The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
July 4, 2019   
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The Weekly Special  |   A Fungus Among Us

Never Summer
by Joey Bokor

Snow Kissed Mountains
Never Summer? Not here. We're officially about two weeks into summer, but for Floridians, the first day of summer is really just a day on the calendar. It's been summer since at least May. This year, on the first day of summer we found ourselves in the Never Summer mountain range of Colorado. You aren't going to believe what happened. It snowed. It started as a hailstorm in the evening, complete with sky-illuminating lightening and cracking thunder. By morning, a few inches of snow had fallen and covered the mountainside. Within a few hours, it began to melt, but as a Florida boy, it sure threw off my sense of what time of year it is.

On that first day of summer, we went for a hike along the Fraser River, which ran below the house we were staying at. And just to take a little hike, we had to put on layers of clothes and pack gloves and rain jackets. Florida spring has been over for a while, but here in Colorado, it is just getting started. 

And with spring trying to arrive in the mountains, we got to do one of our favorite things: search for wildflowers. It's kind of like a scavenger hunt for plant geeks. We identify what we can along the way and take pictures of flowers we haven't seen so that we can cross reference them with the books on Colorado wildflowers that are back at the house. It occurred to us on this trip that we get so eager to find and identify the tiniest little flowers when we are here in the mountains, but we hardly ever pay attention to the same flowers when we are home in Florida. I think the fact that the seasonal changes are so dramatic in Colorado feeds our enthusiasm to see flowers that manage to hang on with only a few months to grow before snow and ice take over again. While we do have a spring burst of growth and blooms in Florida, it is not quite as dramatic as emerging from under the snow and ice. 

Dandelions in the Valley
Now we are determined to pay more attention to wildflowers on our future Florida explorations. We even got a Wildflowers of Florida book so that we can track what we find. There is no way that Florida matches the rugged and awesome nature of the Colorado mountains, but it's home and we love it. To see what we discovered on our Colorado scavenger hunt, click here. These were just a few of our favorites, and believe it or not, we were too early to find gentians, columbines and paintbrushes. Oh well, there is always next season.

Regardless of temperatures, summer is here and with it, Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July! Gardening and agriculture have always been a part of the American spirit. Click here for a little bit I wrote about the book Founding Gardeners. Many of our Founding Fathers were avid gardeners, collecting plants for their landscapes and tending their own gardens. Many of the important discussions that shaped our country happened in various gardens of the northeast. No wonder getting our hands dirty runs thick in our blood. Have a happy and safe Fourth. We'll be open today until two if you need to get any projects started over the long holiday weekend.
Happy Fourth of July,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
Outdoor Glazed Pottery
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Your front porch style starts with beautiful pottery. And at Kerby's, all outdoor glazed pottery is always Buy One Get One 50% off. Your style, your color, on display with outdoor glazed pottery.

Watch for Disease Issues

Garden Tip
A Fungus Among Us

The rainy season is arriving and that means regular afternoon thunderstorms. All around town, you see trees, shrubs and flowers putting on fresh flushes of new growth as they soak in the welcome water. However, if you're like us, you are also starting to see mushrooms pop up throughout your yards and flower beds, which is a sure sign that there is a fungus among us. Fungus thrives in wet areas and at times of the year when the humidity is high (which is almost all summer in Florida). It shows up in a variety of ways, from whole limbs dying and black spots on leaves, to brown patches and mushrooms in your lawn. Fortunately there are some preventative measures that you can take to keep your plants healthy.

1) Water Smart - We always lecture folks on not watering enough, but plants can have too much of a good thing. Make sure that you turn off your sprinkler systems when we get large amounts of rain and take a break from daily hand watering. Watering an already wet flower bed is a sure way to make fungus grow. When you do water in the humid season, make sure to do so early in the morning so that the plant can take up water during the day and leave the soil relatively dry by night.

2) Keep it Clean - To avoid spreading disease, keep garden areas clean and weed free. Weeds can often be hosts for plant diseases and of course, leaving piles of rotting leaves and weeds around will definitely bring fungus to your garden. Clean all lawn tools that you use with a light bleach solution. This is especially important if you've just pruned a plant that has disease on it.

3) Plant Well - Probably one of the best things you can do to protect your plants from disease is to get them off to a good start. For most plants, use a well-drained soil, such as Kerby's Planting Soil when you plant. A good soil helps the plant get nutrients and water, but also keeps the soil from staying soggy. If the area you are planning on planting in has poor drainage, think about creating raised beds, since most plants do not want to sit with their feet wet. Check out Kerby's Planting Instructions for more information on how to make plants happy.

4) Treatment - In our humid season, no matter how clean your garden or how carefully you water, you will likely face disease issues at some point. Before a disease spreads to too many plants, treat with a good fungicide such as Copper Soap Fungicide or Liquid Systemic Fungicide (the specific fungicide that you need will depend on the disease and the type of plant.) If you have a tough plant problem, bring a picture of the plant and a leaf sample into the nursery and we can diagnose the problem for you and get you the right treatment option. There doesn't have to be a fungus among us anymore.

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm
Thursday, July 4th
9am - 2pm