Hello, it's 06:49PM April 24, 2015

LatestHomeAndGarden



Fresh peas: Another spring treat

We do not often see fresh garden peas in the produce section of supermarkets, and if they do appear — and you venture to try them — you will mostly find that they cook up either hard or mushy. This is because in transport their natural sugars have turned to starch. Frozen peas are better, but they taste like, well, like frozen peas. However, fresh peas rushed from vine to table are a revelation to the taste buds, a for …

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Downsizing tips to keep empty-nesters on track

Life is a journey. Couples buy the big house when they start their families. But when their kids fly the coop, they’re stuck with a too-big house that no longer meets their needs or fits their lifestyle. The thought of starting over can be daunting. Over the years, after helping scores of empty-nesters downsize, we’ve found that folks sometimes lose their way during this phase. Here are our top tips to help keep eve …

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A clear home can help you lose weight

Author and television host Peter Walsh says the genesis of his new book, “Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down” (Rodale, $26.99) was born from research studies showing a relationship between clutter and obesity. But he had already seen the connection. He’s spent his professional life helping others get out from under their clutter, sometimes very publicly on the shows “Clean Sweep” and …

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’Right-Size Flower Garden’ downsizes tasks, cultivates joy

Life became different the instant Kerry Ann Mendez’s husband broke his neck in a 2011 accident. Topping the list of changes: a full-time job with benefits for Mendez and a new role helping her husband with his physical challenges. Somewhere further down the list was the yard. Before the accident, Mendez had elaborate gardens surrounding her upper New York state property, which she enjoyed caring for immensely. But wit …

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Tobacco budworm been eating at your geranium buds?

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had reports of unwanted visitors in greenhouses. These are the tobacco budworm (Helicoverpa virescens), also known as geranium budworm or petunia budworm. Tobacco budworm attacks geraniums as well as petunias, nicotiana and, occasionally, roses. The damaged buds fail to open and a failure of flowering (“loss of color”) is often the first injury observed. Petals of emerged flowers ar …

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Carol Barany: Whenever you opt to prune roses this year, here’s how

Old wisdom advises that it’s time to prune the roses when the forsythia blooms. This year, the neighborhood forsythias bloomed weeks early. My roses, paying no attention to the date on the calendar, fearlessly leafed out in a show of solidarity. I know many gardeners are concerned with the potential for late frost damage, which would make a second pruning necessary, so they’re sitting on their pruners for now. I thre …

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Basic buying tips for the garden staple that brings a whiff of spring

Nothing signals the return of spring like a smelly pile of mulch. Aside from its questionable stench, mulch plays an essential role in landscaping, from boosting curb appeal to retaining moisture and suffocating weeds. But before you hire a landscaper or get out the wheelbarrow, you’ll first need to decide how much mulch you need. ■ Bulk and bagged mulch: Landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the ba …

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WSU Extension Master Gardeners: Plant now and you, too, will have asparagus next year

So you decided to plant asparagus last year, and this year — you have asparagus! Asparagus is a long-lived perennial vegetable. If you planted healthy, disease-free crowns (root systems of 1-year-old plants grown from seed), each crown should produce a half pound of spears per year for 15 years or more if cared for properly. Gardeners in zones 4 to 6 have a wider selection of varieties. If you are planting asparagus …

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efficient solutions for bathroom storage

Six in the morning on a Monday — your alarm goes off. After rolling over and pressing snooze more times than you’d like to admit, you spring out of bed and run to your messy bathroom, knowing you have less than 20 minutes to get ready. You spend the first five minutes searching for the hairbrush. Frustrated and behind schedule, you realize you can no longer wait to find a storage solution for the clutter. Professional …

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In the Garden: Smitten with sweet peas

My grandmother grew pink sweet peas to cover tattered tar paper siding on a shed in her tiny garden on the east side of Buffalo. I remember my sister and me picking the flowers and seed pods for potions and perfumes we concocted for our dolls. Since both of those plant parts are poisonous, we must have been warned not to eat them. Sweet peas have a reputation for being sulky in Yakima, more inclined to summers fille …

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Blame those house pops, creaks on dry air

AKRON, Ohio — Chances are things in your house have been going pop in the night. Or creak. Or groan. What’s going on? Nothing sinister, assures Elwin Robison, a professor in Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. When the temperature plummets outside, so does the relative humidity in our homes as we crank up the heat. That dryness causes the wood parts of a home’s structure to shrink …

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WSU Extension Master Gardeners: The dirt on soil

With the gardening season approaching, it would seem appropriate to discuss the structure, texture and the pH (acidity, alkalinity or pH neutral) of the soils in your garden or raised bed, as these greatly affect the growth, health and productivity of your plants. Did you know your soil has “pores”? A productive soil is permeable to water and is able to supply water to plants. Your soil’s permeability (how well water …

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Gardening Tips



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Floral recycling makes the most of blooms

West Palm Beach, Fla. — This charity recycles happiness. Petals With Purpose takes flower arrangements from wedding, anniversary and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations and delivers them to people who are sick, alone or troubled. “We go to the places most in need of joy, maybe some that are off the radar and not getting much attention,” said Brittany Agro, the nonprofit organization’s founder. Agro’s frustration with try …

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Pink bathsrooms: Hot or not?

When Stacey Lopis’ friends see the bathroom in her 1960-vintage Hawthorne ranch, they all say the same thing: “You have to get rid of the pink tile.” Pink bathrooms. They … More →