From our Garden to Yours

February 4, 2010   

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted 6 more weeks of winter, this past groundhog day, but it's starting to look like spring at Kerby's. Parades of pansies, spring bulbs just waiting to be planted and classy camellias are all signs that Phil doesn't always get it right. Get rid of those winter blues and start bringing the color back to your garden.

Happy Gardening,
Kim, Joey and Mark

In This Issue

Upcoming Events


Camellias: The Flower of the South

For nearly 200 years, camellias have been a fixture in southern gardens. As landscape centerpieces or foundation plantings, they pull a garden together and their blooms bring a bit of cheer during the winter, when their color is warmly received.

Varieties: Camellias come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. From formal pinks to loose, ruffled reds, there is a look and a style for everyone. There are also two main varieties of camellias: sasanquas and japonicas. The sasanqua varieties tend to bloom from late fall to early winter and are usually compact, arching bushes. Some of our favorite sasanquas are  Mine-No-Yuki (a beautiful semi-double white) and Shishi-Gashira (a rosy red semi-double). The japonica varieties bloom in winter and early spring, and include many shapes and sizes, including Kramer's Supreme, a turkey red flower up to 5 inches across! If you have room for more than one camellia, try planting multiple varieties that bloom at different times for color from October to May.

Plant Characteristics: Camellias are slow growing, eventually reaching six to eight feet tall and four to six feet wide. They need very little pruning, but make sure they have room to grow to their full potential. If pruning is needed, do it in early fall before blooms start to set.

Location: Camellias thrive best in part shade, and in an area that has good air circulation. Four hours of morning sun is ideal. Avoid too much afternoon sun, which is intense and hot, and can cause the leaves to burn.

Soil: Camellias love a rich, well-drained acidic soil such as Kerby's Pulverized Pine Soil or a hearty mix of cow manure and peat. The more soil you can turn into the planting hole and surrounding area, the better your camellias will grow. Camellias also cannot tolerate wet soil. Make sure that the area drains well, even in our heaviest rains.

Planting: The ideal time to plant camellias is during the winter months, so that their roots can become established before summertime. It's also the time that many are blooming, so you'll get to enjoy some beautiful winter and spring color. For more planting and watering instructions, see Caring for New Plants.


Upcoming Events

Workshop: Growing Peaches, Apples, Pears and Plums
Saturday, February 13th at 10:00 am

If you've ever wanted your own backyard orchard, but didn't know where to start, then this workshop is for you! We'll talk about the great varieties of apples, peaches, pears, plums and nectarines that can be grown in our area and discuss the best ways to plant and care for them. These trees aren't just for our friends up north!




Workshop: Spring Vegetable Gardening
Saturday, February 20th 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. Also included is an Earthbox demo, showing you how to grow veggies, even with limited space.


Workshop: Vegetable Gardening II
Saturday, February 27th at 10:00 am

If you've attended our veggie workshops before then you already know how to grow healthy, happy vegetables. But if you've ever wanted to dig a little deeper into vegetable gardening, then this workshop is for you. We'll discuss organic gardening, composting, natural pest control and other vegetable gardening issues that will give your garden the best harvests ever this year.



Workshop: Hardy Landscaping
Saturday, March 6th at 10:00 am

Looking to freshen up your landscaping after winter? Look no further. We'll show you all of the hardy alternatives that you can use to make your garden beautiful all year long.





Kerby's Turns 30
Friday - Sunday, March 19 - 21

It's hard to believe that this year will be Kerby's 30th birthday. We're celebrating with a weekend-long birthday bash on the boardwalk. More information will be posted soon.


Workshop: Tropical Fruit Trees
Saturday, March 27th 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. Whether you like mangos or jakfruit, kiwi or papaya, or nance and custard apple, there is a fruit to fit every taste. After the workshop, you'll be able to sample some of the delicious fruits that can be grown in our area.

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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Open Seven Days a Week
Monday - Saturday,  9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday,  9:00am - 4:00pm