Adventurous Eaters
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Life Lived Outside
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
March 31, 2022
Bring on The Butterflies  |   New Arrivals   |   Spring Events
Adventurous Eaters
by Joey Bokor

We are lucky to have a family filled with adventurous eaters, but it wasn't always that way. For most of her life, Kim was a super-picky eater. 'Cheeseburger Ketchup Only' was her standard order for the longest time and over the years I was always amazed at the number of veggies and fruits she had never tried. I think she was 16 the first time she tried a strawberry, even though she grew up going to the Strawberry Festival every year!

This all ended one night when Abby was a baby and starting to eat solid foods. Kim knew that she was picky and didn't want Abby to be that way, so as Abby started eating more and more, we made sure to include a variety of veggies. One evening at dinner, we were having tomatoes and I was in charge of serving up the plates. I served myself, gave little portions to Abby and then I piled Kim's plate high with plump, juicy tomatoes. She looked askance at both me and the plate, and I simply said, 'If Abby's going to eat it, you are too.' And from that day forward, Kim has turned into one of the least picky eaters you'll ever know. She loves fresh tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, papaya, and has even come around to olives. She is still afraid of okra because, as she points out, it is slimy, seedy, and hairy.

Last week for her birthday, we proved that as a family we are adventurous eaters. We went to Chez Collete's French Bistro over near Indian Rocks Beach. We knew we had to order escargot for the girls. Both Abby and Maddy were a little suspicious, but both enjoyed their snails. I think they liked dipping their bread in the herb-garlic butter that the snails were in more than the snails themselves, but I'm just proud of them for being willing to try things. Life is so much more interesting when you have a lot of variety in it. What's the strangest food you've ever tried?

There is one picky eater that we love to encourage - The Butterfly. Few animals are pickier than butterfly caterpillars, with many selecting one plant or family of plants as the only food that they will eat. Take the Monarch butterfly for instance, its caterpillar will only eat milkweed. Nothing else, no matter how similar the leaves look. But, we'll live with them being picky eaters, because they are amazing miracles of nature. Come out this Saturday for the Butterfly Seminar at 10am, where you can learn about what you should have in your garden to feed these picky eaters. And of course, we've got all the plants you need including a fresh batch of tasty milkweed for those Monarchs.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

p.s. Mark your calendars for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Saturday, April 16th at 10am sharp, we'll give the countdown for the kids to find eggs hidden among the beautiful plants at the nursery. Please note that to accommodate the growing size of the event, we are going to close the entrance/exit on Wheeler Rd for the week leading up to Easter. Of course, all of our gates on Parsons will be open for your use. It's been three years since our last hunt, and we are excited to watch all of the smiling faces fill their baskets with eggs.

p.p.s. We are always looking for great people to join our team. Plant knowledge is a bonus, but not required. What is important is that you love talking to people and want to help spread Kerby's values of success, beauty, honesty, happiness, and fun. Click here to learn more.

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Gardening for Butterflies

There is nothing like seeing the first butterfly of the season in your garden. If you are new to butterfly gardening, or just want to attract as many as possible, check out the tips below and don't forget to join us this Saturday at 10am for the Butterfly Gardening Seminar.

1) Start with Nectar Plants - Nectar plants are food for the adult butterflies. Pentas, salvia, firecracker, firebush . . . there are so many to choose from. Before you head on to host plants like milkweed, make sure you've got plenty of flowers for the butterflies to feed on.

2) Hide Host Plants - Host plants are food for the caterpillars. Design your garden so that host plants like milkweed are hidden by other prettier plants. When caterpillars start eating, they can be voracious and you may not have much of the host plants left.

3) Don't use pesticides - on or near your butterfly garden. Even organic insecticides are intended to kill insects and, as pretty as they are, butterflies are still bugs. We often get asked about aphids and milkweed bugs. Control aphids by pruning and disposing of affected branches and leaves, or by introducing ladybugs into your butterfly garden. For milkweed bugs, it's the old flick and squish that tends to work the best.

4) Plant a variety - To attract butterflies of all shapes and sizes, plant flowers of different shapes, colors and sizes. A butterfly's feeding appendage is called a proboscis and each species has one of a slightly different size, so a variety of flowers creates the best opportunity for all types of butterflies to find food.

5) Be a little wild - Your HOA may not approve, but leaving some of your yard wild and overgrown provides shelter, wild food sources and puddling opportunities for butterflies. You'll have the most consistent butterfly populations if there are wild areas near or in your yard.
Now get out and enjoy!

New Arrivals

Feed Hungry Caterpillars
Variegated Wayetii Hoya

Houseplant Restock

Lily of the Nile

Starting to Bloom Now

The Kerby's Houseplant Shop

Send a living gift to your favorite plant person anywhere in the lower 48 states from the Kerby's online houseplant shop. For orders shipping to cold areas, a complimentary heat pack is included when needed to keep plants snuggly and warm on their journey.


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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5pm
11am - 4pm