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Fix-It Chick: Patching a tubeless tire

At some point in time, it seems every car tire will eventually wind up with some foreign object stuck into the tire tread. Even if the tire does not immediately start leaking air from the puncture wound, the offending object will compromise passenger safety and ultimately cause irreparable ...

Garden Variety: Winter ideal to replicate woody plants with cuttings

Late fall and early winter is the best time to take hardwood cuttings of certain woody plants (shrubs, vines and trees) to create replicas of them. This propagation method is especially useful for established desirable shrubs of unknown variety such as an old viburnum planted by a previous ...

Garden Variety: Cleaning houseplants and other tips for winter care

Plants kept indoors, whether they are indoors all year long or only inside during winter, need care like any other plant. And even though temperatures change less indoors than they do out, there are changes in light intensity, light duration and humidity that can stress plants. As winter ...

Garden Variety: Uncommon trees add subtle color to winter garden

When selecting plants to add winter interest in the garden, consider using trees and shrubs with interesting bark and/or branches to add subtle color and texture. Lacebark elm and river birch are probably the most common additions, with peeling, highly-textured bark, and red-twig dogwoods get ...

Garden Variety: Colorful fruit creates late season interest in garden

Many landscapes and gardens look a little blah right now, with faded flowers and fallen foliage. Carefully planned gardens still have a few shining stars however, usually in the form of brightly colored fruit or interesting seedheads, bark, or branch structure. Fruit in particular can be ...

Home & Garden: Courtyards getting a new look

The trend toward outdoor living, which uses comfy seating, bright rugs and weatherproof art to extend the al fresco season at home, is bringing new attention to a centuries-old architectural feature: the courtyard.“It’s the original outdoor room,” said Philip Weddle, principal architect ...

Garden Variety: Fall care key to creating a healthy lawn

Healthy lawns reduce erosion, slow and reduce stormwater runoff, filter pollutants, provide a cushioned surface for play, and create a frame for the landscape. Turfgrasses — the thick, mowable grasses that make the best lawns — need care though. Fall is the best time to give them attention, ...

Garden Variety: Midsummer leaf spots may be signs of rust disease

Brown spots that become especially noticeable in midsummer on leaves and stems of fruiting and ornamental plants may be caused by certain kinds of plant pathogenic fungi known as rusts. Apple trees, asters, daylilies, hawthorns, hollyhocks, pear trees (fruiting and ornamental), ornamental ...

Garden Variety: Japanese beetle making itself at home

The number of Japanese beetles in the Lawrence area and much of northeast Kansas is bigger than ever this year. The beetles have been in the area for a few decades but mostly in isolated populations or low enough numbers that seeing one was a somewhat rare occurrence. This year, the population ...

Fix-It Chick: Be sure to choose the right paintbrush

Having the right tools will make any job easier. Having the right paintbrush will make the job easier and smoother.l For oil-based paints and finishes, choose a natural bristle brush, such as a camel hair or china bristle brush. The split ends of the natural bristles are great for picking up ...

Garden Variety: Planting a mosquito-repelling garden

Can your garden repel mosquitoes?Lemon thyme, marigolds, lavender, scented geraniums, and a number of other plants are often touted as having mosquito-repelling properties. You might notice them in the garden center with tags claiming “natural mosquito repellent” or “keeps mosquitoes ...

Natural dye gardens easy, inexpensive

As interest in eco-friendly products and methods grows, it’s no surprise that many artists and other creative types are planting natural dye gardens.Low-cost and easy to grow, dye gardens can be planted just about anywhere. Over the centuries, popular plants used for dyes included indigo, ...

Garden Variety: Garden space limited? Try going vertical

Gardeners with limited space can grow more plants by using trellises and other supports, planting in upright or stacking containers, or by hanging containers from a wall. Creative gardeners plant in everything from upright pallets to over-the-door pocket shoe holders to deep picture frames.To ...

Garden Variety: Aphids invade plants in spring

Early spring is a time when many species of aphids are present in the natural world and may begin feeding on plants in the yard and garden. Aphids are small soft-bodied insects that reproduce quickly and damage plants by sucking sap out of leaf and stem tissue.Aphids vary slightly in size, with ...

Lawrence Home Show kicks off Friday

Visitors can expect “everything from the front door to the backyard” at this weekend’s Lawrence Home Show, once again hosted by the Lawrence Home Builders Association at the Crown Toyota Pavilion, 3430 Iowa St. That’s how LHBA executive director Bobbie Flory describes the 17th annual ...

Garden Variety: Caring for holiday gift plants

Poinsettias, Norfolk Island pines, a variety of succulents and air plants are popping up all over holiday retail displays, and you might be thinking about buying one as a gift or for a special treat to yourself. These and other indoor plants provide many benefits besides looking pretty, ...

Garden Variety: Fall care for your lawn — mow or no?

Gardeners have a long-standing debate about whether to mow or let the lawn grow tall in late fall in the Midwest. If you want a healthy, early-greening lawn in the spring, researchers agree that mowing as long as grass is actively growing is the best bet. However, low-maintenance gardeners who ...

Garden Variety: Fall is the best time to fight weeds

This fall’s mild weather is giving gardeners a little extra time to wrap up the year’s chores, including taking care of unwanted plants such as bindweed, poison ivy, wild carrot, dandelion and others. Fall is truly the best time to control perennial and biennial weeds because it is the time ...

Garden Variety: There’s still time to plant spring bulbs

Remember last spring when you were admiring the brilliant colors of tulips and daffodils and basking in the fragrance of hyacinths? Fall is the time to add these spring-flowering beauties to the garden, and there is still plenty of time for planting before winter arrives in the Lawrence ...

Fix-It Chick: Properly ventilate your home to maintain air quality

Home ventilation refers to the exchange of indoor air with fresh outdoor air. While heating and cooling systems change the temperature of the indoor air, proper home ventilation systems maintain the quality of the air in a home.Step 1: Seal up cracks and crevices around the home. Air leaking ...