Gardening
Life Lived Outside
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
May 21, 2020
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Water, Water, Water  |   Weekly Special  |   Dwell at Kerby's
Chicken Eggs for the Soil
by Kimberly Bokor
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You've heard stories about our chickens before. We have a dozen of them, with a dozen silly names like Henny Potter, Daryl Hennah, Hermione Egger, Princess Layer and Rainbow. Yes, I know the last one doesn't quite fit the theme, but at the time names were chosen, our four year old liked rainbows, and that was what she named one of the hens.



One of my favorite things about the chickens, besides their quirky personalities, is the color of their eggs. On any given day we collect eggs that range in color from baby blue to mahogany brown to terra cotta with dark speckles. After 3 years of raising chickens, I still delight in gathering eggs each day. With a dozen hens, we have become experts at testing out new recipes and finding fun ways to incorporate eggs not only into our meals, but also into our gardening. You've heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul, well we have altered it in our house to be Chicken Eggs for the Soil.

Eggshells are a wonderful source of calcium, which can aid in adjusting soil to a more alkaline level over time. Plants that prefer this type of sweeter soil will benefit from adding crushed, dried eggshells into their soil. Canna lilies, viburnum, salvias and some herbs such as oregano and thyme all do better in a more alkaline soil. And don't forget hydrangeas. Their flowers are basically a litmus test for your soil's pH. They bloom pink in alkaline soil and blue in acidic soil.



Another benefit of sprinkling eggshells around the base of your plants is that it can help deter snails and slugs. These pests will be showing up in our gardens more frequently as rainy season approaches. The quiet destruction they do to a plant's leaves often happens overnight when you're sound asleep. By the time you see the damage, they have burrowed back into the soil to avoid the harsh sun and heat of the day. Eggshells are like glass to a snail or slug's soft underside. It's not pleasant to think about, but neither is having to watch your plants get eaten away.

So next time you're cracking an egg, instead of tossing it in the trash, save it for your garden. When you've got a bowl full, follow these directions to create an easy-to-use home remedy:
  • Collect your eggshells in an airtight container until you have enough to spread out on a sheet pan.
  • Evenly spread eggshells on the pan and place in a 200°F oven for about 10 minutes.
  • If you are using your shells to alter soil pH, pour the dried eggshells into a blender and pulse until they resemble powder.
  • You can store the eggshell powder in an airtight container and keep them on hand to occasionally sprinkle over the surface of the soil, where the powder can be watered in.
  • If you are using your shells to deter slugs and snails, simply crush them up and sprinkle them around the base of your plants.
While you're keeping an eye on your garden don't forget to water all of those beautiful new plants that you've planted this spring. Our watering tips are in the article below. Water regularly, water deeply and always water in the morning. Keep on gardening and enjoying your home.
Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
Ornamental Grasses - 20% Off
Wispy leaves and plumes that wave in the wind, ornamental grasses are hardy, drought tolerant and beautiful. They love sunny areas and add great texture to a landscape. Varieties in stock include: White and Red Fountain, Pampas, Muhly and Fakahatchee.
Expires 5/27/2020
Water, Water, Water

With all of those new plants you've got in the ground this season, we figured a reminder about watering was in order. It is starting to get pretty hot out and that means new plants need good soakings to get them adapted to their new homes. A few rainstorms coming through the area isn't enough to keep brand new plants happy. Use the tips below to keep your new plants strong and healthy.

Water Consistently - Plants hate it when they get water one day, then a few days get skipped and then oops, better water lots again. The inconsistency doesn't allow them to grow to their full potential. Kerby's general watering instructions are as follows: Daily for the first month (always in the morning, usually with a hose). Every other day in the second month and twice a week for the third month. After that, plants will need one to two good soakings each week, and of course, hopefully Mother Nature will help.

Water Deeply - Just spraying a little water on the roots each day, or wetting the leaves is not helpful to plants. They need water soaked through their entire root system and into the soil beyond to encourage roots to keep growing down. Consistent deep waterings are the best way to develop strong plants. Even drought tolerant plants aren't drought tolerant until they have established a strong root system.

Water in the Morning - Plants want water when the sun is up, so all plants, landscapes and lawns should be watered in the morning. Here's what often happens. Each day when you return home from work, the plants are wilted, so you water. They perk back up and in the morning, they aren't wilted. By the time you get back from work, they are wilted again, and the cycle continues. This wilt and recover cycle slowly weakens a plant - it spends all of its energy recovering, not growing. Switch your waterings to the morning and you'll be amazed by the difference.

Hope for Rain - A good soaking rain is still the best way for plants to get water. Even with a hose, we can't saturate the ground the same way that a rain shower does, so let's hope for the rainy season to get here to make sure that all of our plants grow healthy and strong. But don't forget - just because it rains one day, that doesn't get you off the hook for watering the next day. Water consistently, water deeply and water in the morning and your garden is sure to be a success.
New Arrivals
Fortuniana-Grafted Roses

New Shipment of Fortuniana-Grafted Roses
10" Pot - $34.99
Honeybells Cuphea

Treat your hummingbirds to yummy nectar.
6" Pot - $7.99

There is Always Something New

in the Dwell Houseplant Shop
to add to your collection.

Introducing

Dwell at Kerby's - The Houseplant Shop
Shop for planty gifts for your friends, family, or for yourself at our new online house plant shop. Currently, shipping is limited to Florida, Georgia and Alabama, but soon we'll be open to the entire country. Share your love of plants with someone today.
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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265
www.kerbysnursery.com


Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
Sunday
11am - 4pm
Closing at 2pm on Monday, May 25th