Home and Garden

More information: Mortgage Marketplace

Garden Variety: Add structure to landscape, garden during fall season

Patios, walls, raised garden beds, walkways and other structures within the landscape and garden provide space to enjoy the yard and move easily within it, improve aesthetics and create more favorable growing environments for plants. These structures are often referred to as hardscape. Fall is ...

Fix-it Chick: Keys to stripping wallpaper without leaving giant mess

Removing old wallpaper can dramatically improve the look and feel of any room. With the right tools and some hot water, stripping wallpaper can be a fun and rewarding project. Step 1: Peeling wallpaper is messy. Move furniture to the center of the room and cover it with dropcloths. Take down ...

Fix-It Chick: Keep problematic cricket populations under control

Several cultures believe it is good luck to have a cricket in your home, but too much of a good thing, especially crickets, can cause problems. Crickets eat vegetation, paper and cloth. Keeping the cricket population under control both in and out of your home is a good idea. Step 1: Keep ...

Garden Variety: Eliminate weeds quickly, efficiently with flame weeders

Flame weeders, also known as weed torches, garden torches and by various brand names, are a viable option for weed control in the right setting. Very simply described, they are a modified torch that allows gardeners to easily spot treat weeds growing in sidewalks, driveways, patios and other ...

Fix-it Chick: Several options to get color match with new, old concrete

Whether it’s a small patched area or a whole new addition, matching old concrete to newly poured concrete is a big challenge. Though it is nearly impossible to achieve a perfect match, there are several options that may help reduce the glaring differences between new and old concrete. Step ...

Garden Variety: Protect tree bark from occasional squirrel damage

Squirrels are generally good neighbors that occasionally become a nuisance by stripping bark from trees, snipping twigs, eating tomatoes, getting into bird feeders and participating in other minor but annoying activities. Stripping of bark from tree branches and trunks is especially problematic ...

Garden Variety: Fall weather invites return to garden with this to-do list

Cooler temperatures and shorter days are right around the corner, and the changing weather is a good time to get back into the garden. Clean up the things that have been neglected, and take advantage of good growing conditions to plant cool-season annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Here’s ...

Fix-it Chick: Casement windows need annual cleaning, lubrication

Casement windows swing open and shut using various styles of window cranks and hinge assemblies. Regardless of the window design, an annual schedule of cleaning and lubricating the moving parts of casement-style windows is an important part of keeping the windows functioning properly year ...

Fix-It Chick: Reinvigorate any room in home by regrouting dirty old tile

Regrouting old tile can add new life to any room in the house and prevent water damage to the home. Step 1: Remove any soap scum or mildew and clean the tile with a good nonresidual cleaner, such as TSP or Dirtex. Step 2: Use a carbide tip grout remover or grout saw to remove at least ...

Garden Variety: Start planting vegetables now to get fall harvest crop

Radishes, turnips, spinach, lettuce, kale, arugula, mustard and other greens can be planted from now until about mid-September in the Lawrence area for an easy and delicious fall crop. Find a space that is in the sun for at least half the day — full sun all day is best. If you live in an ...

Garden Variety: Repair broken garden tools, avoid costly replacement

The crack of a shovel handle is a disheartening sound, usually heard when the digging is hard and a shovel is being used to pry rather than dig. As long as the damage is to the wooden handle rather than the blade of the shovel, that handle can generally be replaced for a fraction of the price ...

Indoor greenhouses make growing plants easy

You don’t need a green thumb to grow vegetables indoors. On the contrary, there are plenty of indoor greenhouses that take the work out of growing plants, from the amount of water they get to the right dosage of light. One of these indoor greenhouses — or automated growing systems, as ...

Fix-It Chick: Repoint damaged mortar joints to save brick, stone structures

A fresh coat of paint on your home’s front door can enhance both the mood and the value of the property. Step 1: Consider the surrounding area and adjacent colors when choosing a color for the door. A front door should complement the design of the house while expressing the mood of its ...

Garden Variety: Native grasses are low-maintenance landscape options

Little bluestem, prairie dropseed, Indian grass and other native ornamental grasses are good options for the Kansas landscape because of their drought tolerance, resistance to pests and overall low maintenance requirements. Most varieties are blooming now or will be in the next few weeks. ...

Garden Variety: Master Gardener program accepting trainees

The Douglas County Extension Master Gardener program is seeking applicants for another class of trained volunteers to join the 200-member organization. Gardening experience is unnecessary, but applicants should have an interest in gardening and sharing what they learn with others in the ...

Fix-It Chick: Repoint damaged mortar joints to save brick, stone structures

Avoid costly damage to brick or stone structures by repointing loose, cracked or crumbling mortar. Step 1: Use a cold chisel and a hammer to clean out the mortar joint to be repaired. Place the chisel next to the brick or stone and angle it toward the center of the joint before striking it ...

Garden Variety: Even in droughts, watering should be deep yet infrequent

Plants wilt when they need water, but they also wilt when they have too much. The former is more likely in the Lawrence area right now, especially with recent high temperatures and the ongoing severe drought in much of northeast Kansas. But, despite the heat and drought, if you are dragging the ...

Fix-It Chick: Replace wax ring around toilet bowl if water, smell starts to seep

If water is seeping out from beneath the toilet bowl or there is a faint smell of sewer gas in the bathroom, it is definitely time to replace the toilet bowl wax ring. Step 1: Remove the tank lid and place it in a safe spot. Lay a few towels on the floor to set the toilet on once it has been ...

Garden Variety: Stinkbugs damage plants, remain pesky for gardeners

Stinkbugs are dime-sized, shield-shaped, green and brown insects that damage fruits, vegetables and other desirable plants when they feed on them. The insects are prevalent in gardens right now in northeastern Kansas and will be around until freezing temperatures arrive. Damage to fruits, ...

Fix-It Chick: Save money on watering garden by installing rain barrel

Keeping a garden watered can be expensive. Assuming it will rain at some point in time, installing a rain barrel is a great way to save money. For every inch of rainfall, a roof collects approximately .56 inches of rain per square foot of surface area. That means a 1,000-square-foot roof can ...