Holiday Gifts for your Favorite Gardener

Holiday Gifts For Your Favorite Gardener
By Marissa

When you think of buying gifts for your children, family, and friends, Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply may not be the very first store you think to look. I’d really like to change that.  Supporting local businesses is something that is very important to building a community – building community being one my primary missions for the store – because supporting local business keeps your money local, and supports local families too, like our awesome employees.

I’ll give you a quick list of items you can purchase here that any gardener would love to receive. I hope this article will give you ideas for a few things that would make great gifts this holiday season which you can pick up right here at our local family-owned store.

Holiday Gift Idea #1: Earthbox

This is my “go big” garden gift idea – an Earthbox kit.  It comes with the planter box, the sub-irrigation pieces (perforated divider, watering tube), fertilizer, plastic weed covers, wheels, and instructions. At about $45, it’s really an amazing self-contained growing system, allowing you to grow fantastic veggies with very little maintenance.  The box itself lasts for MANY years – in fact, Mr. Shell’s Earthboxes are well over 25 years old and are STILL functioning just fine – no cracks, no bleaching from the sun.

The Earthbox was invented by a man in the Tampa Bay area – Bradenton, to be exact – Mr. Whisenant.  He passed away just this past February (2018), and was the man who revolutionized container gardening with his great growing invention. We miss him and his knowledge. But he lives on every season we plant our Earthboxes.  We have a class on how to plant them coming up in the Spring – stay tuned for that, and make sure your favorite gardener is aware of it so they can sign up!

Holiday Gift Idea #2: Garden Tools

Did you get a peek in your favorite gardener’s shed and find that some of their tools are so rusted you’re afraid they’re about to fall apart?  Did the wooden handle on their favorite hoe have a crack down the center and is being held together with duct tape? Did a neighbor borrow their hand trowel and they never got it back?

You can be the hero of Christmas by getting them a brand new hoe, rake, shovel, trowel, watering can, Wondergrip gloves, or any of the other tools we carry in the store.

Good tools make the labor of growing a garden just a little bit easier, and they’ll be thinking of you, and thanking you, the next time it’s time to do some garden chores.

Holiday Gift Idea #3: Seeds

I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours in the seed section of our store dreaming of what I want to plant the very next chance I get.  Since here in Florida you could really start seeds in a protected area (in trays) in late January, giving Seeds for Christmas for Spring Planting really isn’t a bad idea! You could get a little basket and make a cute little seed display in it with a bow, or use the packets as stocking stuffers.

We have Ferry Morse and Livingston Organic seeds, as well as a great company out of New Mexico called Sandia Seeds.  Sandia has a lot of different kinds of seeds, but their speciality is peppers – from the very hottest to the mildest sweet pepper.  Did you know that New Mexico has a University that specializes in Hot Peppers? The famous Hatch pepper comes from there. Finally, we have bulk seeds as well in lots of varieties of common farming crops that have a great germination rate for a fantastic price.

Holiday Gift Idea #4: FoxFarm Products

Does your favorite gardener really have an amazing talent for growing their own food, flowers, and pretty much whatever they want? Is their thumb blindingly green already? The experienced gardener is sure to appreciate a selection of FoxFarm products.  Their selection of plant foods and soils contain important microbial and minor element profiles that really help plants look stunning and promotes optimum growth and production of fruits and flowers.

FoxFarm was born from seeing a need in the garden industry for nutrient-rich additives that augment growth through interactions between good healthy soil, organic materials, and natural ways of getting the best out of your plants. There are so many soils and dry and liquid fertilizers to choose from, there is certainly something that would put a smile on your favorite gardener’s face.

Holiday Gift Idea #5: Shell’s Gift Certificates

Did you know we offer Gift Certificates? Well of course we do! If you’ve looked around, and you’re just not sure what to get as a gift, then don’t fret – we’ve got you covered!

Let them choose their own gift at our store when you give them a gift certificate to Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply! We can make it for any amount.

