Home & Garden

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.
Spring home and garden: Succulents can brighten interiors, exteriors
12:00 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 10:00 p.m.
With an endless array of interesting shapes and colors, and the nearly foolproof care requirements of good sun and well-drained soil, succulents are a popular choice for dressing up windowsills and sunny indoor tables. As spring warms into summer, succulent fans also have the option of using these easy plants outdoors.
Spring home and garden: Consider open shelving for kitchens
12:00 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 09:59 p.m.
While some prefer to keep the contents of their kitchen tucked safely behind the privacy of cabinet doors, the option of replacing traditional kitchen cabinets with open shelves that display dishes and pantry items has caught on with many.
Spring home and garden: New plants for eastern Kansas in 2015
12:00 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 09:59 p.m.
With hundreds of new varieties of plants released each year, gardeners looking to try something new are faced with the difficult task of discerning which varieties are really different and improved. The easiest way to avoid the guessing game is to rely on unbiased organizations that test and recommend varieties. One such organization is All-America Selections (AAS), a non-profit that performs nationwide field trials of new vegetables and annual flowers.
Spring home and garden: Add edibles to the landscape
12:00 a.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 09:58 p.m.
Raising a few veggies and herbs is a growing trend, although for new gardeners the idea of creating a garden might seem overwhelming. Space and sunlight are also limiting factors, but there are ways to work around them. They key is to think outside the box of a traditional vegetable garden.
Fix-It Chick: Remove a whole house trap
March 22, 2015
Whole house traps were installed in most homes built before the 1940s. Originally installed to keep dangerous sewer gases (and rats) from entering the home, these u-shaped cast-iron antiquities are now virtually obsolete.
Garden Variety: The benefits of gardening using fabric containers
March 20, 2015
Fabric planting containers may seem like just the latest trend in the garden center, but they truly offer gardeners a better option for container gardening than the traditional plastic, clay and other pots out there.
Fix-It Chick: Proper care for granite countertops
March 15, 2015
When it comes to the proper care and maintenance of granite countertops, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Follow these simple steps to keep countertops shiny and bright.
Garden Variety: How to help out honey bees
12:00 a.m., March 14, 2015 Updated 08:43 p.m.
Anyone who likes to eat should care about honey bees.
Fix-It Chick: Seal a pipe joint with oakum
March 9, 2015
Oakum is a loosely twisted rope-like material made from oiled jute or hemp fibers. Traditionally manufactured in prisons or workhouses by disassembling old rope lengths and rubbing the strands with pine tar or oil, oakum was a staple in boat building and pipe assembly for many years. In some situations using oakum to seal a cast-iron pipe joint is still a viable option.
Garden Variety: Garden plot preparation
March 7, 2015
With spring right around the corner, the upcoming warmer days are a great time to start a new garden or get an old one ready for planting.
Fix-It Chick: How to repair a toilet’s closet flange
March 1, 2015
Beneath the bathroom toilet, covered with a layer of wax, lies one of the more important pieces of the plumbing puzzle: the closet flange.
Garden Variety: The right way to prune grapevines
February 28, 2015
Just like the informal communication system, the grapevines growing in your backyard can get a little unruly if left to their own devices.
Fix-It Chick: Dormant season lawn seeding
February 22, 2015
With winter nearly over and spring just around the corner, the urge to plant grass seed is hard to resist.

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