By Debra J. Groom

The website for Vollmer’s Farm in East Syracuse states: “Want the best garden? Support local agriculture and go directly to the farm.”

We couldn’t have said it better. After maple season, the next big agriculture boost in Onondaga County is at the garden and landscape stores in the county as people head out to buy plants, flowers, shrubs and trees to beautify their lawns.

Vollmer’s is one farm to visit. And there are many others, each filled with not only thousands of plants and colorful flowers, but also people with years of experience to help you along the way.

David Vollmer said now is about the time when people in Central New York can begin putting in their annuals and perennials. But there are some things folks should do before putting those plants in the ground or in containers.

“The soil should be loosened up,” he said. “The ground has been packed down during the winter so you should use a pitchfork, spade or some other tool to aerate the soil.”

He said plants need loosened, aerated soil so they can establish a good root system for growing. Once the soil is aerated, the plants can be put in and “then you can water them in,” he said.

You also can add some compost to the soil before planting which will give the plants nutrients and allow drainage of the soil so plants are not oversoaked during heavy rains.

Vollmer Farms was begun by David’s grandfather back in 1925. The farm has 27 greenhouses growing all sorts of plants and vegetables.

For more information on Vollmer Farms, check out this video --


Some of the many lawn and garden centers, Onondaga County

Sollecito Landscaping and Nursery, 4094 Howlett Hill Road, Onondaga

EverGreen Landscaping and Garden Center, Thompson Road, Syracuse

Vollmer’s Farms, 6576 Collamer Road, East Syracuse

Chuck Hafner Farmers Market and Garden Center, East Taft Road, North Syracuse

Watson Farms, 2778 US Route 11, LaFayette

Carol Watson Greenhouse, Carol Watson Greenhouse 2980 Sentinel Heights Road, Lafayette

Twin Oaks Nursery, 4107 New Ct Ave, Syracuse

Neil Casey’s Farm Market and Greenhouse, 6905 State Route 80, Tully        

Westvale Gardens, 2400 W Genesee St, Syracuse

Ballantyne Gardens, 4825 Hopkins Rd, Liverpool

Marcellus Nursery, 5062 Onondaga Rd, Syracuse

Red Oaks Nursery, 5860 Ike Dixon Rd, Camillus

Lan’s Flower Farm, 4913 State Route 31, Clay

Phoenix Flower Farm, 2620 Lamson Road, Phoenix

Manlius Flower Farm, 4962 Fayetteville-Manlius Road, Manlius

A. Demarco & Sons, 101 Valley Drive, Elbridge

Darling Greenhouses, 1357 Whiting Road, Jordan

Ponto’s Greenhouses, 1420 Conners Road, Baldwinsville

Delaney Farms, Kasson Road, Camillus

Zerrillo Greenhouses, 7581 Taft Road, East Syracuse

Abdo’s Garden Market, 4990 South Eagle Village Road, Manlius

Plumpton Farms, 3990 Coye Road, Jamesville

The Plant Farm, 8702 Henry Clay Blvd., Clay

Barone Gardens, 6200 South Bay Road, Cicero

Campus Hill Nursery, 3640 Tanner Road, Syracuse

Laxton’s Florist and Nursery, 2354 West Lake Road, Skaneateles