The Dirt – Better Late Than Never

Better Late Than Never

Cancelled.

That’s not a word anyone looks forward to hearing when travelling, but unfortunately, that was the word-of-the-day for Brian and I this past week.

The two of us were coming back from a garden center conference in Milwaukee, WI. It was a good time and Milwaukee was nice, but we were both anxious to get home. A direct flight there or back was not an option. On the way up we traveled through St. Louis. Our return trip brought us home through Dallas.

Unfortunately, stormy weather was routing its way through Dallas the same day.

Things didn’t look too bad when we arrived, but as we waited for our connecting flight in KC, the clouds got darker, things started looking ominous, and lightning began firing from the sky. It was obvious there were going to be problems… and there were.

First, incoming flights were delayed. For a while, they circled overhead, waiting for the weather to break enough to allow them to sneak in. It didn’t. Eventually, with no chance for landing, flights had to be rerouted to alternate airports… and the list of incoming flight cancellations began.

From there, it was a domino effect.

With new flights coming in, there were no planes and no crew for outbound flights. Soon the outbound cancellations joined the inbound cancellations, and the board was covered with bright red “CANCELLED” posts next to most of the flights – ours included.

The rest of the day was a hurry-up-and-wait exercise. Changing routes, changing departure times, changing gates… A new announcement would come out, and a herd of people would make their way to a new gate only be changed again a short while later.  All afternoon and into the evening a steady line of travelers waited patiently at all of the ticket counters, trying desperately to get some answers and find a way home. And, in the waiting areas, chairs were filled with tired, but hopeful, travelers.

By late evening, the storms moved out the area and planes began arriving again. Little by little, the crowd of waiting passengers began to load up and leave, and – fortunately – we were two of them.

It was 3:00 in the morning when we pulled into the driveway. We were good and tired, but we were glad to be home… finally!

It wasn’t an ideal day, but my hat is off to the folks at Southwest Airlines for handling a crappy situation; pushing through it and doing their best to get us all to our final destination. Despite the long lines of less-than-happy travelers, they kept a positive attitude and pleasant demeanor throughout. I’m sure that was no easy feat, but they got it done.

Anyway, we’re home now, and I’m glad. Thank you Southwest for getting us back!

Now it’s back to work.

 – Cam

Wednesday was a bad day for a lot of travelers in Dallas…

Cameron Rees, General Manager

New Fountain Shipment

Fall’s Approaching - Time to Plant Veggies!!!

It’s that time of year again, fall veggie plantin’ time!

Now is the time to get your veggie gardens cleaned up and fall veggies planted. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and lettuce can be planted now! Other veggies to consider would be radishes, spinach, turnips, mustard and other greens. Fall is also a great time to put in some fresh herbs like basil, thyme, mint and oregano – just to name a few.

Stop in to Skinner’s to pick out your selections!

Misty Brown, Lath House Manager

Spreader Sticker: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Maybe you’ve seen it on the shelf before. Maybe you’ve heard us recommend it. Or, maybe you’ve read about it somewhere. It’s something you should be using.

Spreader Sticker.

But what the heck is it, and why should you be using it?

Spreader Sticker is a spray additive. It’s used in conjunction with most insect controls, most disease controls, and a lot of herbicides that you mix up to apply. It does two important things when added into those spray mixes: it helps the sprays spread or sheet more effectively over waxy leaf surfaces, and it helps those sprays adhere more tightly to that same foliage once it’s dry. That means the initial application gets applied more effectively and long-term, and it holds up better through rain events.

Another way to think about it is like this… It doesn’t do the work, but it does help get the work done more effectively.

I like to explain it like adding salt to a recipe. Salt isn’t the main ingredient, but its presence tends to make everything else taste better. In a somewhat similar way, Spreader Sticker works a supporting role in sprays, helping the active ingredients work in better.

Some folks will use a little bit of dish soap to achieve some of the same effects. Although that can enhance the ability of a spray to cover waxy leaves, dish soap also tends to foam badly when shaking and mixing, and it can contain additional ingredients that can potentially burn tender foliage. I don’t recommend it. And, it doesn’t address the resistance-to-rain part of the equation.

We keep plenty of Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker on hand and you’ll hear us recommending it a lot. I keep a bottle in my garage as well, using it with almost everything I spray. But I always check the label of the product I’m using first, making sure that’s the right thing to do.

That’s because there are some products it shouldn’t be combined with, like the Fertilome Weed-Free Zone, for example. It can increase the effectiveness of that herbicide so much that you can end up with off-target damage. Mistakenly add it to a batch and you may end up with dead weeds… and dead grass, too! The same is true for the Fertilome Weed-Out with Nutsedge Control. That’s why it’s so important to read the label.

We’re always happy to answer product questions, but I always remind folks not to just rely on the answers we give them. All the important mixing and application information is on the label in black and white. Read them and don’t just rely on what you remember from a previous conversation.

-Cameron Rees