Friday, October 10, 2008

Money for Community Gardens

Public and Community Gardens are Invited to Apply for
Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards

The Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award, a new award program to give national recognition and $5,000 in plants to community groups and organizations who are improving their local environments, has been announced by Nature Hills Nursery. The award will be presented annually, beginning in April 2009, to groups and organizations that are literally “greening” their communities, parks, schools and public spaces by planting trees, shrubs and other plants.

The winners of the inaugural Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will be those nonprofit groups and organizations that truly are making a difference in their local neighborhoods. The Grand Prize winning garden project will receive $2,500 in plants from Nature Hills Nursery. The First Prize winner will receive $1,500 in plants from Nature Hills Nursery, and the Second Prize winner will receive $1,000 in plants. The plant materials can contain any combination of trees, fruit trees, bushes and shrubs, perennials and vegetable seeds that Nature Hills Nursery offers.
The award winners will be chosen from those groups who submit a local community gardening or “greening” project that makes best use of the trees, bushes and shrubs that Nature Hills Nursery will award. Potential Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award winning projects could be:

· Creating or refurbishing the landscape in a community park.
· A local soil erosion control plan that utilizes plants to stabilize steep hillside slopes or river banks.
· The reclamation of an abandoned lot with the creation of a fruit orchard that will provide much needed fruit to nearby low-income residents.
· Creating a wildlife habitat for birds or animals on donated land that is (or has been) abandoned or neglected.

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Nature Hills Nursery is a website-only retailer that sells trees, shrubs, perennials and other plants. The company created the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards as a way to give back to the communities and people who have contributed to the success of the seven-year-old company.

Applications for the Nature Hills Nursery Green America Awards will be accepted nationwide from October 15, 2008 until April 1, 2009. The winners of the 2009 Nature Hills Nursery Green America Award will be announced on April 17, 2009. To apply for the 2009 award online, visit the website at

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Susan and Larry: Reunited and it Feels so Good

Susan Arbetter and I will be reunited again this Saturday, September 27th at 11:00 a.m. at the "Come Grow with Us Day" sponsored by the Women's Club of Albany at 725 Madison Avenue in Albany. NY. Everyone is invited. We will talk about how to have a beautiful garden that is easy to maintain without the use of chemicals. As many of you know, Susan and I were radio partners on WAMC's Vox Pop for more than ten years and we were the winners of the Best Radio Personalities Golden Trowel award from the Garden Writers' Association of America.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Goodbye WAMC

As of today, WAMC and I have parted ways. I will no longer be a guest on "Gardening with Larry Sombke." The station management decided that it was time to bring in some new voices. I've had a wonderful ten years and I enjoyed speaking with you the listeners, especially when I have been invited to speak at your club or event, even when you ask me questions in the supermarket aisle when you recognize my voice. It has all been great. But I won't disappear. I have a new online garden opportunity that I am pursuing and I will keep you posted on that. And you can always ask me questions here at my blog, or at my Web site or by email at
Let's keep in touch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Organic Lawn Weed Control

Organic lawn weed control is always a challenge for the environmentally-friendly homeowner. Now there is a new product widely available at your favorite lawn and garden center that is going to make organic lawn weed control a lot easier. Concern All Natural Weed Prevention Plus is a pre-emergent herbicide plus organic fertilizer. Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? But this product is made from corn gluten meal, an animal feed by-product from the manufacture of corn starch. A scientist at Iowa State University discovered that corn gluten meal spread on your lawn will prevent the growth of dandelions, crabgrass, quackgrass, purslane, plantain and many other common lawn and garden weeds. I hope it works on ground ivy, a.k.a. creeping Charlie, too. Concern corn gluten is dry, granular and very yellow. Apply corn gluten with a drop spreader at about the same time as the daffodils or crocus are in bloom in mid-spring at the rate of 15 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn. Apply just before a steady rain to get best results. Children and pets can play on the lawn after application, but don't inhale the light dust of the product because of potential allergic reaction. Do not use corn gluten on a newly-seeded lawn until after the first mowing. I have heard about this product for a couple years but this is the first time I am giving it a full test on my own lawn. I will keep you informed about how well it works for me. For more information about Concern Weed Prevention Plus visit

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Garden Consultation with Free Book

Anyone who books me for a garden consultation this year will receive a complimentary copy of my book Beautiful Easy Flower Gardens. A consultation consists of me coming to your home, walking the grounds with you, looking at the landscape, giving you specific ideas of how you can solve your landscape problems. I will give you suggestions of trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs you can plant so you, too, can have a beautiful easy garden. If you are interested in a consultation (fee is $150) contact me a
Hope to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tulip and Daffodils Popping Up

Sara from Greene County writes:
I just heard you say on Vox Pop that it is not good to have things popping up at this time of year. My snow drops are in bloom and my daffodils are over 1 1/2 inches up and the tulips are about 1 inch up. Should I be concerned?
No you should not be concerned. This is normal. You just don't want to see a full-scale thaw at this time of year followed by below freezing temperatures that could nip the buds.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

2008 Spring Speaking Schedule

I will be out and about giving speeches and offering garden advice at a variety of places this spring. I hope you can drop by and say hello:

April 9 at 7 pm at the Charlton Garden Club;

April 19th 11 am at the Village of St. Johnsville Sesquicentennial;

April 26th (time TK) at the Annual Garden Day at the Ulster County Community College;

May 14th (time TK) at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum.

I will post more details as they come in. See you there!

93 Year Old New York City Arborist

Times ran a great story yesterday about 93-year-old New York City arborist Larry Borger.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WAMC Back on the Air

After a winter of waiting, I am back on the air on WAMC Northeast Public Radio starting this Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2 p.m. Joe Donohue will be the host and I will be joined by arborist Fred Breglia from the Landis Arboretum. Please tune in and have your questions ready. I can't wait!