Hometown Lawrence: Real estate news, home news, Town Talk

Garden Variety: Soil depth at base of trees key for long-term health

Trees with soil or mulch piled around the bases of their trunks exhibit symptoms of stress and have shorter life spans than trees that are planted and maintained at the proper depth.

Fix-It Chick: Tips for protecting a wood deck or fence using stain, finish

Wooden decks and fences last longer if they are protected with a stain or oil finish. Pressure treated lumber should not be treated with anything until after it has aged a full year. Cedar wood does not need to be treated at all. Regular maintenance of wooden decks and fences is the best way to prolong the life of your investment.

Garden Variety: Spotting different traits in 2 types of locust trees

Black locust is sometimes confused with honey locust because of the name, but the two trees have many different attributes.

Fix-It Chick: Cleaning tips to make outside deck look brand new

Outdoor living areas need spring cleaning, too. Now is the perfect time to give that old wooden deck an easy face-lift with some good old elbow grease and a little deck cleaning solution.

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Garden Variety: Watch for diseases when planting popular hostas

Although Hosta plants have few pest problems, the plants are susceptible to a disease known as Hosta Virus X (HVX) and gardeners should be on the lookout for it.

Fix-It Chick: Replace old dishwasher with new, updated model in 12 steps

Replacing an old dishwasher with a new updated model is a project most homeowners can tackle on their own.

Fix-It Chick: Resurface brick walkway, patio

Brick walkways and patios are timeless, durable additions to any home, but over time the joints between the bricks can become compromised. Brick walkway or patio mortar joints need to be almost level with the brick tops to avoid water damage, as well as to deter unwanted plant growth. Repairing the mortar joints between walkway or patio bricks is easier than you think.

Garden Variety: Hummingbirds make return after winter migration

Ruby-throated hummingbirds, the only hummingbird species common in Kansas, are making their way back to the area after their annual journey to Mexico and the tropics for the winter. If you are interested in attracting these beauties to your yard, now is the time to add flowers and plants as well as feeders to provide habitat and food for the birds.

Garden Variety: Wild growth of Callery pears concerns conservationists

Callery pear trees are easy to spot this time of year in the landscape, on roadsides and in unmanaged pastures. In recent years, the number of Callery pears growing wild is starting to concern conservationists and land managers in some regions in the U.S., including Kansas.

Fix-It Chick: Replace trailer light plug end in 11 quick, easy steps

Replacing a worn-out four-wire trailer plug is a quick and easy job.

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Lawrence Home Builders showing something for all buyers in annual Spring Parade of Homes

Lawrence Home Builders Association will have its annual Spring Parade of Homes the next two weekends to show off what is on the market in the community and the latest trends in home construction.

Garden Variety: Upcoming Garden Show offers education, expertise

Next Saturday, April 28, the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners are sponsoring a one-day educational Garden Show to celebrate spring and share their expertise. This free event is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence.

Fix-It Chick: Replace a classic deadbolt lock with electronic version

Replacing an existing deadbolt with an electronic deadbolt can eliminate the need for house keys and make getting into your home easier for those who you want to let in.

Fix-It Chick: Several Shark Tank products useful, worth investment

Shark Tank is a reality television show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to wealthy investors. Not all products are worthy of investment, and not all investments turn out to be for worthy products, but here are six successful Shark Tank products that are worthy of your investment.

Garden Variety: Spring has truly arrived late for gardeners in Midwest

If it seems like spring is a little behind schedule for its arrival in northeast Kansas this year, you are correct. According to the USA National Phenology Network (NPN), signs of spring are one to two weeks behind their regular appearances across much of the Midwest and Great Plains.

Town Talk

Plan falls through for local group to purchase former Journal-World printing plant, develop downtown conference center

A plan for a local development group to buy the former Journal-World printing plant at the northern entrance to downtown and eventually win city approval ...

Town Talk

New neighborhood retail center developing in west Lawrence, seeking to attract local restaurants

Think of the type of businesses that may want to locate next to one of the larger apartment complex areas in Lawrence. (Back in my ...

Town Talk

Latest report shows Lawrence residents saw their incomes grow, but city still has less money than surrounding communities

I usually measure personal income levels by checking my pantry to see whether we have one jar of peanut butter or two. (When the market ...

Town Talk

Looking at what may be next now that voters have rejected new sales tax for jail, mental health improvements

It has been almost a week since the countywide sales tax election was rejected by voters 53 percent to 47 percent. I figure that is ...

Town Talk

New curio shop opens on south Massachusetts Street with everything from collectibles to shrunken heads

Maybe the sequel to “Driving Miss Daisy” will take place in Lawrence with my F150. A new vintage shop on south Massachusetts Street could make ...