward the end of this article. But he doesn’t relegate his creativity to the summer months. He took a few moments out of the tour of his summer gardens to give me a sneak peek at his Halloween decorations that were stored…

Free class at Lockwood’s covers what you should do in garden in October

Don’t prune in autumn. That’s one of the important bits of advice gardening expert Sally Cunningham will share during a free class on “Yard and Garden Care in October (for a Better Spring!)” at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 12, at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg. While the class is free, seating is limited, so please call 649-4684 to make a reservation. Whether you maintain a yard or grow vegetables and flowers, the jobs you do now will make a…

Wild weather– Should we worry about our Buffalo gardens?

Last week the temperatures were in the single digits. This week it may be in the 50s or even 60s. Should we Western New York gardeners be worried? “I’m probably more concerned that folks don’t have much snow cover,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Snow is a good insulator and can protect plants against damage that can come from these wild fluctuations in temperature. This is the second year in a row that…

decorations by Youngstown Garden Club in kitchen at Fort Niagara

Woodland motif used in Old Fort Niagara holiday decorations

An “Upstairs, Downstairs” theme has been used by the Youngstown Garden Club to decorate  Old Fort Niagara for the holidays. The decorations are woodsy and rustic to fit in with the architecture of the building known as the French Castle, built in 1726. The ornaments used in the officers’ areas are are fancier, embellished with satin ribbons and silver cording. You can see the decorations through Monday, Dec. 31. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. (The fort is…

closeup hardy holly from Lockwood's in Hamburg NY

Want a Christmasy yard? Plant holly bushes in Buffalo area now!

Here’s an over-the-top decorating idea for the holidays: Make your yard feel more Christmasy by planting holly bushes in the Buffalo area right now! “It’s been such a mild December,” said Teresa Buchanan, general manager of Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg.  “That’s the only reason you can get away with planting holly now. Normally, it would be too cold by now.” This is the time of year when holly bushes look their most splendid, adorned with their red berries, often…

Spring Flower Show by Kathy Struckle

Hurry and plant spring bulbs now. Plus, three other autumn reminders

Take advantage of this beautiful autumn weather we’re enjoying in the Buffalo area and tackle some gardening projects. Here are some reminders of things you can do right now. Reminder #1: Hurry and plant spring bulbs. If you want spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils, hurry and plant your bulbs now before the ground freezes. That tip is from the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, where today 16 volunteers and several staff members planted spring bulbs– 4,500 of…

asters in Amherst NY garden autumn

On 5th anniversary of October Storm, cooler temps on the way

Sunny and warm– even hot!– day after day. We’ve enjoyed splendid gardening weather this October in the Buffalo area. But this spate of summery weather isn’t all that unusual for October,  according to Aaron Mentkowski, meteorologist at WKBW Channel 7. This warm weather will end soon, as it does every fall. While our current weather isn’t setting any records, July’s weather did. Current weather similar to that preceding October Storm of 2006 Mentkowski noted that it was warm in the…

composting with worms in Buffalo Ny

Turn garbage into compost for your garden with red wriggler worms

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw some amazingly beautiful compost a couple weeks ago in an Earth Day demonstration at Buffalo ReUse. The compost was dark brown and crumbly and pure, with almost no soil mixed in. The secret to this compost is red wriggler worms. They eat garbage and turn it into compost. “They eat their weight in garbage every day,” explained Kevin Hayes, executive director at Buffalo ReUse. “They’re voracious.” The earth worms that you find in your…

grass in winter by Natividad Lopez

Capture the beauty of your snowy Buffalo garden in photographs

Buffalo gardens have been covered with white, fluffy snow pretty much all winter, and more snow is on the way. Put the snow shovel aside for a few minutes and pick up your camera instead. This is an opportunity to capture the beauty of your Buffalo garden through photography. If you don’t see beauty in your garden during winter, take a look at Buffalo through a newcomer’s eyes. Natividad Lopez, originally from Yuma, AZ, is a personnel specialist in the…