Discover the Fun of Gardening

February 2, 2012   

Beautiful dahlias are a
lovely start to spring

Do you think Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow? The way winter has been so far, we don't think so. Spring flowers are arriving daily now at the nursery, including the beautiful Dahlias pictured at right. Our spring shipment of caladium bulbs has also arrived. There is nothing like the bright, colorful foliage of a caladium to really spice up a shade garden. They come in all shades of red, pink and white. And don't forget to get out and prepare the soil for this season's veggie garden. It's still a little early to plant, but it is the right time to amend the soil and get it turned. In a few short weeks it will be veggie season.  

Olives ripening on a tree.
Have you ever wanted to grow your own olives? Bring a little bit of the Mediterranean home by planting a beautiful olive tree. The foliage has a silver-grey color that adds contrast to a landscape and as the trees grow the branches become twisted and gnarled creating a unique effect. But they aren't just beautiful trees, they produce edible olives too. See below for planting and care instructions, as well as directions for preparing olives to eat at home.  

Happy Gardening,
Kim, Joey and Mark

In This Issue

Growing Olive Trees

Upcoming Events

Cool New Plants
Contorted Mulberry
Hens & Chicks

Caladium Bulbs
Are In



Growing Olive Trees

The olive is a beautiful tree. As it grows old the branches of the tree become twisted and gnarled, creating a cool effect in the landscape. The leaves, which stay on the tree all year are a beautiful silvery-grey color that shimmers in the sunlight. Plus you'll get to harvest your own olives!

Planting - Like any tree or shrub, placement is important. Olives prefer full sun (at least 6 hours per day) and must have a well-drained soil. Kerby's Pine Soil is a great choice for planting olives, because it has good drainage and an acidity that olives thrive in. Dig the hole twice as wide as the pot, but no deeper. Back-fill the planting hole with 75% new soil and 25% old soil. See Kerby's planting instructions for information on planting trees correctly.

General Care - To keep your olive tree in top shape, fertilize it monthly with Kerby's 8-4-8 fertilizer for the first 12 months, and than three times per year in the following years. Water olives well when they are new to get a good root system established, but make sure that they aren't sitting soggy, since moist soil can cause root fungus problems. Prune olive trees occasionally to keep a nice shape. These trees can be kept to a relatively small size (8 to 10 feet) with just a few light prunes per year.


Preparing Olives - In the second or third season after planting, olives will begin to bear fruits. Fruits typically harvest in fall, from October to December. Both green and black olives come from the same trees, they are just picked at different times. Green olives are unripe olives picked a little early, and black olives are picked at the peak of ripeness. The process of getting olives ready to eat takes a little time, and we've outlined it below if you want to give it a try.

This method is a water-curing method because it is easy to do at home. Commercial olives are cured in lye, but we figure water is both easier and a little safer for home use.

1. Pick olives when they start to turn purplish-red or black. Olives will fall from the tree when fully ripe. Rinse and clean olives well, removing any stems, leaves or defective fruits.

2. Individually cut each olive. This allows the bitter compound to leach out easily.

3. Place the cut olives into a container with fresh cool, water. All olives should be submerged in the water.

4. Change the water daily for 8 to 10 days. At this point, taste an olive to see how bitter they still are. Continue water-soaking for for up to 10 days depending on how they taste. Be careful not to over-soak.

5. Now it is time to prepare a brine. Mix 1 1/2 cups of salt (preferably pickling salt) into a gallon of water. Once dissolved, add 4 cups of your favorite vinegar (red-wine is a good choice). You can also add other herbs and spices if you choose at this time. Drain the olives and pour the brine over them, adding a little bit of olive oil on top. Close the lid of the container firmly and store at 60 to 80 degrees F.

6. Allow the olives to marinate in the brine for about 1 month. Once finished, this style of olive will keep for about a year, when refrigerated.


Upcoming Events

Kerby's has lots of fun planned for the garden in 2012, including workshop favorites on vegetables, herbs and roses, as well as some new workshops on bulbs and trees. There has never been a better time to Discover the Fun of Gardening.


Workshop: Planting Spring Bulbs
Saturday, February 18th at 10:00 am

Bulbs are like a little surprise in the garden each year as they emerge in the spring. With many unique and beautiful flowers, bulbs are a great way to add easy color. This workshop will teach you all about bulbs, including the best way to plant and care for them. And we'll demonstrate using bulbs to make beautiful patio planters.


Workshop: Spring Vegetable Gardening
Saturday, February 25th at 10:00 am

Healthier, tastier vegetables are easy to grow, and in this workshop, you'll get all the information you need to get your vegetable garden going this spring. We'll also talk a bit about raised garden beds and how to grow veggies in them.


Workshop: Cold Hardy Landscaping
Saturday, March 3rd at 10:00 am

Tough plants for Florida Gardens are the feature in this workshop. You'll see some amazing plants that are great at taking whatever mother nature throws at them. We'll also teach you some tricks for creating a beautiful landscape. Featuring our We Plan You Plant service, for anyone wanting a jumpstart on a gorgeous landscape.



Spring Fling
Saturday, March 10 10am - 4pm

Bring on the color! You won't be able to resist all the amazing flowers we've found for this year. Come out on Saturday and enjoy some fresh-popped popcorn and lemonade and take a stroll around the boardwalk to see all of this season's new arrivals.  There will also be a fun activity for the kids!


Workshop: Planting and Caring for Trees
Saturday, March 17th at 10:00 am

Do you want a wonderful shade canopy that adds value to your house? Or a spring-flowering tree that lights up your landscape? Then you need a tree! This workshop will teach you all about planting and caring for new trees and give you all the tricks we use to make sure a tree gets off to a good start. We'll also talk about caring for trees as they grow to maximize growth and beauty.





Workshop: Growing Delicious Herbs
Saturday, March 24 at 10am

We all love food. And we love food even more when it's cooked with tasty herbs.  Growing your own herb garden is easy and it is a great way to always have fresh herbs for all of your favorite recipes. Come to this workshop to learn all about growing herbs and what herbs can be used for.





Workshop: Fruit Trees for Small Spaces
Saturday, March 31st at 10:00 am

Juicy and delicious, there is nothing like picking fruit from a tree you've grown and eating it on the spot. But not everyone has a huge yard with room for an orchard. At this fruit tree workshop we'll focus on some new dwarf varieties of fruit trees that are great for your yard, and talk about how to keep trees smaller when space is limited.




3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 7th at 10am SHARP!
Please note the Easter egg hunt is on Saturday

Bring your Easter basket and get ready for a whole lot of fun . . . it's the 3rd annual Easter Egg Hunt at Kerby's. Starting right at 10:00am, be ready to hunt and see how many Easter Eggs you can find hidden among the beautiful flowers.



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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours
Open Seven Days a Week
Monday - Friday,  9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday,  11:00am - 4:00pm