Now that spring is in the air, families looking for a chance to enjoy some wholesome outdoor activities together might want to consider gardening. Whether it’s just to grow pretty flowers or to put fresh vegetables on the dinner table with flavor that “store-bought” can’t beat, it’s a lot of fun to watch things grow. With a little help from some experts, even beginners can get the double benefit of healthy exercise and healthier food from their own backyard.
University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Hillsborough County
5339 County Road, Suite 579
Seffner, FL 33584
Operated in cooperation with the University of Florida, the Hillsborough County Extension Office is the perfect place for beginning gardeners to get started. The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden offers examples of the many types of garden designs and plants that do well in Tampa Bay soil as well as the non-plant items that can make a garden an integral part of your home, such as trellises, paving and lighting. The garden demonstrates nine key principles that should be integrated into every Florida garden such as putting the right plants in the right place, watering efficiently and fertilizing only as needed. Located in Seffner, the Extension office is only a half mile off Interstate 4’s exit 10. The extension staff members are knowledgeable, friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help everyone from beginners to commercial growers get the best results for their efforts.
10305 N. Henderson Road
Tampa, FL 33625
Family owned and operated greenhouse nursery. The beautiful nursery is centrally located within the city of Tampa, between Westchase and Carrollwood; right off of Linebaugh and Henderson Road. The nursery is dedicated to providing good-quality service to customers. You can find rare and exotic plants and trees. If they don’t have what you want, they can place an order to find the plant or tree for you. On the premises you will also find an organic farmers market, horses and other farm animals. Whether you need plants, trees, mulch, organic dirt mixed on premises, fertilizer or organic fruits and vegetable; this is a great place to visit with the family!
Annie’s Garden Shed
100 4th Ave. N.W.
Lutz, FL 33548
Located right across the railroad tracks off U.S. 41 just north of the split with Business 41 and Florida Avenue in the heart of beautiful downtown Lutz, Annie’s Garden Shed has everything you need to get your garden started. Whether you need seeds, fertilizer or mulch, Annie’s has it for you. Perhaps even more important, Annie herself presides over the operation offering a friendly greeting to first-time visitors and pleasant advice for novice gardeners.
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853 E. Lake Road
Tarpon Springs, FL 34688
Would-be gardeners or veteran green thumbs will find all the fixings they need for a great Florida garden at Landmark Nursery just south of Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs. Any good gardening store will feature a friendly and knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and steer you in the right direction, and Landmark is no exception. However, the nursery’s website goes a step further with an active blog that provides articles about relevant subjects such as how gardeners should deal with the flooding that goes along with our occasional brushes with tropical weather systems or how to decide how much water your plants need.
Gulf Coast Garden Center
4355 Haines Road
St. Petersburg, FL 33714
One advantage of dealing with a specialty garden shop instead of a big box megastore is that you can count on it for more than just selling whatever product you ask for and sending you on your way. Located in the Kenneth City area of Pinellas County, Gulf Coast Garden Center prides itself on helping customers long after they’ve made their purchases. The shop’s website touts the staff’s willingness to share its knowledge and offer expert tips to make any garden special. There is also a wide selection of accessories such as pond plants, propane and wood supplies.
Ob Sod Garden Center
2529 W. Columbus Drive
Tampa, FL 33607
A good garden without a good lawn is almost an oxymoron. If you only want to plant a garden, the staff at Ob Sod Garden Center in the heart of South Tampa can help you do that. But if you also need to upgrade your lawn, Ob Sod has the expertise to help. The Ob Sod Garden Center carries a wide variety of grasses that are perfect for any soil or shade condition. But don’t let that fool you: the Ob Sod crew can help with you anything from a window box garden to a full backyard, while helping you landscape your front yard into a living work of art.
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