Also, we have more than just gardening supplies, we also have pet food & supplies, chicken & farming supplies, and the best prices and variety of wild & tame bird food & supplies in Tampa.

Our Gift Certificates make a great stocking stuffer!

I hope this quick Gift Guide helps you make some decisions about gifts for your favorite gardener.

We really appreciate your support and business over nearly six decades, and being a part of the Tampa Bay community is something we treasure.

Sincerely,

Marissa

Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply

I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. 
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me.  The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!)  Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.

 

Grow These In Florida This Winter

Grow These In Florida This Winter

By Marissa

Some folks might be surprised to learn we can garden in the “colder” months down here in Florida.  In fact, the further South you are in our fair state, the better for your veggies and annuals (which can become “perennials” when it doesn’t freeze hard) surviving the Winter.  

It goes without saying that one of my favorite Winter garden plants is Strawberries. I’ve already written quite a bit about them, such as this article about growing Strawberries in Containers and another about the Basics of Strawberry Gardening, so I’m not including them here.  

Instead, I’d like to highlight some other plants that do well in our mild Florida Winter weather so that I can help your planning process for the coming planting season (which basically can be after your Fall garden stops producing, or in December, or both!).  These plants below love cool weather, and handle a bit of light frost with little to no issues.  Here we go!

 

Florida Winter Garden Pick #1 – Kale

A leafy green that comes in many varieties, Kale is your friend in Winter gardens.  From leaves with hues of blue-grey, to bright green, to red, purple, and almost black, and leaf forms from flat to curly, Kale is high in nutrients and also high in fiber.  It also makes everything more colorful.

Baby Kale is great in salads, and the giant leaves that often happen when you ignore them for 5 seconds (honestly, they’re so prolific) are great wilted in stir fry and soups, and also substituted for lettuce in lettuce wraps!  

Harvesting your salad from your backyard is convenient, not to mention much less expensive than driving to the market.  Plus you know what you’ve put in and on them, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing what you’re putting into your body.

In this second picture here you can see Kale performing really well in some Winter Earthbox plantings from Mr. Shell’s garden last year! We had so much kale we were giving it away to friends and neighbors. By the way, those Earthboxes are over 25 years old and still growing strong! They’re a fantastic investment.

 

Florida Winter Garden Pick #2 – Broccoli

If you’ve ever tried growing Broccoli in the Spring, you might have found that by the time it’s ready to set heads, the plant just gives up and wilts in the heat.  Planting Broccoli in the Winter is the best bet for getting full luxurious heads of Broccoli (and really any veg that has a head on it like this, e.g. cauliflower).

Broccoli is traditionally a “cool crop” in that it does best when the weather is lower than 90 degrees.  There are those that have good luck with them in the heat, but they know more magical gardening tricks than I do (one friend grows them under shade cloth – that’s brilliant!).

Broccoli is a very versatile veggie – you can eat it raw, or bake it, roast it, boil it, steam it, stir-fry it…(it’s like Shrimp in Forrest Gump).  Try it out! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Recently, cauliflower, a broccoli relative, began to show up in colors like yellow, lime green, and purple – they are all delicious!

Florida Winter Garden Pick #3 – Cabbage

OK, maybe I cheated a little on this one.  Cabbage is like Kale and Broccoli had a lovechild and made a beautiful, gloriously-round baby.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Cabbage as a contender for Winter gardening because it comes in so many varieties and colors.  From light green (almost white!), to silvery, to bright green and purple too, cabbage is a delicious addition to the dinner table. And it’s so easy to grow!

The most famous use of cabbage, arguably, is Cole Slaw. You can use any color of cabbage to make this dish, along with some carrots for color.  I’ve had grilled cabbage, boiled cabbage (corned beef and cabbage anyone?), fermented cabbage (sauerkraut is awesome!), and raw cabbage leaves used in wraps (so good).  

Cabbage has a lot of sulphur compounds in it, which makes it a bit smelly when boiled for long periods of time.  I usually do my cabbage boiling outside.

