Life Lived Outside
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
April 30, 2020
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Growing Great Citrus  |   Dwell at Kerby's  |   Plants in Stock
You Better Be Able To Eat It
by Joey Bokor

Kim's grandfather was always particular about the types of trees and plants he wanted in his yard. He had one rule. If he was going to plant it, it had to do something for him. He didn't have time to mess with flowers and foliage. He wanted trees and bushes that produced food for the table. Grandma Kerby didn't always pay attention to his insistence, because she sure loved having beautiful flowers around. But if it had all been up to Grandpa, the entire yard would have been an edible garden.

Not a bad, goal, I'd say. We definitely love all kinds of plants, inside and outside, flowers and fruit, but I will say that this year, we are really paying attention to our backyard fruit forest. Yesterday morning, I snapped a number of pictures from the various trees we have planted around the yard. There are mangos slowly ripening on our mango tree, Barbados cherry flowers just popping open, newly set navel oranges and a persimmon tree beginning to bloom. Each one makes me more excited than the last.

It is so fulfilling seeing something produced from the work you've put in. I think that's why Grandpa Kerby loved his fruit trees so much. The feeling of self-sufficiency and self-reliance. He and Grandma were teenagers during the Great Depression, and I know that experience shaped how they approached the world. The need to put food on the table and to be able to do it yourself was so important to them and they carried it all through their lives, passing it down in varying degrees to their children and grandchildren.

I know that I enjoy my backyard orchard every day. I love checking on the trees to see how they're doing (I'll admit I may occasionally talk to them a little. They are much better listeners than most people . . .) It's magical watching them grow and then flower and fruit. Just another part of the grand miracle of nature.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Growing Great Citrus

Whether you love grapefruit or a fresh glass of orange juice with breakfast, every yard has a spot for at least one citrus tree. They grow well in our area, just follow the tips below to keep citrus in top shape. A new shipment of citrus just arrived, including a few fun varieties: Blood Oranges, Kaffir Limes, Ponderosa Lemons and Satsumas. Come on out and tantalize your taste buds.

Planting - Citrus need full sun. In Florida, this means at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. Citrus trees also like a well-drained soil. Fortunately, the typical sandy Florida soil actually makes a good start for citrus, because it drains quite well. Citrus trees do want more than just sand for their roots to grow in, so use a bag of Kerby's custom-blended Planting Soil in the hole of each tree you are planting. Click here for more planting instructions.

Watering - Many problems, such as fruit split, fruit drop and fruit drying are caused by poor watering practices. New trees need daily water for the first month, every other day for the second month and twice weekly in the third month. After the third month, make sure a tree gets at least an inch of water across the entire root system once per week. Yes, you may have to get out the hose during dry periods!

Fertilizer - To produce great harvests and sweet, juicy fruits, citrus trees need to be kept in top shape. Keep trees strong by providing them the major and minor nutrients they need. Fertilize monthly for the first year with Kerby's 8-4-8 fertilizer. Thereafter, fertilize in the spring, summer and fall.

Disease and Insect Control - Keep an eye on your citrus trees for disease and insects. Early detection is the key and with preventative treatment, most problems can be avoided. To prevent diseases such as greasy spot, scab and alternaria spot, spray trees 3 times per year with Liquid Copper Fungicide. For insect issues, such as leaf-miner and aphids, use Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew weekly in the spring season, and monthly the rest of the year. A little preventative spraying goes a long way towards keeping trees happy and healthy. Happy trees mean big harvests.

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Modified Store Hours

Tuesday - Saturday
9am - 4pm
11am - 4pm