Greetings! It has been a while since I updated my website or my Ms. Grow-It-All® Facebook page, but I’m back at it and I’m happy to announce that I have joined the Esposito Garden Center team! It is truly a dream job. I’ll be working Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, helping customers select the right plants for their garden and landscape needs. Got a spot in your yard that you’d like some help with? Bring a photo and we’ll solve it together.

Many of you are telecommuting or otherwise working from home as a precaution during this coronavirus pandemic, or you’re taking time off to spend with your children who are out of school. Now is a great time to get out in the yard and do some sprucing. Start a vegetable garden with your kids. Plant warm weather perennials and annuals. We have a great selection of herbs, vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees. Our gardens are spacious – plenty of room to walk around safely, enjoy this gorgeous weather and get some fresh air.

I’ll get into details about other things I’ll be doing in a future blog post, but right now I want to share some information about the steps being taken at Esposito’s to ensure the health, safety and well-being of customers and employees alike.

  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the store.
  • Carts are being wiped down as they are returned.
  • Restrooms are thoroughly sanitized before the store opens each day, top to bottom, and surfaces are being wiped down frequently throughout the day.
  • Cashiers are wearing gloves.
  • Tape has been placed on the floor throughout the store indicating 6-foot intervals, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for social distancing. Staff members are politely but diligently reminding customers to practice social distancing.
  • Curbside pickup and delivery are available if you are practicing self-quarantine.
  • The staff is able, willing and ready to assist you, and we can do that while keeping the recommended distance. For the time being, we won’t be shaking hands or hugging, which is a hard habit for some of us to break. But we’re all in this together. If we all follow the recommended protocols, we’ll get through this together.  

There was a man on television news earlier this week wearing a giant doughnut around his waist, something like an oversized pool float that extended three feet all around him. If everyone wore one of those, getting closer than 6 feet wouldn’t be possible. I’m not advocating we all wear giant doughnuts, but it did serve as an effective visual aid as to what constitutes a 6-foot gap.

Come see us at Esposito’s. And if you’re wearing a giant doughnut, it’s OK.

If your garden is looking a little tired, particularly in the late-summer heat, add fall chrysanthemums to bring a pop of color. These tender perennials, commonly known as mums, are easy to grow and come in a variety of colors, as well as different flower shapes, with the daisy shape or the pompon shape being the most common.

Local garden centers are well-stocked right now and the blooms will last until frost.

Interviewed by Ralph Esposito

March 18, 2020

Check out my Facebook Live interview with Ralph Esposito last Saturday. So happy to be part of the Esposito family!

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Indian Hawthorn Needs Sun To Thrive

April 6, 2016

Q: We have an Indian hawthorn that produces beautiful clumps of pink flowers, but it is a very thin/spindly plant with growth only at the tips and lots of bare branches. No one seems to be able to answer one question: Is it ok to prune an Indian Hawthorne back as I do with other […]

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Try different varieties of common herbs

June 22, 2015

  Basil and oregano are great additions to the garden and to the kitchen, and there are multiple varieties of each herb to try. Greek oregano is the most common for cooking, but you can also try Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican oregano. Greek oregano is perennial in our area (USDA zone 8b) but the […]

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Wait to remove cold-damage from plants

February 26, 2014

With the warm weather we’ve had in Tallahassee and the Big Bend the past few days, it’s tempting to get outside and start trimming the foliage damage from the freezes we’ve had this winter. But don’t do it just yet. Those brown, dead fronds and leaves actually help protect the crown of the plant from […]

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Two great garden events this weekend

May 2, 2013

Gardeners have two special events in the region this weekend: the Apalachicola Home and Garden Symposium and Tour on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, and the Tallahassee Area Rose Society tour of rose gardens on Sunday afternoon, May 5. Admission costs vary to the different events in Apalachicola, including the Friday luncheon featuring […]

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Going all ‘Darth Vader’ on the squirrels

November 13, 2012

Squirrels are cute little critters, scampering about the yard, chasing each other, gathering acorns and other nuts to stash them for the winter. They’re also destructive little devils, digging up the bulbs you carefully planted, poking holes in your lawn, chewing the wooden trim on your porch. A big part of the problem is over-development, […]

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First cold snap arrives; protect tender plants

October 29, 2012

The first cold spell of fall has arrived in the Tallahassee/Big Bend/Eastern Florida Panhandle region, and while it is not expected to freeze, the low temperatures forecast for tonight (37 degrees F., according to WFSU-FM) could damage tender plants left unprotected outdoors. If you have potted Christmas cacti that you’ve left outdoors since March, which […]

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Don’t forget to water your garden

October 12, 2012

Temperatures have dropped — it’s downright pleasant getting out into the garden these days — so your plants are not as stressed by heat as they were during the “dog days” of summer. But they still need water. Your plants won’t speak as loudly when they ask for water as they did during hotter weather […]

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