Garden tips

Garden tips for the Buffalo area.

How to keep your Christmas tree fresh until February

December 1, 2015
Christmas trees suspended from ceiling Goodman's Niagara Falls

by Connie Oswald Stofko Ray Crawley and his family usually take their Christmas tree down around Jan. 1, but last year the tree was looking so good, they left it up until almost February. “I guess it’s like a flower arrangement,” Crawley said. Since it stayed fresh, they decided to enjoy it a little...
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Is your garden ready for winter? Last-minute checklist for WNY

November 24, 2015
autumn trees at sunset South Park in Buffalo

by Connie Oswald Stofko I saw a few snowflakes fluttering in the air yesterday evening, but you may live in an area of Western New York that got some snow accumulation. And all of us gardeners have experienced cold temperatures. A lot of us were caught off guard by overnight lows in the teens...
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Save those straw bales; grow vegetable plants in them next spring

November 17, 2015
straw bale gardening

by Connie Oswald Stofko If you are using a straw bale in your autumn decorations, don’t throw it away! You can grow tomatoes and other vegetables in it next spring. I saw photos of the technique called straw bale gardening on the Vegetable Gardeners of WNY Facebook page. I was delighted that Gina and...
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11 excuses to get outside and enjoy this warm, sunny fall weather in Western New York

November 3, 2015
11 excuses to get outside and enjoy this warm, sunny fall weather in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko What a forecast! For the next few days, it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm in Western New York, with highs in the high 60s– even 70s– Fahrenheit. That’s too good to miss. Need an excuse to get outside and enjoy this great November weather? Here are 11. Prepare for spring by...
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Make the most of these wonderful autumn leaves in Western New York

October 27, 2015
street trees in autumn in Western New York by Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko This has been a gorgeous autumn with a wonderful display of autumn leaves. Now that those leaves are falling, let’s put them to use. Crunch them for compost or mulch If you have a lawn mower with a bag on it, it’s easy for you to crunch up and collect...
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What does this mild autumn weather mean for Western New York gardens?

October 6, 2015
annuals in pots in Amherst NY

by Connie Oswald Stofko What’s up with this warm weather in Western New York? We can’t predict these things with 100 percent accuracy, but because of El Niño, it looks like we are going to have a mild autumn and early winter, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County....
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Are cinder blocks OK for vegetable gardens? Answers to that & other soil safety questions

September 29, 2015
raised bed made with cinder blocks

by Connie Oswald Stofko Is it safe to use cinder blocks in a raised bed, or might chemicals from the concrete blocks leach out of the blocks to contaminate your soil and food plants you grow there? Can you use pressure treated lumber? Can you grow food plants in the hellstrip, the area between...
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Help a reader: What perennials do you plant around tulips to cover the dying leaves?

September 15, 2015
tulips in Cleve-Hill Cheektowaga NY

Here’s a question from a reader: Does anyone have suggestions for perennials to plant with spring bulbs this fall that will emerge and cover the leaves of the tulips and daffodils after they bloom and then slowly turn yellow?  It’s a south-facing spot with much sun and good drainage, along my garage wall.  ...
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What you can do in your early autumn garden in Western New York

September 8, 2015
osteopermum by Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko That muggy weather we’ve had this past week made it feel more like July than September. But Labor Day is over and kids are headed back to school. That makes many people think the gardening season is over. No it’s not! Here are a few reminders of things you can...
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Learn how to have a pretty garden while being kind to the environment at Lockwood’s Fall Fair

September 1, 2015
Learn how to have a pretty garden while being kind to the environment at Lockwood’s Fall Fair

by Connie Oswald Stofko We gardeners want to be kind to the environment, but it can seem so complicated. We may know that we should have a sustainable landscape, though many of us probably can’t define exactly what that means. We should be organic, which encompasses so many different gardening practices. Can we do...
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