Home and Garden

More information: Mortgage Marketplace

Garden Variety: Repeated use of salt-based ice melt can hurt plants

The Lawrence area has already experienced two winter precipitation events this year that have warranted the use of de-icers to keep roads and sidewalks safe for travelers. Although necessary in many instances, de-icers can be detrimental to plants, especially when used repeatedly over the ...

Garden Variety: Birds need help with water during dry, cold weather

Birds depend on water for survival, and Kansas’ typically dry winters can make it hard for them to find what they need. You can help year-round resident birds by setting up a winter-safe birdbath, heated dish or other water source to provide the water they need throughout the winter. In ...

Garden Variety: Multiple ways to clear lawn, recycle autumn leaves

Deciduous trees put on a glorious show of color this fall in the Midwest, but now they are fading and dropping their leaves in their final preparation for the arrival of winter. As welcome of a sight as the fallen leaves are for some, they can also be a hassle when it comes to maintaining the ...

Garden Variety: Time to clean, sharpen garden tools

Shovels, rakes, pruners and other garden tools are essential for completing many of the tasks associated with gardening. Caring for them by cleaning, sharpening and applying a protectant extends the life and ensures they remain in top-notch shape for years to come. This fall, as the gardening ...

Garden Variety: Protect soil with organic matter

Fall is a good time to amend soil in existing landscape and garden beds and prepare new beds for planting. The type of soil typically found in yards in the Lawrence area could definitely use improvement before planting to get plants off to a good start. Established beds also need attention from ...

Garden Variety: Traps, minimizing entry points key to keeping pests out

Fall’s cooler temperatures and shorter days have many creatures preparing for winter and spending more time indoors. Unfortunately, that means some of them are hoping to move into your house for shelter, especially mice, spiders and a variety of insects. The next few weeks are a good time to ...

Homes: A look at a unique East Lawrence house with 54 windows

Designing a beautiful home does not need to be difficult. The tall one-story, open-floor home of Tami and Mike Nevels shows how. The construction for their sleek three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home in East Lawrence finished in the fall of 2017, with the Nevels moving in last September, ...

Garden Variety: Plant garlic in the fall for a summer harvest

Garlic is easy to grow and requires only a little space and care. It performs best when planted in late September to mid-October in Kansas and other places with seasonal temperature changes, so now is the time. Bulbs will be ready for harvest next year in late spring to midsummer depending on ...

Garden Variety: Kaw Valley Farm Tour coming up

Next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, is the 14th annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour, featuring 33 farms in northeast Kansas. Visit one farm or several — the tour is open house-style, so tourgoers can come and go as they please during the designated hours. This annual fall event is a great ...

Garden Variety: Start of fall brings acorns

Acorns are beginning to shed from oak trees with fall’s arrival in the Midwest. To some, the acorns are a welcome sign of cooler days to come and can even provide entertainment by attracting wildlife. To others, acorns are a nuisance as they fall on roofs, fill gutters, cover the lawn and ...

Fix-It Chick: Choosing the right sheen

Paints and polyurethanes come in a variety of finishes from glossy to matte. Understanding a little about the shine, or lack thereof, can help inform decorating decisions. • When using paint or polyurethane, keep the product well mixed throughout the application. Polyurethane’s natural ...

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 ...