Some cabbage relatives are good to grow too, like bak (pak, bok) choi, and kohlrabi, so make sure you add some of those in.

Did you know you can also grow ornamental cabbage? It’s lovely!

 

Florida Winter Garden Pick #4 – Carrots

Do you ever have a particular plant that there seems to be some sort of cosmic force keeping you from getting to harvest?  For me, it’s carrots (and orchids…that’s a story for another day). BUT – I’ve had the most success in Winter gardening for this little underground vitamin-filled wonder root.  

Some folks don’t bother to grow carrots anyway – they’re inexpensive enough at the store that you can get by purchasing them.  But I like to grow the varieties that you can’t find in the store – the whites, yellows, purples, reds, etc.

Carrots are picky about their soil, and can overall be a pain in the patootie (in my opinion).  They need really loose loamy soil in order for the root to expand down into the soil (making lengthy carrots) and our native Florida sand isn’t naturally loose.  That doesn’t make our soil bad.

You can amend the soil with organic matter and compost to make it easier for the carrots to lengthen.  It will be worth the extra effort when you get to eat a them, in all their crazy colors!  That satisfying crunch and sweetness makes it all worthwhile for sure.

Additional thought here: When I do get to harvest carrots, I’ve not found my carrots to grow exceedingly large here in my gardens, and I’m ok with that.  When they’re small they are great for roasting, or dipping in hummus and crunching away.  Yum!

Florida Winter Garden Pick #5 – Onions

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention members of the allium family here.  Onions are extremely tolerant to hot and cold weather, and we have both here.  Every Fall we have a pre-order for Vidalia onion transplants where our customers can order sweet, delicious Vidalia onion plants to grow in their gardens.  Straight out of Georgia, these onions do really well down here, and actually our order for them just arrived at the store. We usually don’t have many extras, so if you want some, get in and see us quick!

We also have onion sets for white, yellow, and purple onions, as well as the Super-Sweet variety and Shallots too.  You can plant Onion sets pretty much anytime through the Fall, Winter, and early Spring too – check out my article on that here: “Set”ting up for Success.  Many people make several plantings over time so that they don’t have one huge harvest (it’s called Succession Planting).

Onions are an indispensable flavor in the kitchen, used in so many dishes to impart flavor, both in the greens and bulbs, that I can’t imagine a garden without them.

 

So, there’s 5 Winter Garden crops that I’d suggest you try in the garden this Winter.  We do have some starter plants for some of these available now, as well as onion sets like I mentioned above, so stop in and see what we’ve got (it changes week to week).  

If you’re looking for some more ideas on what you can do in the garden this Winter, you can check out my previous article, Top 5 Winter Gardening Ideas, which highlights some things to do that take advantage of the cooler weather while implementing in the garden.

No matter what you decide to do for your garden, we wish you every success with it.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we here at Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply truly hope you have a wonderful holiday season and Winter Garden season too.  

We are truly grateful for your business and your support.  The only reason we’ve been here 57 years is because of you.

Thank you.

Marissa

Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply

I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. 
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me.  The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!)  Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.

 

Best Tomatoes To Grow In Tampa

Best Tomatoes To Grow in Tampa
By Marissa

The tomato is the quintessential home garden plant. It seems every family loves that fresh taste of a sun-ripened backyard tomato, and for good reason. They’re delicious! The process of growing your own food is exhilarating and also educational. Tomatoes are a great place to start for the beginner garden hobbyist, but can also be a wonderful challenge for an experienced gardener.

Since we are just past the last predicted frost, I thought I’d share my picks for greatest tomatoes to grow here in Tampa. Try one, or try them all!

Great Performers

Hybrid tomatoes are popular garden staples. These varieties have been selected, perfected, and designed to have all of the best qualities. Their plants produce tons of fruit, while also being fairly disease resistant and heat tolerant. “Early Girl” and “Better Boy” are two great hybrid tomatoes that work well locally.

