From our Garden to Yours

January 14, 2010   

What a cold week! It looks like this winter may go down as one of the coldest in decades. Below are some First Aid tips to help you get your garden back on its feet after our freezes. With a little care and patience, your gardens will be back in bloom in no time.

As our temperatures warm up, don't forget that there are still plenty of things to do in the garden. This time of year is great for planting fruit trees such as peaches, apples and nectarines, and also a great time to plant flowering trees. A new shipment of dogwoods, purple-leaf plums and redbuds (pictured at left) just arrived. Plant now for beautiful spring blooms. And check out our Upcoming Events for a taste of how exciting this spring season will be.

Happy Gardening,
Kim, Joey and Mark

In This Issue
First Aid for
Freeze Damage

Upcoming Events

First Aid for Freeze Damage

You know you are a true gardener when you are willing to use your own bed sheets to protect your favorite plants! Record cold and hard freezes have had all of us scrambling to find every blanket we could to cover our plants. Even with protection, such cold temperatures mean that some of your plants were probably damaged in the cold. If you are trying to figure out what to do now, see the tips below. As the first tip says, the best thing to do is to be patient. We are not too far from our spring season when everything will grow, flower and recover.

1. Be Patient - This is the hardest part of dealing with winter damage. There is no pruning allowed until we are past any risk of frost or freeze. The damaged foliage will serve as an insulating layer if more cold weather comes through. We usually start pruning around the first week of March. The only exception to this rule is if a plant is truly dead or if parts of a plant or palm are rotting, remove the plant or damaged areas from the garden to avoid spreading disease.

2. Don't Fertilize - Fertilizer may stimulate growth on plants, but if we get cold again that tender new growth will be extremely sensitive to the cold. Even cold hardy plants should not typically be fertilized this time of year. At the start of spring, give everything a good prune and a dose of fertilizer to stimulate a wonderful burst of new growth.

3. Plan your Spring Garden - As you drive around town. you may see a palm or shrub completely frost-burnt in one yard, but look perfectly green in another, even in houses on the same street. Surprisingly, the temperature around the area varies widely depending on a number of factors, including the direction a house faces and the number of trees. Take a look at your own garden and see which spots were warmest and which were coldest. Plan accordingly for the spring and you'll be able to pick which plants are likely to perform best for each spot in your garden.

4. Damaged Palms - For palm trees that sustained some cold damage, the same tip applies - have patience. When you do prune your palm trees, try to prune only damaged fronds off. Over-pruning a palm tree by removing all fronds can hurt its ability to gather nutrients and limit its chances of surviving. Leave as much green as possible, or if there aren't any green fronds, prune about half of the damaged ones off and wait for a new frond to grow in the spring before pruning off the remainder of the old fronds.

5. Protect from Disease - While the freezing temperatures damage the plant, it is usually disease that actually causes them to die. To keep diseases at bay, especially on damaged palms, spray a copper fungicide mixed with a spreader sticker every 10 days or so. This will help the plants fight off disease until they can take over on their own again.

Upcoming Events

This spring is going to be filled with lots of fun workshops and celebrations. The schedule below isn't permanent yet, but we'll let everyone know if any of the dates and times change.

Workshop: Growing Peaches, Apples 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: Container Gardening
Saturday, March 13th at 10:00 am

A thriller, spiller and filler? Come and find out how to put together the perfect container garden, bursting with spring color. It's a great way to dress up any porch or patio.





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