Home and Garden

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Garden Variety: Renovate to keep your lawn in good shape

Healthy lawns reduce erosion, require less mowing than weedy ones and are an easy way to cover an expanse of outdoor space. Many people think healthy lawns require a lot of inputs and maintenance, but they really only need a little extra care at certain times of the year. In the Lawrence area, ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time to control crabgrass

Early August is when crabgrass becomes most noticeable in the Lawrence area, and it is especially prolific this year. The weedy grass grows in spreading clumps and favors curb lines, bare spots in the lawn, landscape beds, gardens and sidewalk cracks. Now is the time to control it or make plans ...

Garden Variety: Know how to identify, remove poison ivy

Poison ivy is well known for the reactions most people have from handling or brushing against the plant, but despite its notoriety, many people also find it hard to recognize. To add to the confusion, there are mentions of poison oak and poison sumac. Poison ivy is native to Kansas and ...

Garden Variety: How to handle sweet corn problems and pests

July is sweet corn season in Kansas. While some gardeners are already enjoying fresh ears of corn from their gardens, many are still waiting for kernels to develop or are battling corn earworms, raccoons and deer. Here are some tips for dealing with these problems and pests. The most common ...

Garden Variety: Assassin bugs in your garden? No problem

Many Lawrence-area gardeners are taking notice of an interesting and distinctive insect this summer, which appears to have a larger population than usual. The insect is commonly known as a wheel bug or assassin bug (Arilus cristatus), and it benefits plants by feeding on plant pests. Right ...

Garden Variety: When to harvest fruits and veggies

Knowing the right time to harvest fruits and vegetables from the garden is tricky for some crops, even for experienced gardeners. To complicate it further, some produce can be harvested at different stages or have additional edible parts of the plant than what is traditionally harvested. Follow ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time for fresh blackberries

Blackberry season is beginning in northeast Kansas. If you are already growing blackberries, you should check your plants for ripe fruit and begin harvesting. Otherwise, consider picking berries at a local farm, purchasing fresh ones at a local farmers market or planting some blackberry plants ...

Garden Variety: Wildflowers are in bloom; here’s how to identify them

Black-eyed Susans, yellow sweet clover, Queen Anne’s lace, and many other wildflowers and grasses are putting on a show on Kan- sas roadsides, in native prairie sites, and in the nearby Flint Hills. If you have the chance to go for a drive, a bike ride or a walk in one of these regions, this ...

Garden Variety: Tips for keeping weeds out of your vegetable garden

As summer-loving vegetable plants begin to thrive in the warm Kansas sun, summer-loving weeds are taking off too. They appreciate water, fertile soil, and light as much as cultivated plants, and unfortunately some of them are a challenge to control. The best approach uses a combination of ...

Garden Variety: Plant pumpkins this month for an October harvest

In Kansas, early to mid-June is the best time to plant pumpkins, squash and gourds in the garden for harvest in October. Growing them is a fun solo or family activity which yields fruit for cooking, jack-o’-lanterns, fall displays and future birdhouses. When most people think of pumpkins, ...

Garden Variety: Increase fruit, vegetable yield with the right fertilizer

Choosing the right fertilizer for the garden and applying it properly can increase yield of fruit and vegetable crops. Done incorrectly, it can be a waste of time and money. The hard part is knowing what and how much is needed, and a look at the options only makes the task more daunting. A ...

Garden Variety: Peonies, longtime garden favorites, require little care

Peonies are blooming now around the Lawrence area, and their colorful blossoms are an inspiration to add them (or more of them) to the garden. Peonies perform reliably for decades in the landscape with little care and are available in a variety of colors. They are longtime garden favorites that ...

Garden Variety: Water features can add visual interest, tranquil sound

To create the perfect backyard sanctuary, consider adding a water garden or water feature. Landscape ponds, waterfalls, water garden pots and fountains add visual interest to the garden, increase the diversity of plant species that can be grown and attract beneficial wildlife. Elements with ...

Garden Variety: Fences, repellents can protect your garden from wildlife

Rabbits, squirrels and deer are common visitors to flower and vegetable gardens throughout the year, but the lush new growth produced in spring may be especially appealing to them. If plants are eaten or dug up this spring or summer, one of these animals is likely to blame. Exclusion and ...

Garden Variety: Annual flowers can give your garden a pop of color

Annuals and perennials are nicknames given to broad classifications of plants with many different attributes. Annuals are the ones known best for providing vibrant color. They are versatile, establish quickly, typically have long bloom times (or provide season-long color with foliage) and are ...

Locals use time at home to work on renovations, creative projects

Adam Sullivan wasn’t able to be with his wife, Kacey Sullivan, for her ultrasound appointment a couple weeks ago. It was an experience the couple wanted to share: seeing their future baby for the first time. But due to restrictions placed on doctors’ offices by the coronavirus, Sullivan ...

Garden Variety: Extend the harvest season with succession planting

To make the most of garden space and extend the amount of time that vegetables are harvested from the garden, consider succession planting. Succession planting is a process that takes a little bit of planning, but most gardeners can easily incorporate it into their year-round planting routines ...

Garden Variety: Edible flowers add flavors, textures, colors to meals

Pansies, daylilies and other flowers are better known for their cherry blossoms than their delicate flavors, but they are edible and add interesting flavors, textures and colors to meals. Edible flowers are rare in the grocery store, but many species are easy to grow in landscapes and food ...

Garden Variety: How to grow vegetables, herbs in containers

Planting vegetables and herbs in containers is an easy way to start gardening on a small scale and is ideal for people who lack yards or whose yards are unfavorable for a traditional garden. A few crops can be planted now, and supplies can be gathered for later spring plantings. Selecting a ...