The Dirt – It’s Not Easy Being Not-Green

It's Not Easy Being Not-Green

We unloaded a big delivery of houseplants the last day of December.

Besides being the last day of the month and the last day of the year, it was also the last day of a long run of mild weather… not typical for our first stretch of winter. Of course, as you may recall, all that changed overnight.

The next morning brought us a new month, a New Year, and new weather. It was cold, icy and snowy. Winter had finally arrived.

And that pretty much put an end to outdoor gardening activities for a while.

But back at the shop, that end of the year houseplant delivery had filled our store with all kinds of green wonders. It was lush, and it was beautiful!

I started each morning with a bitter walk through an icy parking lot, fighting the bite of the north wind as I made my way to the front door. But, once I stepped inside… I entered a tropical paradise. Not a bad place to work!

It didn’t take very long for the combination of winter gloom and green foliage to work it’s magic on me.

I think I’m now up to ten new houseplants at home!

It’s funny, because I wasn’t planning on adding any, but walking by them every day, well… eventually, they just kind of invited themselves home!

I added Hoyas, Philodendrons, Peperomias, Sansevierias and an awesome looking Monstera deliciosa… those are so cool!

They’ve all settled in and look right at home with all the rest.

But now, my wife said I have to stop! Oh, well!

Winters can be tough on gardeners. I know they are for me. But playing around with my houseplants has been a nice “green” fix to help me through those cold, dreary days.

And, they might help you, too.

So, if you find yourself staring out the window, dreaming about the colorful landscapes still a winter away, come on by. You might just find a few new houseplants to help you, too.

Hang in there. It will be spring soon!

– Cameron Rees

The Many Species of Philoendron

Did you know that there are more than 400 different species of Philodendron?!

I find that quite intriguing! What is crazier is that it comes in second behind Anthurium!

The name Philodendron comes from the Greek words philo – “love, affection” and dendron or “tree”. With so many types available the growth habit is also very diverse. Philodendron can grow up, out and down! They also have both arial and subterranean roots.

Arial roots can be found mostly where the leaf attaches itself. Arial roots allow the plant to attach itself to trees or other plant and allows it to collect water and nutrients. Subterranean roots make their way downward into the soil.

Philodendrons grow best in bright, indirect light, but will tolerate low light levels. And, with the vast array of species, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs!

– Misty Brown

"Thymely" Advice... Garden Seed, Anyone?

How was your vegetable garden last year?  Did everything happen exactly like you planned? 

Well, cheers to you if that was the case! 

If you were like me, I had visions all winter of all the cool veggies and herbs I would grow all spring and summer, but when the time came to get everything organized and planted I was scrambling to get what I could in the ground.  

We know that timing and planning are two of the most important ingredients to a successful garden.  While it might seem way too chilly to be doing too much outside right now,  it is a great time to start strategizing for this year’s approach to your garden. 

So, even though I was scrambling a little bit to get stuff planted, I do take pride in the fact that more than 75% of what I planted last year I started from seed.  

Some things like greens, beets and peas were direct seeded into the ground, but broccoli and cauliflower I started inside and transplanted into my garden. 

Have you ever started seeds? Here are 5 reasons you should:

  1. Selection– You have more choices! Skinner’s offers way more seed varieties than plant varieties.
  2. More bang for your buck. You can often get 10-20 plants (or even more!) from seed for the price of 1 plant.
  3. Quality Control. You control how it was grown and treated before transplanting.
  4. Head Start– Your plants will be ready when you are ready, not when the store receives them.
  5. It’s FUN!-  Enjoy the connection from where your food starts and how it tastes, and everything in between.  Plus, it’s something you can start while it’s still cold outside!

We are not too far away from the time when we can get some of these guys started.  I know that sounds crazy as cold as it’s been, but it’s true. 

Knowing when to plant a particular variety is crucial to its success. 

The K State Research and Extension office has a Vegetable Garden Planner available for free on their website: (  We find this to be a very helpful tool for planning your garden. 

We have tons of new 2022 seed in stock right now from Botanical Interest and Hudson Valley Seeds, as well as more than 25 popular garden seeds in bulk bags! 

We have seed starting mixes and seed trays and just about everything you need to get your garden planned and growing!

Feel free to stop by the garden center with any questions or suggestions you may have, as we love to visit about all things gardening!

– Mike Ray

Garden Goals - What's Going to be Different this Year?

What are your garden goals for 2022? 

  • Is this the year that you’re going to start a veggie garden or a berry patch? 
  • Have you been working out in your mind all of the color you’d like to see in your flower beds this year?
  • Are you looking for that perfect specimen tree for your front yard?

This is a perfect time of the year to slow down and think about what you would like to see different at your house. What are you looking to change or shake up a bit?

Regardless of what your goals are, or even if you haven’t even thought about this year’s goals, don’t worry!  We are here to help!  

Whether you are looking for a landscape plan drawn up for you or you just need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, we’ve got you! 

As early orders start rolling into the store weekly, we are here processing all the new stuff and could sure use a break to talk about gardening, so…

Come see us! Let’s start talking about your goals for the coming year!


Sign up to receive The "Dirt" by email.