Learning to Garden with Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nursery


It's week three of our new, weekly gardening column. Throughout quarantine, we hope these Q&As are helping you get started planting that backyard you always dreamed of. And for those already getting their hands dirty, perhaps you have questions you’d like cleared up to keep your garden in tip-top shape during self-isolation.

Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nursery started the nursery in her own backyard in Bayshore Gardens. As the family business began to grow, so did its facility. Now situated out in Old Myakka, her and her family have been working bringing beauty to backyards for close to 30 years now. Kathy will be providing useful tips and expert advice to share each week, as a new question will be posed to enhance your green thumb evolution. 

SRQ: I’m torn between growing a longan and a lychee tree—my husband and I love both fruits. I’m not great at a plant that needs lots of maintenance and we don’t have a ton of room. Which do you think would be best and where in the yard would it be happiest?  
Kathy: Very good question, especially now with all the disease going on with the lychee tree.  At our nursery, we do not have a problem, as we are organic and spray our trees with Atomic Grow. We had to stop selling lychee trees for three months, as the nursery we purchased them from had a new disease on them. So I sprayed the trees with our product and when they came back to check, mine were released.  Since then, the disease has spread all over Florida—making it very hard to find them. If you have trees in your yard, I would suggest you get some of the products to protect them.  Lychee trees need to be in full sun—the only part of the tree that will have fruit is in the sun. We also have longan trees that are not being affected by this new bug.  The fruit is similar to lychee and is gold in color, instead of red.  Any tree can be kept at 15 ft. because it can take a hurricane-force wind—larger growing trees usually go over in a storm. Between the two trees, I would say the longan tree is less finicky in taking care of it.  A lychee tree can pout for a year if you disturb some of its tiny roots. To spray or not to spray is the question, as it would be something you would have to do to keep your lychee alive.
If you have a particular gardening question you'd like answered and featured in a future column, email SRQDailyGardening@srqme.com

Photo courtesy of Crowley Nursery, 16423 Jomar Road Sarasota, 941-322-0315.

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