“Early Girl” is named for their early fruiting time, in 50-62 days. This tomato plant is a relatively compact plant, and if provided continual nutrients and proper watering will continue to fruit all year. This continuous growth is called “indeterminate.” Early Girl will spread out so it needs to be reigned in somehow, either by being caged, staked, or trellised. Eliminate suckers for better, more hardy stems and fruit – this is true for all tomatoes!

“Better Boy” is a hugely-prolific tomato variety, holding the Guinness World Record for the number of fruits from a single plant. Fruiting begins around 72 days and is also an indeterminate plant that requires staking or trellising.

Planted together, you get a lot of tomatoes over a pretty short period of time. You’ll have plenty to share with friends and neighbors too.

Early Girl Tomatoes: Photo from Yutaka Seki
Brandywine Tomatoes: Photo from @Foodlander contributor Sue O’Bryan @birgerbird

Heirloom

Tomatoes are usually the first thing people think about when they think of gardening with heirlooms. Heirlooms are varieties that are over 50 years old and are not hybridized or genetically modified in any way (see my earlier article on what heirlooms are here). Compared to the varieties above, they are slow growing and don’t produce as much fruit. I can tell you though, they have so much flavor it is worth the effort to grow these beautiful tomatoes. If you want more quantities of these, plant more plants!

Varieties like “Brandywine” and “Cherokee Purple” are two of the most popular heirloom varieties. “Brandywine” is a heavy pink-fruited indeterminate tomato variety that can grow fruits up to 1.5 pounds. The plant produces relatively low numbers of fruit, but what it lacks in number it makes up for in size and flavor. Fruiting in 80-100 days, they also grow more slowly than other varieties.

“Cherokee Purple” is a black-fruited indeterminate tomato that has a beefsteak tomato shape with dark flesh with sometimes green-rimmed seeds. It maintains a red-mahogany color with green near the stem when ripe. It matures in about 80 days. It is said that these originated with the Cherokee tribes and are hundreds of years old. As with other heirloom varieties, what the plant lacks in the overall number of tomatoes produced, it makes up for with flavor.

Get Your Snack On

Grape and Cherry Tomatoes are a favorite snack to pull off of the tomato vine and eat while you’re standing in the garden. I consider them a reward for all the gardening hard work! If you can resist temptation long enough for them to reach the table, they are also great in salads or even bruschetta. These two varieties have superior heat tolerance:

“Super Sweet 100” hybrid tomatoes create wonderfully sweet grape-like clusters of 1” tomatoes that are packed with Vitamin C and flavor. They have decent disease tolerance and mature in about 65 days. They are indeterminate as well so they will continue to produce until the first frost. You won’t know what to do with all the tomatoes you get… so be prepared to eat!

“Yellow Pear” is an heirloom variety that I truly feel has the flavor of the larger yellow tomato varieties, but in a very compact package. And the fruits are adorable little pear shapes, just over an inch long. They make your salads, compotes, salsas, and other tomato toppings very colorful. The plants can go crazy (up to 12’ tall!) so be aware of that when you’re planting these near a structure or next to other plants. They are indeterminate like the others as well, so fresh yellow tomatoes are a possibility all season for your snacking pleasure.

One more thing: #ProTip Never store your tomatoes in the refrigerator. The flavor compounds begin to break down if their temperature is below 55 Fahrenheit. Store them in a cool place on the counter instead. Tell your friends!

That’s my recommendations for tomatoes to grow here in Tampa. We have all of your tomato and other garden-growing needs right here in our store. Stop in!

Happy Gardening! – Marissa

Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply

I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. 
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me.  The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!)  Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.

 

Our Top 5 Winter Gardening Ideas

Our Top 5 Winter Gardening Ideas
By Marissa

Many people leave the garden completely alone in the winter. Especially up north that’s just fine, because it is covered in snow! Down here in Florida, winter can be another productive and pleasant growing season, albeit a bit colder. It can also be a time to get ready for spring planting.

