Home and Garden

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Garden Variety: Quick, easy methods to propagate popular houseplants

Indoor plants, or houseplants as they are often called, will soon respond to longer day length and return to a period of active growth. This period of active growth is a good time to propagate plants if you wish to do so and usually begins around mid-February. Although it’s a little early to ...

Garden Variety: Old wives’ tales have no place in the garden

Old wives’ tales, myths and misconceptions perpetuate in the garden world thanks to self-proclaimed experts, clever marketers, and well-meaning friends, family and neighbors. Sorting out bad information from good is a challenge at times, especially with regional and seasonal variations. Start ...

Garden Variety: New resolutions to set for yardwork

The arrival of the new year is a good time to set goals and make a plan for yard and garden tasks for the year. Maybe you have new trees to plant, old trees that desperately need pruning, a landscape bed ready for renovation, or this will finally be the year to start a vegetable garden. ...

Garden Variety: Gardeners can avoid headaches by marking plants to start season

Have you ever looked at a plant in your landscape or garden and wished you had labeled it when you planted it? Or perhaps you know they are tomato plants, but have forgotten which varieties are which? Many gardeners share your plight. Labeling plants as they are planted can prevent forgotten ...

Garden Variety: Getting started feeding birds during cold months

Feeding birds is a fun way to benefit wildlife and attract these creatures to your yard for your viewing pleasure. Winter is an especially good time to get started by feeding the cardinals, chickadees, titmice, finches, juncos, woodpeckers and other species that are year-round or winter ...

Garden Variety: Try growing mushrooms at home this winter

Home mushroom growing kits can be a fun way to get fresh mushrooms, teach children about fungi and satisfy the desire to garden in the cold winter months. Mushroom kits are fairly easy to find right now as a novelty gift item, or they are widely available online. When deciding what types of ...

Garden Variety: How to take care of houseplants

Plants kept in homes, offices and other indoor locales brighten the space, clean the air and generally make the people around them feel better. Indoor plants can be especially welcoming in the short, dreary days of winter. Satisfaction with them depends a lot on the health of the plant, though, ...

Homes: Well-known holiday house holds 45 years of Christmas memories

People keep asking when Donna Osness and her husband are going to sell the house. But for her five children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, the Osness home on University Drive is the heart of the holiday season. “Of our grandchildren, I don’t think any of them have spent ...

Garden Variety: Spruce up your home with winter greenery

Greenery and winter-flowering plants are a great way to spruce up your home (literally) over the cold and bleak winter season and to add cheer for the holidays. The options can be overwhelming, though, and results short-lived if plant material is mistreated. The difference is in the details. ...

Garden Variety: Repeated use of salt-based ice melt can hurt plants

The Lawrence area has already experienced two winter precipitation events this year that have warranted the use of de-icers to keep roads and sidewalks safe for travelers. Although necessary in many instances, de-icers can be detrimental to plants, especially when used repeatedly over the ...

Garden Variety: Birds need help with water during dry, cold weather

Birds depend on water for survival, and Kansas’ typically dry winters can make it hard for them to find what they need. You can help year-round resident birds by setting up a winter-safe birdbath, heated dish or other water source to provide the water they need throughout the winter. In ...

Garden Variety: Multiple ways to clear lawn, recycle autumn leaves

Deciduous trees put on a glorious show of color this fall in the Midwest, but now they are fading and dropping their leaves in their final preparation for the arrival of winter. As welcome of a sight as the fallen leaves are for some, they can also be a hassle when it comes to maintaining the ...

Garden Variety: Time to clean, sharpen garden tools

Shovels, rakes, pruners and other garden tools are essential for completing many of the tasks associated with gardening. Caring for them by cleaning, sharpening and applying a protectant extends the life and ensures they remain in top-notch shape for years to come. This fall, as the gardening ...

Garden Variety: Protect soil with organic matter

Fall is a good time to amend soil in existing landscape and garden beds and prepare new beds for planting. The type of soil typically found in yards in the Lawrence area could definitely use improvement before planting to get plants off to a good start. Established beds also need attention from ...

Garden Variety: Traps, minimizing entry points key to keeping pests out

Fall’s cooler temperatures and shorter days have many creatures preparing for winter and spending more time indoors. Unfortunately, that means some of them are hoping to move into your house for shelter, especially mice, spiders and a variety of insects. The next few weeks are a good time to ...

Homes: A look at a unique East Lawrence house with 54 windows

Designing a beautiful home does not need to be difficult. The tall one-story, open-floor home of Tami and Mike Nevels shows how. The construction for their sleek three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home in East Lawrence finished in the fall of 2017, with the Nevels moving in last September, ...

Garden Variety: Plant garlic in the fall for a summer harvest

Garlic is easy to grow and requires only a little space and care. It performs best when planted in late September to mid-October in Kansas and other places with seasonal temperature changes, so now is the time. Bulbs will be ready for harvest next year in late spring to midsummer depending on ...

Garden Variety: Kaw Valley Farm Tour coming up

Next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, is the 14th annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour, featuring 33 farms in northeast Kansas. Visit one farm or several — the tour is open house-style, so tourgoers can come and go as they please during the designated hours. This annual fall event is a great ...

Garden Variety: Start of fall brings acorns

Acorns are beginning to shed from oak trees with fall’s arrival in the Midwest. To some, the acorns are a welcome sign of cooler days to come and can even provide entertainment by attracting wildlife. To others, acorns are a nuisance as they fall on roofs, fill gutters, cover the lawn and ...

Fix-It Chick: Choosing the right sheen

Paints and polyurethanes come in a variety of finishes from glossy to matte. Understanding a little about the shine, or lack thereof, can help inform decorating decisions. • When using paint or polyurethane, keep the product well mixed throughout the application. Polyurethane’s natural ...