Discover the Fun of Gardening

January 2, 2012   

As temperatures drop, be sure you have all the materials you need on hand.

Happy New Year! 2012 looks like it wants to start with a bang, ushering in the first freeze of the season. That's okay - if you're a Kerby's Newsletter follower, you've already gotten the scoop on protecting plants in the winter. If you haven't prepared yet, check below for tips on protecting your favorite plants. As of writing this newsletter, we have frost blankets available at the nursery, but don't wait until the last minute. With lows for the Seffner/Brandon area projected to be in the low to mid-20s, they'll go fast.
Now that's a great helper.

Now is a great time to start making plans for your spring veggie gardens. Abby and I spent this past weekend harvesting kohlrabi, carrots and greens and working on the soil for our spring garden. Preparing the soil early lets everything mix and settle together making a perfect soil for when it is time to plant. If you just can't resist planting a little something now, make some room for potatoes. We still have red pontiac potato seeds in at the nursery. They should harvest in about 90 days, making room for other spring crops.   

Happy New Year and Happy Gardening,
Kim, Joey and Mark

In This Issue

Protecting Plants from Winter Frost


Frost Blankets
2 for $30


Protecting Plants from Winter Frost

All that hard work. The sweat, the backaches . . . don't let it go to waste by not preparing for the winter. Make sure you are stocked up on all of the essentials for protecting your plants, like frost blankets and anchor pins.  Follow these easy tips to make sure your garden comes into spring looking even better than before.

Protection - When frost or freeze approaches, the best thing you can do is be prepared to cover your plants. Have frost blankets and anchoring pins on hand so that you don't have to make a last minute trip to Kerby's and have a plan for covering up your most sensitive plants. Make sure that you cover plants all the way to the ground, resting the blanket lightly on the plant and then anchoring the blanket to the ground with the pins. Not attaching the blanket allows cold winds to creep under easily and either blow the blanket off, or push out the warm trapped air that is protecting the plant.

Water Well - The day before cold comes in, make sure you give your plants a good soaking. A lack of water when cold, dry winds are blowing can cause double the damage to your plants. Water plants at the roots only. Water on the leaves doesn't help and can cause more damage for landscape plants.

Stop Fertilizing - By now, you should have done your fall fertilization on all of your plants. At this point, you want to hold off on any general feeding until springtime. Too much fertilizer right now may encourage growth spurts during warmer days, and this new growth is extremely sensitive to cold, no matter how hardy the plant.

Avoid Some Pruning - On sensitive shrubs, you'll want to avoid pruning unless absolutely necessary. Pruning stimulates growth which can lead to weaker plants.  A plant that is a little taller or wider than you want can be a good thing, as it will provide a little extra insulation. Throughout the winter is a great time to prune roses, crape myrtles, evergreens, and any deciduous trees.

Double Protection - If you're a fruit nut and have exotic tropical fruit trees, consider doubling the protection by using multiple layers of frost blankets. For covering trees, have a few stakes on hand to prop the blankets up so they aren't pulling the leaves and branches down.

These are a few tips you can use to protect your garden this winter. The best protection is being prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way. Be prepared and you'll be sipping hot cocoa by your fire instead of running around in the yard.

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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