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Home & Garden

Garden Variety: The best way to break the ice
February 6, 2014
Deicing salts have become a part of our winter lives. They make snow and ice removal easier and provide some measure of safety on our roads and streets. They can also be detrimental to vegetation and, if overused, are an environmental threat.
Fix-It Chick: 5 ways to rout grout
February 6, 2014
Cleaning grout lines between tiles is a tedious job. Here are a few cleaning options that could make the end result a little brighter and a little whiter.
Garden Variety: Know the meanings of different flowers
January 30, 2014
Roses, chocolate and paper pulp are not the only horticultural elements that have claims to Valentine’s Day. Here are some others and what they mean.
Fix-It Chick: Repair a burst waterline
January 30, 2014
With so many choices on the market today, choosing which product to use when repairing a broken water line may be the most difficult part of the job.
Winter-proof your windows to save energy at home
January 23, 2014
There’s nothing worse than cranking up the heat every winter just to layer up to walk across the cold kitchen floor of your home.
Fix-It Chick: Clean up a flooded basement
January 23, 2014
Dealing with a flooded basement is often overwhelming, but following a few basic guidelines can help you avoid some potentially hazardous outcomes.
Garden Variety: The dirt on dirt
January 23, 2014
As I’ve discussed in previous columns, plants need air, water and nutrients. Soil just happens to be the carrier we use to bring these requirements to the roots. Ideally, soil should contain 50 percent mineral matter, 25 percent air and 25 percent water. This perfect mix is seldom found.
Garden Variety: The pros and cons of hydroponics
January 16, 2014
Hydroponics, nutrient-solution culture, water culture, soilless culture, gravel culture, nutri-culture, whatever you call it, has been around since the 16th century. By Stan Ring
Fix-It Chick: Replace a water heater thermostat
January 9, 2014
If your electric water heater has suddenly stopped producing hot water and you have checked the power supply and heating elements, replacing the upper and lower thermostats may get you back in the shower again.
Farm-to-preschool program seeks funds to operate upcoming year, long-term
January 6, 2014
Healthy Sprouts, a countywide farm-to-preschool program, is closer to securing funding to operate another growing season but is seeking more community support to sustain it long term. By Sara Shepherd
Garden Variety: History in a nutshell
January 2, 2014
I’m nuts about the holidays. “Grandpa, will you open some pistachios for me and where do they come from?” Same answer; no and don’t know. Second grandson, “I know, I know! They all come from trees.” They were correct. All nuts come from trees. Sorta.
Fix-It Chick: Mount a flat-screen TV
January 2, 2014
With the right tools and fasteners, mounting a flat-screen television on a wall can be a snap.
Garden Variety: Plan your landscape now
December 26, 2013
This is a perfect time to consider landscape planning.
Garden Variety: Cherish the lowly worm
December 19, 2013
“Tremors,” a 1990 horror/comedy movie, features not one but four serious subterranean wormlike creatures dubbed “Graboids” — at 30 feet long and traveling at 20 miles per hour, they devoured everything from trucks to outhouses. Worms in real life compare only in shape and assumed bodily function, and hopefully we have more than four.
Garden Variety: Gifts for the gardener
December 12, 2013
This is the time of year for gift-giving, and a gardener should be given a gift they can use, not one that uses them.