Discover the Fun of Gardening
August 2, 2018   
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Preparing for Veggie Season   |   Featured Plants    |  Fall Workshops  

Checking out Uncle Randy's garden.

How did it get to be August? Suddenly it's back-to-school time and where-did-the-summer-go time. Well, I don't know where the whole summer went, but I do know why this past week flew by for us. It's because Abby and Maddy were visiting their great-grandmother in Minnesota without us! Wow, was the house quiet. But they sure had a great time, enjoying a slower pace of life up in Warren, MN and enjoying a week with their grandparents and great-grandmother. They got to check out Uncle Randy's farm and home garden. They enjoyed the summer fair and an evening parade (with cool temperatures). A weekend on the lake, paddle-boating and I think one of them even caught their first fish. It sounded like an action-packed week and they seemed a little sad about coming home.

And we sure missed them while they were gone. But, man did we get a lot of stuff done in the house. At first we were going to go on a little trip and then we decided that before summer was actually over, we should get the house into a semi-organized state for everyone's sanity. So room by room, we cleaned, organized and de-cluttered. Wild and crazy, huh!

I did find time to do one thing I have been wanting to do for a few years though. During our hospital stay when Abby was born, Kim and I discovered the show Masterchef with Michel Roux. There wasn't alot of sleep with the nurses checking up on Kim every few hours and of course with a newborn baby in the room. We love to cook, so the show was perfect for passing the time in the hospital (although it made the hospital food seem a little sub-par . . .) And ever since then, a bucket-list item for me has been dinner at Le Gavroche, Michel Roux's restaurant in Europe. Since a trip to Europe isn't in the cards at the current time, the next best thing was trying out some fancy French recipes. So a few years ago Kim and the girls got me The Essence of French
Fancy cooking with the kid's away.
Cooking (which is by Michel Roux Sr.). On the cover is a picture of a mussel souffle and it looks so pretty (and tantalizingly tasty). I've been dying to try the recipe. But, it's a souffle and it had lots of steps and words like mirepoix, veloute and roux in it (I'm still not entirely sure what they all mean . . .) So without the kids around, I picked a night and prepared this french masterpiece. It came out really well and I ate it for dinner and I think for the next three days for breakfast. Yummy!

So without the girls around, we filled our time with cooking, cleaning and organizing. We had actually meant to clean-up a few roadside landscape beds and maybe start rebuilding the veggie garden beds, but the constant rain kept us inside for the week. But those projects are something that we need to do soon, since veggie season isn't too far away now. Florida is a great place, isn't it? The girls enjoyed the garden in Minnesota, but at this point, those gardens are harvesting and will soon be finished for the season. First frost isn't too far away for them. We, on the other hand, don't have to think about frost, but get to think about our second season of veggie gardening. It's my favorite: a season of collard greens and cabbage, brocolli and beets with a few tomatoes and peppers thrown in. It's not time to plant yet, but it is time to start preparing the soil and getting your garden beds ready. See below for what to do now and check out the fall events and workshops that are planned for the season. The summer may be almost over and kids may be dreading back-to-school, but gardeners have a lot of fun in the garden to look forward to.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Garden Tip
Preparing for Veggie Season

Don't jump the gun. It's not time to plant yet, but it is time to plan and prepare. Below are some things that, if you get them done now, won't overwhelm you when it is time to plant your veggie gardens.

1) Recharge the Soil - Each season of veggies depletes the soil a little but, so now is a great time to assess how much new soil you need and add it into your garden beds. Turning and mixing the new soil in now will make sure it is ready for planting in September. Our favorite veggie soil mix is 50% Kerby's Planting Soil and 50% Top Soil.
2) Pull the Weeds - If you're like me, your garden beds have gotten away from you and are full of weeds. That's not a terrible thing as it means the soil is in good condition for growing stuff. But you don't want those weeds to overtake new veggies. Pull the big stuff now and keep an eye out for little ones trying to regrow.
3) Remove Debris - Any old mulch, sticks, rocks or old plants and roots should be removed so that new plants will have nice clean soil to grow in. 
4) Add Nutrients - If your soil really needs a boost, add a fertilizer such as Espoma's Garden Tone at the rate of approx 1 lb. per 20 sq. ft. Turn it into the soil now and it will be ready to boost your harvests and grow strong plants come fall.
5) Lime the Soil (if needed) - If you are planning for tomatoes and noticed blossom end rot last season, then add some Agricultural Limestone to the garden beds where you are planning on growing tomatoes. Lime needs a little time to mix into the soil, so it needs to be done now, 4 - 6 weeks before planting season. 
6) Make a Plan - When I have my garden sketched out ahead of time, I always end up with the best results. I know exactly what to plant and where, without having to worry too much about the details at planting time. So enjoy these rainy days and sketch the garden of your dreams. When planting season arrives, you'll be ready to go.

Summer Fun in the Garden
Dwarf Allamanda

Add some Sunshine to your Garden
10" Pot - $16.99
Dwarf Powderpuff

Amazing for pollinators.
10" Pot - $16.99
Jazz Hands Loropetalum

Jazz up your garden with this hardy shrub.
10" Pot - $29.99

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours
Open Seven Days a Week
Monday - Saturday,  9am - 5:30pm
Sunday,  11am - 4pm