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

Garden Variety: Celebrate National Pollinator Week with friendly gardens

Kansas is one of at least 44 states celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 18-24.

Fix-It Chick: Install flush mount fixture

Update to a recessed-light look without the hassle of actually installing a recessed light by replacing an existing light fixture with a new LED flush mount fixture.

Garden Variety: Prune tomato plants to maximize garden production

Tomatoes are a favorite in Kansas gardens, and gardeners are always looking for ways to get the earliest, largest and best-tasting fruit while fighting the weather and at least a dozen common pests. One beneficial practice with which some tomato gardeners may be unfamiliar is pruning.

Fix-it Chick: Mitigate carpenter bee damage to homes, other wood structures

Carpenter bees are harmless creatures, except for their habit of boring half-inch-wide tunnels into exposed wood on homes and other structures.

Garden Variety: Figuring out the best time to prune specific shrubs

Shrubs respond best to pruning when the act is performed at certain times of year, but when that time occurs varies with plant species and locale. How do you know when to prune what you have, and what is the best method to use? Follow these general rules for landscapes in the Midwest.

Fix-It Chick: Fixing an outdoor spigot that drips

A dripping outdoor water spigot can be annoying as well as costly. A screwdriver and a few inexpensive parts may save you from replacing the whole faucet.

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.

Town Talk

Mexican restaurant to close, but comfort food spot to take its place

Out with fancy Mexican food and in with something called a Midwest kitchen and bar. Downtown Lawrence’s Port Fonda has announced it soon will close, ...

Town Talk

Lawrence bar and restaurant reopens after death of its owner and founder

The Slow Ride Roadhouse is on the road to recovery after tragedy. The North Lawrence bar and restaurant has reopened following the death of its ...

Town Talk

Downtown business steps up to organize new July 4 celebration, with promise of larger fireworks show

As someone who has thrown a few parties, Mike Logan, owner of The Granada, knows that increasing the fireworks budget is never a bad plan. ...

Town Talk

Another specialty retail store set to close in downtown, and another owner laments changes on Mass. Street

I can attest that making olive oil is perhaps one of the most difficult processes on Earth. Every time I try, it comes out as ...

Town Talk

The 'average' Lawrence home is now selling for $35,000 more than it did just a year ago, according to new report

We’ve got our first look at home sales statistics that include Lawrence’s busy spring home-buying season, and they show that home prices are soaring at ...