Discover the Fun of Gardening
July 19, 2018   
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Summer Gardening Tips   |   Featured Plants

Coneflowers as tall as Abby!

On our recent vacation around the southeast, we found ourselves driving east of Washington D.C. and through the state of Delaware. In an effort to break up the long drives, Kim found a number of fun stops along the way and one that she found in Delaware was Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor in Delaware. I'm always excited to make a garden-related stop when we are traveling (you know a busman's holiday), and since lavender is a challenging herb to grow in Florida, we don't get to see many lavender fields. It was a great stop. The flower gardens were amazing with all sorts of flowers that we can only dream about at this time of year, including some cone flowers that were taller than Abby! 

But wouldn't you know that even as far north as we were in Delaware, the lavender was having trouble growing. The northeast has had a tough spring with a long, late winter and then tons of rain early on in the spring season. So unfortunately the lavender fields weren't as pretty as they would have been if spring had been a little more normal. If you've ever tried growing lavender in Florida, you know that it can be challenging, especially when rainy season hits. Lavender loves the sun, doesn't mind the heat, but it likes to be on the dry side. That's why lavender is grown in southern California and the south of France. Areas that are warm and sunny, but have very little humidity. That didn't make it any less enjoyable to walk around the grounds. They had little gardens tucked in here and there, daylilies that were 3 feet tall with humongous blooms, giant buddleias, black-eyed susans and just lovely, lovely flowers. (Plus the gift shop had all sorts of homemade lavender-filled products including soaps, oils and the girl's favorite: lavender lotion.) It was
A little too much rain on the lavender fields.
a great way to relax and stretch our legs for a little while before getting back into the car to head out on more adventures!

What this stop really demonstrated is why gardening in Florida can be challenging. It's not the temperature (after all it was over 100 in a few spots near DC and Delaware the week we were there). It's the combination of high temperatures, long days and that one thing that we all dread: humidity. Near 100% humidity makes it hard for people to cool off and just as hard for plants to cool off. And in Florida, we are humid from April to October (and sometimes even during the 'winter' season.) Up north, heat waves come and go, and then it's back to milder temps. In DC we experienced near 100 degree temps, but just 100 miles away and a few days later, we were putting on sweaters and long sleeves in the evening. But seeing that lavender in Delaware made me realize that gardening in the heat is a challenge for everyone. To that end, check out our tips for Summer Gardening below, and don't be afraid to plant even though it is hot outside. My favorite time to do the hard work of digging holes is early in the morning or in the evening after dinner. It's not as hot and you still get to have fun getting your hands dirty!

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Garden Tip
Summer Gardening Tips

Summer gardening has its challenges. In the first place it is hot, so make sure that you drink plenty of cold water. Plants also need a little extra help to get through the summer months. So check out the summer gardening tips below and keep your gardens growing beautifully, even through the dog days of summer.

1) Water - I know, I know, we always talk about watering. But we always talk about it, because it is the single most important thing that plants need to grow and establish. Did you know that plants not only use water to transport nutrients, but also to cool themselves down by reducing their leaf temperature. And when the heat is on in the summer, they need more water to accomplish both tasks. 
2) Enjoy the Rains - There is nothing like the water from mother nature to help all of your plants. Thorough soakings of nutrient-filled water go a long way towards establishing strong root systems. But remember - don't check out when the rains check in. A heavy rain today won't necessarily help new plants tomorrow. Skip a day when it rains more than an inch, but be sure to check on new plants the next day.
3) Don't over do it - And here comes the art of gardening. How much water does a plant really need? That is a hard question to answer exactly. But part of developing a green thumb is learning when plants need more water and when they need less. As tips one and two tell you plants need plenty of regular water, but if you over do it, you'll create soggy conditions around your new plants and disease will start to rear its ugly head.
4) The Fungus Among Us - Be ready to battle disease issues, especially if you like to plant challenging plants in your garden. There are plenty of natural sprays such as Neem Oil and Copper Soap Fungicide to treat preventatively. If you just can't keep disease away, you can always try products like Liquid Systemic Fungicide to provide more lasting control.
5) Go For It - The summer is here, sunshine is abundant and the regular rains keep coming through. So check out a few fun plants below and swing into the nursery for a little summer garden inspiration.

Summer Fun in the Garden
Gorgeous Pots

All Outdoor Glazed Pots
Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off
Sugar Apple

The sugar apple is a deliciously sweet summertime fruit.
10" Pot - $49.99
14" Pot - $89.99

Torch Ginger

Beautiful blooms each summer.
10" Pot - $19.99

Kerby's Nursery

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Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

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