Home & Garden

Fix-It Chick: Install an occupancy or vacancy sensor switch
May 17, 2015
If you dream of walking into a room and having the lights turn on, or if you have nightmares about all the power wasted because lights in another room are constantly left on, replacing a standard wall switch with a new occupancy- or vacancy-sensing switch could be a good option.
Garden Variety: Tropical plants add interest to containers
12:00 a.m., May 16, 2015 Updated 10:08 p.m.
Petunias, geraniums, impatiens and other annual flowers are popular reliable fillers for containers and landscape beds, but there are other options to provide summer color and interest to the garden. For an especially unique touch, try incorporating some of the tropical plants typically sold as indoor plants into your outdoor plant palette.
Fix-It Chick: Is FiberFix better than duct tape?
May 10, 2015
Duct tape and bailing wire have long been the go-to products to fix just about anything. But there is another product on the market that is likely to give these old standards a run for their money: FiberFix.
Garden Variety: Growing sunflowers in the Sunflower State
May 9, 2015
Wild native sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are unrivaled in beauty when they bloom in late summer and fall, and they are easy to grow in the home garden or landscape.
Garden Variety: Creating amazing containers
May 2, 2015
Container plantings offer an opportunity to wow visitors, brighten up the porch or patio, and provide spring-fall color to the landscape. Creating these amazing displays them is simpler than it sounds – just follow a few simple tips to get gorgeous flower combinations for any setting.
Fix-It Chick: How to eradicate pine sawflies
April 26, 2015
If your pine tree is suddenly infested with a black-headed, Medusa-like worm, fear not — chances are the tree is simply hosting a colony of European Pine Sawfly larvae.
Garden Variety: Check out some seeds at the library
12:00 a.m., April 25, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
Gardeners in and around Douglas County have two new resources this spring. The Lawrence Public Library and the Baldwin City Library have opened seed libraries within their facilities to make seeds more accessible to area residents and facilitate the process of seed sharing within the community.
Fix-It Chick: Control wasps in 4 easy steps
April 19, 2015
Contrary to common belief, wasps are actually beneficial insects. Mitigate potential wasp problems with these four easy steps.
Garden Variety: Now’s the time to plant asparagus
April 18, 2015
The modern conveniences of grocery stores and worldwide shipping make it easy to get almost any kind of produce any time of year, but some fruits and veggies, including asparagus, just taste better when picked up fresh and local.
Fix-It Chick: Choose the right shovel for the job
April 12, 2015
When it comes to shovels, calling a spade a spade is not nearly as important as knowing which shovel will work best for each individual job. Follow these steps before you dig.
Garden Variety: Options to cover bare spots on your lawn
12:00 a.m., April 11, 2015 Updated 10:27 p.m.
Now that the garden is coming back to life, bare spots in the lawn and landscape are painfully obvious again. Here are some options for those difficult sites.
Fix-It Chick: Extend the life of house paint in 10 steps
April 5, 2015
Painting the exterior of a home is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. A simple top to bottom home maintenance schedule can extend the life of your current paint job and save you time and money in the long run.
Garden Variety: Celebrating tulips
12:00 a.m., April 4, 2015 Updated 10:34 p.m.
Tulips are one of the surest signs of spring, emerging just after cheery yellow daffodils and just before the bulk of the landscape spreads its leaves.
Fix-It Chick: Hay vs. straw — what’s right for your needs?
March 29, 2015
Farmers and ranchers know the difference between hay and straw, but the average homeowner often confuses the two. Understanding the differences and benefits of each will help you make a decision on which product to choose.
Garden Variety: Organic fertilizer options
March 28, 2015
Gardeners who want to grow organically face a few extra challenges when selecting fertilizer, although with a little extra care the nutrients that plants need can still be provided at a reasonable cost. The biggest challenges are understanding the need for fertilization (or lack of), recognizing organic sources, and deciphering the supply chain.

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