What can we do in the Winter? Here are a few ideas:

1. Grow Winter Crops

‌Believe it or not, there are some great garden crops that prefer cooler weather. Some of your favorite plants can barely survive the July heat anyways, so why not grow it in the winter? Many veggies will tolerate the mild freezes we get pretty well. While you might get some superficial leaf damage the plants will usually survive and continue producing when they warm up again.

Some great winter crops are:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Onions
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Greens, like turnip, mustard, collards
  • Celeriac
  • Rutabaga
  • Strawberries
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Chard
  • Broccoli and broccoli raab


For tips on helping your garden recover from a freeze,
check out this article. For more information on what to plant, when – come into the store and pick up our Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply Garden Guides. It’s a great tool for knowing what to do and when!

2. Clean, Repair, & Replace Garden Tools

‌During the winter, your urgent garden tasks slow down a bit. It’s a great time to take stock of your tools and supplies and ensure that everything you need is clean and in good working order.

A solution of 10% bleach and water is a perfect all-purpose cleaner for tools and pots alike, and a drop of detergent goes miles to foam dirt out of textured surfaces and cracks. A bristly scrub brush is a perfect sidekick to loosen up dry dirt before washing.

Wash your gardening gloves and look for holes, and oil up mechanisms for clippers and moving parts to have all of your equipment ready for the spring when it arrives.

If there is a tool you are missing or one that you have been eyeballing for a while, shop around a bit and see if you can find what you like for a price you want to pay. Depending on your priorities you may prefer online shopping for deals, or going to a store to get a sense of what you’re buying. Coming into our store can help you determine if you like the weight and feel of the tool before purchasing – and pick up some great knowledge from our staff on the way.

3. Build New Structures

‌In my opinion, there is nothing worse than trying to build something large for the garden when it is 99 degrees outside with 100% humidity. Take advantage of the cool weather and build those garden structures now during the winter weekends. Want a new raised bed? Put it together and place it where it’s going to go, with the soil and compost too. Water deep, then cover it with black plastic so weeds don’t grow, and so the soil stays warm from the decomposition of the composted organic materials.

How about a pole bean tower or teepee? A greenhouse? A compost bin made from old pallets and chicken wire? A new trellis system for cucumbers and peas? Install hoops over your raspberries/blackberries to attach bird netting on to keep birds and squirrels out. Repair your fence around the garden to keep the dogs out. There’s so much that can be done, I can’t even list all the possibilities! Don’t get overwhelmed. Pick a priority project and pick a weekend to dedicate to it.

4. Plan Your Spring Planting‌

Spring will be here before you know it. I pass the coldest days of the year dreaming up the next season’s spring garden – complete with fresh-picked organic tomatoes and squash to be planted. When I’m planning up my spring garden I like to draw it out on graph paper and make my wish list for what I want to be growing in the spring. Next comes the balancing act of trying to make it all fit – do you need another bed or more containers? Or do some of the items on my list not make the cut?

Planning lets you optimistically dream up the next season during the cold and miserable days of winter. It also means accounting for all the supplies your grand plans for spring will need. Don’t forget the starter pots, soil, fertilizer, perlite, and transplant pots!

5. Chicken Projects

‌Do the chicken projects ever end? Not really. But it’s a labor of love. Are you thinking of expanding your flock? You might need to add on to the coop or add another coop altogether. Speaking of coops, did you know Shell’s Feed has coops that are already put together for you? Just place and play! Maybe it’s just time for a good coop scrub, repair, and re-paint. Whatever you decide to do, Winter is a good time to get those labor-intensive projects done for your fluffy-butts. It’s all so that you can play with them more when it’s warm!

I am quite sure you can find more to do in the garden than this. But if you were looking for suggestions, these are what I’ll be working on during the winter. What are you going to get up to? Tell us in the comments below. Thanks, Marissa

Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply

I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. 
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me.  The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!)  Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.

