Discover the Fun of Gardening
The Kerby's E-Newsletter
May 17, 2018   
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Garden Tip   |   Featured Plants

Singing in the rain (and tasting raindrops).

So you have to sing with me for this one. First, put on your fedora and tap shoes and let's channel Gene Kelly together. I'm Signin' in the rain, oh singin in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again . . . Did you really sing? Did your co-workers look at you like you were crazy from the cubicle next door? Fortunately, I have a backyard with a little privacy, because when it rained a week or so ago, Abby and Maddy had some fun Singin in the Rain. We were sitting outside and rain clouds started moving in, so I tucked my chair underneath a large palm frond, and the girls crowded around me. As the drops came down a little harder, they decided umbrellas would be better. Maddy soon abandoned her umbrella, deciding that getting wet was more fun. And it is isn't it? I mean, when was the last time you Sang in the Rain. Like really sang, at the top of your lungs with the abandon of a four year old? It's good for you. And, fine, if you aren't going to dance around in the rain in your backyard, we can all at least be thankful we are getting rain and hope for a little more.

When I wrote 'hope for more rain', it was about 10 days ago, and the rain at that time was only enough to barely soak the ground. Little did I know that we would be inundated with rain this week. We recorded 4 1/2 inches at our house on Monday - and all of that pretty much in one hour. While that kind of rain isn't always great for plants because it doesn't get a chance to soak in well, the storms and sprinkles we've had the rest of the week have made all of our plants happy. But whenever we start to get heavy rains, start watching for disease issues. See our tips below for what you can do to protect your garden and landscape from fungus. And then, enjoy the rainy days. If I can't be out in the garden, then sitting in a comfy chair with a great book and just watching the rain come down is my backup favorite thing to do. Enjoy it, and be thankful that you won't have to run your sprinklers this week.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Watch for disease issues.
Garden Tip
Dealing with Fungus Issues

The rainy season is arriving and that means regular afternoon thunderstorms (or in the case of the past week, some day-long rainstorms). 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.

Summer Blooms
Yellow Plume Flower

Sunny yellow color that is great for butterflies.
10" Pot - $16.99
Dwarf Powderpuff

Easy Care - Great for Butterflies
10" Pot - $16.99
Musical Notes

Now your garden can sing in the rain too.
6" Pot - $12.99

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours
Open Seven Days a Week
Monday - Saturday,  9am - 5:30pm
Sunday,  11am - 4pm