Home & Garden

Garden Variety: Garden repair after a storm
June 11, 2014
Many portions of Kansas have received heavy rains and/or severe weather, including high winds, hail and, in a few cases, tornadoes. Our small garden ecosystems may have seen some damage as well, although not as bad as others or even our next door neighbors. So how can we help our gardens recover?
Fix-It Chick: Quiet lawn care
June 11, 2014
The silent whirr of a reel mower coupled with its fume free simplicity is often a good alternative to gas-powered lawn care.
Fix-It Chick: The right drill for the job
June 4, 2014
When it comes to choosing a drill, bigger is not always better. Choosing a drill that fits the task at hand, as well as your actual hand, is the best idea.
Garden Variety: Use bees to your benefit
June 4, 2014
Beekeeping is a new activity for many but continues to be a fun and rewarding one for those who enjoy gardening.
Garden Variety: Pretty poison
May 29, 2014
Both hemlock and Queens Anne’s lace look like parsley or wild carrots. All are members of the parsley family, and they are showing up now. The parsley, carrot or lace is not the problem — what is the problem is that they’re a bit hard to distinguish from poisonous hemlock.
Garden Variety: Time again for annuals
May 22, 2014
Planting annuals for me is hit and miss. There is guidance courtesy of Kansas State University, which has research and a published list of what to plant. A Web search for “Prairie Star Flowers” will get you to that guidance.
Fix-It Chick: Burning weeds with a torch
May 22, 2014
Using a propane flame torch to wilt away weeds is a great alternative to herbicides or other traditional weeding methods. Proper use of a flame torch is safe and easy for gardeners and farmers alike.
Garden Variety: high-definition gardening
May 15, 2014
The simplest raised bed is just mounded soil, high in the center, tapering to the edge. Most have a border made of almost any material; lumber, logs, rocks, bricks, cinder blocks, etc., to retain this soil. The goal is to hold the growing media above ground level and truly define a place not to walk.
Fix-It Chick: Refinish a wood floor
May 15, 2014
With the advent of fast-drying polyurethanes, applying finish to a recently sanded wood floor can often be done within a day.
Garden Variety: The meddling nettle
May 8, 2014
Nettle is an inconspicuous plant, especially when small. It has a wiry stem, alternate heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges, and a cute white flower at the very top. It was not a plant I wanted; however, it does have both good and bad qualities.
Fix-It Chick: Sand a hardwood floor
May 8, 2014
Sanding wood floors is a daunting task, but it is a job most homeowners can tackle successfully.
Garden Variety: Take extra care when planting early
May 1, 2014
Gardeners often try to get a jump on the season by planting tomatoes as early as possible. Though this can be successful, there are certain precautions that should be observed, especially this year with the abnormally cool spring.
Garden Variety: Late spring freeze can have lasting effects
April 24, 2014
Just when we had allowed Spring Fever to really get the best of us, buying plants, cleaning the winter accumulation, trimming, and even mowing, along comes the freeze — a killing freeze in some places with only mottled frost in others. Out come the old sheets and blankets covering our most beloved and dotting our landscape like a bad modern art painting.
Fix-It Chick: Install a night latch
April 24, 2014
A night latch is a surface-mounted door lock that can be installed on the interior of any door. Night latches are easier to install than standard deadbolts and provide a similar amount of security.
Fix-It Chick: How to eradicate wild onions from your yard
April 17, 2014
If your lawn is filled with tufts of bright-green, waxy, smelly foliage, it may be time to get out the shovel and start digging. Wild onions are invasive plants, spreading year to year both from seed and bulb. A multi-tiered plan of action is the best way to eradicate wild onions.