 

Garden Basics: Florida Strawberries

Garden Basics: Florida Strawberries
By Marissa

One of my favorite plants for fall here in Florida is strawberries. The tasty berries are worth the labor of love that it is to grow strawberry plants here.

What are Strawberries?
Even though strawberries themselves are commonly considered a berry or fruit, the plants are actually herbs. Regardless of classification these amazing little herbs make fruit that is many times the weight of the plant itself, often up to a half pound or pound of fruit!

#DidYouKnow #DYK Strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside of the fruit!

Strawberries in Florida – A Special Situation
When people think of strawberries here in Tampa, they think of springtime harvests, strawberry shortcake dessert, and the annual Plant City Strawberry Festival in March.

In other more northern places, strawberries are planted after the last frost in the spring to pick strawberries in June, hence the popular types of “June-bearing” plants. Down here, it’s way too hot by June for most strawberries to survive in the ground without heavy chemical intervention (and who wants that?). The same strawberries that are left in the ground year after year further north have to be taken out of the ground after they start to succumb to heat, fungus, and insects in Florida. Strawberries here are actually planted in September and October for spring harvests.

Making Great Strawberries in Your Garden
Here’s my recommendations for getting great strawberries!

  • Soil – Soil needs to drain well and should be watered every morning before intense sunshine reaches your plants. If you’re using a container, Fox Farm Strawberry Fields soil is wonderful.
  • Fertilizer – Shell’s Feed 12-12-12 for Strawberries is my favorite. It’s a natural-ingredients fertilizer created by the owner of Shell’s specifically for strawberries.
  • Amendments – Aside from fertilizers, worm castings can be added to any soil for an organic boost. Castings are available to purchase, could be in your soil if you naturally have lots of earthworms, or you can make your own with a vermiculture bin. Working in peat moss or vermiculite will give soil some loft and air. Bone Meal added around each plant and watered in really boosts foliage and flower production.
  • Sun – Strawberries like cooler days and lots of sunshine! They need 6-8 hours of sun minimum per day to thrive. If your plants are in a container, make sure they don’t get too dry on warmer days.
  • Mulch – industrial growers use landscape plastic to keep weeds at bay, which is an option. But, I truly love using straw. At the end of the season you can till it under for low effort, instant compost and aeration! No plastic in the landfill and happy soil.
  • Freeze warning – If there is an upcoming freeze in the winter months, you will need to protect your plants by keeping them dry and either covering them with freeze cover, or bringing their containers inside a covered space like a garage.

Be Mindful when Planting:

  • Planting – Do not cover the crown when planting, or the plant will die. If you bought plugs (like we sell at Shell’s Feed) plant the plug at the level of your soil. Pretty easy! We have a Strawberry Planting guide at the store, and can answer any questions.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Despite your best efforts, a few of your strawberry plants may not make it for any number of reasons. Don’t fret! Forgive yourself, and the plant, and put it in the compost so it can contribute to the greater good of the next garden.

For the rest of your strawberries, enjoy the zen experience of watering and fussing over them. It’s not that you actually love them more than your family, but what they give you in return for your devotion is so delicious, it’s hard not to spend lots of time with them. They love the doting, and so will you! Enjoy!

Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply

I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. 
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me.  The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!)  Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.

 

Container Prep for Fall Planting & Infographic

It’s nearly fall, and in Florida that means it’s about time for the bonus round – an extra growing season that our northern neighbors don’t get.  With few exceptions, we really can grow food year-round!  And many of us grow container crops.   So many things grow really well in containers that in a limited-space urban setting like Tampa, planting this way just makes sense for many gardeners.

Here’s a helpful infographic I put together today to prep for Fall Container Gardening.

As always, if you need help, advice on what to plant, or supplies for this project, feel free to stop in, ask a question in the comments below, and/or contact us.

Container Gardening Preparation

container gardening preparation

Let me know what you think about the infographic – is it helpful? Would you like another one for something else? I’m all ears!  And, they’re kinda fun to make.  🙂

Thanks,

Marissa, Director of Communications

Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply, Inc.