Life Lived Outside
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
November 5, 2020
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Low Chill Fruit Trees  |   Weekly Special  |   New Arrivals
A Tasty Thousand Words
by Joey Bokor

One of my favorite 'when-I'm-bored' things to do is to flip through cooking magazines. Each season brings a new set of flavors and as we are now full on into fall and right on the edge of the holidays, magazines are filled with pumpkin-this and apple-that. I always find at least 10 recipes to try and sometimes I actually get around to making one. It's hard to pass them up when each picture is more delicious than the last. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but with some of these pictures, no words are needed, you could almost take a bite right out of the page.

As I was flipping the other day, one picture jumped out at me. It made me feel like I was relaxing in an outdoor café, possibly in Germany, with a cold beer and some spicy mustard. You've probably guessed what it was - a recipe for soft pretzels. The thought of a warm, steamy batch of salty-yummy pretzels was just too much to pass up.

I've always wanted to try my hand at making pretzels. I feel like a number of people have told me that they are complicated and so that has always kept me from doing it. I read through the recipe, and while there were a few odd steps and it wasn't the shortest recipe ever, the picture already had me. There was no way I wasn't making this recipe.

As I scanned the ingredient list, the only item that wasn't in our cabinet was barley malt syrup, but molasses made a fine substitute. It was in the instructions that there were a few interesting steps. I knew that pretzels, like bagels, are boiled, but the strange part I learned is that they are boiled in alkaline water. So, I baked a third of a cup of baking soda for an hour, let that cool and then added the cooked soda to the boiling water. Apparently, it helps the pretzels brown while giving them a shiny appearance and their characteristic chewy texture.

I think we did pretty well. My helpers had a great time shaping the dough and while our pretzels aren't going to be stars in a cooking magazine anytime soon, they were delicious. A perfect snack for a cool evening and definitely worth a thousand words (although there wasn't a lot of talking while we enjoyed them.)

This week we experienced some of the coolest weather since March. Cool, crisp air, cloudless skies and sun-kissed afternoons are why you live in Florida. Even as we move into November, there is still time to get veggie gardens planted for winter and early spring harvests. Cool season favorites are arriving at the nursery each week, including petunias, dianthus and geraniums. The pumpkin house is still up if you need a last-minute fall picture. In a few weeks, we'll be transforming it into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. Gardening in Florida never stops. It just gets better and better.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
Apples, Peaches and Pear Trees - 20% Off
The cool season is the best time of year to plant low-chill fruit trees such as apples, peaches and pears. Yes there are varieties that are designed for Florida's weather. Pick one up today for 20% off and add something delicious to your fruit forest.
Valid Through 11/11/2020
Discount only valid on Apple, Peach and Pear trees.
Cannot be Combined with other Discounts.

Low-Chill Fruit Trees

Many fruit trees love tropical weather. Long, sunny days with lots of warmth. There are some fruit trees, however, that actually need cold weather in the winter to flower and fruit properly. Not all of them will grow in Florida because we don't get cold enough, but there are certain varieties of apples, peaches and pears that are cultivated especially for this area, and those are the only varieties that Kerby's carries.

At Kerby's you'll hear the staff say Low Chill Fruit Trees and you'll probably wonder what in the world they are talking about. Apples, peaches and pears belong to a group of fruits called Low Chill or Dormant fruit trees. These fruit trees require cold weather in order to flower and fruit properly. What they really need is a chance to go dormant. It's pretty obvious that up north, with lots of cold weather, trees have plenty of time to go dormant in the winter. This is when they store energy for a spring flush of flowers and fruit. In Florida, it doesn't always get that cold. In order to enjoy these types of trees, varieties that don't need a lot of cold weather are required.

That is where the term Low Chill comes from. To get fruit from these types of trees in our area, they must have a low-chill requirement. Chill requirement is the number of hours below 45 degrees F that a tree needs in order to go dormant properly. Our local area typically receives anywhere from 200 to 300 chill hours on average. So the fruit tree you select should be in this range. (You can push the bounds a little in either direction; 200 to 300 is a historical average for the entire bay area. Seffner, Brandon, Valrico and Plant City are typically a little colder.)

The bottom line is that you can grow fruits like peaches, apples and pears in our area, but you have to select the right varieties. Kerby's makes it easy, by only carrying varieties that can deal with our milder winters. So come on out, enjoy the amazing weather and find something delicious to plant.

New Arrivals
Midnight Sky Heliotrope

Great cool-season color.
6" Pot - $9.99
New Indoor Pots

So Cute!

Chinese Money Plant

Easy-Care, Popular Houseplant
4" Pot - $14.99

Dwell at Kerby's - The Houseplant Shop

Send a living gift to your favorite plant person anywhere in the lower 48 states from the Dwell at Kerby's online houseplant shop.


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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm