Discover the Fun of Gardening
August 9, 2018   
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Summer Mango Tree Care   |   Featured Plants    |  Fall Workshops  

Learning about fish at The K's Beach.

Sometimes you stumble upon an experience. And sometimes they run into you. That happened to me this week at the beach. We have a family tradition that goes back at least 30 years or so. It started with family friends renting a condo over in Treasure Island. For as long as I can remember, every year towards the end of July and around my little brother's birthday, we'd head over to what we called The K's Beach. (The family's last name was a little complicated to pronounce, so we always called them The K's and the beach was given their name). Eventually they outgrew their original location and moved to another condo on North Redington. Location didn't matter and even to this day we still call it The K's Beach. When July comes around, we'll call each other and say 'Hey when are we going out to The K's Beach'. This year we managed to make it out a few times and on our last trip this week, we were playing in the water with the girls, when someone shouted 'Hey there are manatees!' So I threw Maddy up on my shoulders and we walked over to where folks had seen a herd of manatees. Sure enough we could see a few dark shadows in the waves (it was a little rough in the water) and then all of the sudden I felt a giant animal bump up against me. It almost knocked me over. One wack of its huge tail and it had moved on. We weren't trying to get in their way and hadn't intended on being that close, but a combination our walking and their swimming put us on a collision course. It kind of startled Maddy and she started squeezing my neck with her legs and hollering for me to get out of there. We moved away and continued to watch this little group (we think there were five of them) move back and forth, up and down the beach, occasionally coming up and taking a breath. They are huge animals, so it was a little strange to be run into by one, but it was a fun wildlife viewing experience nonetheless.

This year's veggie beds.
Besides a manatee encounter, the girls had fun playing in the surf, flying their kites, collecting coquinas in a habitat (which we emphatically said could not come home with us) and  learning a little bit about cast nets and fishing. (Yes that fish Abby is holding was caught in a little cast net!). Between the wildlife, the sunsets and the family time, it was a pretty fun way to cap off the summer. But wait, summer's not over for the girls. Do you know what they did? They left me all by my lonesome for a week and headed to Colorado. They are busy exploring the sights and mountainous terrain around Colorado Springs and spending some time with great friends. So with all this free time on my hands, I took my own advice from last week's newsletter and built brand new veggie boxes to get ready for the fall season. And since Kim and the girls aren't here, this is the first picture they will see of my handiwork. Hope I did OK. Now we are ready for some Fall Fun in the Garden. It can't get here soon enough.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Garden Tip
Summer Mango Care

There is nothing more refreshing in the summertime than eating fresh mangos (mango smoothies, mango mojitos, mango salsa . . . as you can tell I love mangos). This year your harvests probably weren't that great since the cold winter damaged a lot of the mango trees in the area. So let's be optimistic and think towards next year's harvest. Follow some of the care tips below to keep your mango tree happy and healthy and get it ready for the next harvest season.

1) Fertilize - Especially if your mango tree was damaged in the winter, it needs plenty of good nutrients to regrow the leaves and branches that it lost. For an extra boost of nitrogen (which promotes green growth on plants), use Blood Meal. I used some on my tree early in the season and it has recovered about 80% of the canopy that it lost in the winter. 
2) Keep the Ground Clear - Mangos (like citrus and avocados) don't like anything over their roots. That means no grass, no plants, very little mulch and of course no weeds. I like to keep three to four feet of space free and clear under most of my fruit trees. It's better for the tree and it keeps me from hitting them with the weedwacker.
3) Prune if Needed - After winter you probably had to prune a lot of branches off. But keep an eye on how the new ones grow in. Prune to shape the trees as needed, and make sure that it doesn't get overly bushy. Ideally, you want 4 or 5 main branches coming from the trunk to create a sturdy tree that can hold lots of fruit.
4) Watch for Disease - The most common disease on mango trees is called anthracnose. It shows up as black spots on leaves and can turn into large dried up brown patches. It also spreads to the fruit causing more black spots and rotten areas. To keep mango trees free of disease, spray monthly with Liquid Copper Fungicide.
5) Water Wisely - Established mango trees need one good, deep soaking each week ,so mother nature probably has the watering covered. But if your trees are still relatively new, make sure you give them regular water to get them through the hottest part of the summer season. Since you are encouraging them to grow, we want to make sure they have the water they need to get nutrients into all of those new leaves.
5) Be Prepared - Who knows what the next winter will throw at us. More cold, none at all? It's anybody's guess. But if you are prepared and have the frost blankets, anchor pins and a plan for covering your favorite fruit trees, you'll be ready no matter what the temperature.
6) Expand your Fruit Forest - Gardeners are optimists. It takes a spirit of believing in the future to plant a tree today that won't produce harvests until a few years down the road. So embrace that optimism and plant some new trees today. In a few years, you'll be glad you did.
Summer Fun in the Garden
Peach Trees

New Shipment
10" Pot - $49.99
Buttons Gardenia

Still blooming with delightful fragrance, even in summer!
10" Pot - $17.99
Fireball Mallow

Light up your landscape with these bright flower.
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