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Garden Variety: Add mint to your garden this year

Mint is a longtime garden favorite in the Midwest that is chosen for its culinary value and hardiness. Although common, this perennial herb deserves attention and a place in every garden. If you already grow mint, consider adding a new flavor this year. If mint is new to you, try a few ...

Garden Variety: Start now to grow your own sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are unique in the gardening world in the way they are started and planted. While most vegetable crops are planted from seed or rooted transplants, sweet potatoes are planted from bareroot sprouts called slips. Starting your own slips is an easy project that is also fun and ...

Garden Variety: The time is right for growing onions

Onions are a staple in many U.S. households and are easy to grow in the Midwest with proper timing and a little knowledge of planting methods. Give them a try this year, or use these tips to improve production if you have tried them in the past. Plan to plant anytime from now to late April in ...

Owners of 19th century Pinckney home attracted to its character, history

Though Carl Edwards had always admired the home he and his husband now own, he didn’t like the way its then-green paint concealed the building among the trees in the front yard. “The house just sunk back into the darkness,” he said. But now, the brick home with its blue paint, red ...

Garden Variety: The myths and facts about companion planting

Companion planting is a centuries-old practice of planting one or more crops near each other for singular or mutual benefit. New gardeners hearing the term for the first time might wonder which practices are best; experienced gardeners might wonder if it really works. Some companion planting ...

Garden Variety: How bitter cold affects plants — and pests

The bitter cold that accompanied recent winter storms in the Lawrence area will likely have long-lasting effects on certain trees and landscape plantings. And while many gardeners think the silver lining of the cold is a decrease in insect and mite populations, the actual effect is difficult ...

Garden Variety: Flowers’ colorful history as symbols and gifts

Fresh flowers and plants are given as symbols of caring, friendship, love, remembrance and other sentiments. And although this is true year-round, the Society of American Florists says that Valentine’s Day tops the list for sales. Have you ever wondered how flowers became unspoken words, ...

Garden Variety: Should you remove vines from trees?

English ivy, Virginia creeper and other perennial vines are sometimes found growing up the trunks of trees in landscapes and wooded areas. They are more obvious in winter months than other times of year because of the lack of greenery on affected trees. Most experts recommend removing vines ...

Garden Variety: Where — and when — to source your seeds

Seeds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers are available through a variety of sources. Those who are new to the gardening world often ask which source is best, and experienced gardeners often look for sources they might have missed in the past. The best source for your seeds depends on what ...

Garden Variety: Prevent pests from harming your indoor plants

Aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites and thrips are plant pests that cause significant damage to indoor plants in winter months when left unmanaged. Gardeners have many options for control of these pests but should use caution with home remedies that can cause even more harm to their ...

Garden Variety: Growing plants can be good for mental, physical health

Gardeners are from all walks of life and have interests ranging from indoor tropical plants, food (fruit and vegetable) production, native plants, pollinator and wildlife habitats, traditional lawns and landscapes, and any combination of those. The arrival of the new year is the perfect time to ...

Garden Variety: Emerald ash borer regulations changing

The emerald ash borer is a destructive insect pest that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. since its introduction into the country. Federal and state regulatory officials attempted to slow it down by regulating movement of ash trees, wood and mulch, but their efforts have ...

Garden Variety: Build a terrarium garden at home

Terrarium gardens are a fun and educational activity for people of all ages, and they can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Terrarium gardens are appropriate year-round (and should last for years), but winter building offers a special opportunity to connect with nature when the ...

Garden Variety: For evergreens in Kansas, think beyond pine trees

Pine trees are often the first things that come to mind when thinking about evergreen plants to add to the landscape for screening, windbreaks and winter interest. There are many other options, though, and many are better suited for planting in northeast Kansas than pines. Take a look around ...

Garden Variety: Gifts for gardeners can be wide-ranging

Do you have a gardener or aspiring gardener on your holiday gift list this year? Are you a gardener or aspiring gardener and looking for a special treat for yourself? Winter, and the holiday season especially, is a great time to shop for garden tools and supplies, indoor plants, books, and ...

Garden Variety: Make sure your plants have proper lighting indoors

Lighting is one of the biggest challenges to maintaining healthy plants indoors, and the shortened days of fall and winter make these seasons the toughest. Fortunately, plant-appropriate supplemental lighting has improved in recent years and is more energy-efficient, affordable and ...

Couple transformed gutted historic Haskell Row home into modern farmhouse

Ashley and Aaron Weigel were living in Olathe when they heard about a gutted property for sale on a two-acre lot in Lawrence. At first, they imagined the home would be an investment they could turn into a rental property. But once they saw it in person, they knew they wanted to live there — ...