Discover the Fun of Gardening
November 29, 2018   
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Garden Tip  |   Featured Plants

Sitting with dad on the roof in 1979.

I have always been a curious person. Even as a little guy, I wanted to know: Where does this go? Where does that go? What does this thing do? It usually didn't get me into much trouble. Until one day my dad was working on the roof of our house. It was a typical Florida ranch house with a long low-pitched roof. Since one end had a patio, pump-house and carport, he put the ladder at the opposite end to climb up and then walked across to the other side of the house to get to his work area. I'm not sure what I was doing at the time, but whatever it was, it didn't hold my attention and pretty soon, I started wondering where dad was. Then I noticed the ladder. Before anyone knew what had happened, I was standing on the roof. My mom was looking up and not sure what to do, quiet because she didn't want to scare me. I can only imagine what my dad thought when he turned around to see me toddling towards him as if a two year old on a roof is completely normal. They both tell me that they managed to be calm and quiet until my dad had gotten to me and had a grip on my hand. Fortunately, all ended well and once I was safely next to him, my mom got out the camera to snap a few photos of me and dad on the roof. I imagine that when he asked me what I was doing, I probably said that all I wanted to do was help.

Sitting with dad on the roof in 2018.
I figure that is what I answered, because it is the line I get from Abby and Maddy when they start poking around the things I am working on. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was cleaning gutters and putting up the Christmas lights and as you can see in the picture at left I had a tall ladder leaning against the roof to get on our porch. And wouldn't you know that Abby pokes her head up and says 'Hey Daddy, do you need any help up here?' And of course all it reminded me of was the story of me climbing up on the roof. So I let her come up so that we could take an updated on-the-roof-with-dad picture. She thought she was hot stuff up there with me. And hey, now that I know she isn't afraid of heights we can start planning some mountain climbing trips.

We did finally get the Christmas lights up, put up our Christmas tree and got out the boxes of classic Christmas books and movies that we love to read and watch each year.  I always love the Christmas season. Something about it always feels warm and cozy. Maybe it is pulling out the old Christmas stuff and remembering years past. Or maybe it is the chance to make new traditions and memories. Whatever it is, pair it with the cold weather this week and it really makes for a perfect time of year. Now before everyone wakes up and the day starts, I think I'm going to enjoy this Christmas feeling with some hot cocoa next to the Christmas tree.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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Time to plant potatoes.
Garden Tip
Growing Potatoes

Potatoes are a delicious side dish for any meal. Follow these steps for growing great potatoes right in your backyard. In a few short months, you'll be harvesting your own yummy potatoes.

1. Cut Potatoes into Seed Pieces - Seed potatoes come as whole potatoes. To plant, they first need to be cut into seed pieces about the size of an egg, with at least two eyes per piece. Small potatoes can be planted whole. After cutting, leave in a warm dry place for a day or two to let the cuts dry. Before planting, you may want to dust the seed pieces with Captan fungicide to help prevent disease.

2. Plant Potatoes - Plant potatoes in a well drained soil mixture at a depth of about 4 inches, with the eyes pointing upwards. We like to add vermiculite or perlite to our soil mixture to make it nice and light. Space potatoes about 2 feet apart. Water potatoes every other day at first, making sure that they never sit wet. Adjust watering as plants grow. Fertilize monthly with Kerby's 8-4-8 to encourage good growth.

3. Hilling - This is an important step for maximizing harvests. As potato plants grow, mound soil up around the base of the plants. This will encourage more roots to grow which leads to more potatoes. There are some cool methods for growing potatoes in old tires or even in a large raised bin that really allow you to pile up the dirt and get lots of potatoes from just one plant. Typically the average plant will have 6 - 10 potatoes. Be sure to cover any tubers that come to the surface.

4. Harvesting - Red potatoes will harvest in 80 to 100 days. To harvest potatoes that will store well, you'll want to let the tubers mature. Once plants have grown and flowered, they will die off. At this point, cover the potato plants with plastic to allow soil to dry. Leave them in the ground for two weeks. Harvest by carefully digging the tubers up, but avoid damaging them. Wash lightly and dry completely before storing. Any tubers which are small and green should be discarded. Potatoes store in a cool, dry place for months, so you can enjoy them well into the summer.
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Reindeer Philodendron

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69 cents per potato
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Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday,  9am - 5pm
Sunday,  11am - 4pm
Holiday Hours
Christmas Eve, Monday, 12/24 - 9am - 12pm
Christmas Day, Tuesday, 12/25 - Closed
Wednesday, 12/26 - Closed
New Year's Eve, Monday, 12/31 - 9am - 12pm
New Year's Day, Tuesday, 1/1 - Closed