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Sick of Weeding Yet? It’s Time to Mulch Those Garden Beds

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love the musical Porgy and Bess, especially the song, Summertime, with its catchy refrain, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Clearly Gershwin was a) not a gardener, or b) he mastered the art of mulching. Mulching makes the summer easy, if done right. No mulch? The summer is spent weeding and watering. If you’re still weeding, it’s time to mulch. My vegetable garden gets mulched in June as soon as the soil has warmed up. I take a sharp hoe and slice off any weeds in the walkways, and lay down six pages of newspaper. Then I cover the papers with mulch hay or …

Garden Bugs Aren’t All Bad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Many gardeners seem to think that any UFI (Unidentified Flying Insect) is a potential threat to their tomatoes or the spinach. When in doubt, they swat it, squish it or submerge it. But most bugs are not bad, and many are helpful. We all know that ladybugs are good. They eat aphids and …

Beauty in Subtlety

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Paint your walls a bold color and friends will likely praise your creativity. Invest in a standout piece of furniture or striking work of art and your decorating is bound to earn compliments. But creating a noteworthy room with subtle, understated elegance is a bit more complicated. Understated style “rides the fine line …

Go Wall-to-Wall on Carpet Terminology

Sunday, May 4, 2014

If professional cleaning can’t revive your carpet, it’s probably time to replace it. Manufacturers say carpet should last about 10 years. With regular vacuuming, prompt attention to spills and periodic cleaning, it could last longer. But sooner or later, carpet must be replaced. Before you visit showrooms or …

Time for Tomatoes: I Just Couldn’t Wait to Start My Seedlings

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This year I started my tomatoes indoors much earlier than I usually do. Normally I start them on April 10 at 10:14 a.m. Only kidding. Most years I start them during the second week of April. That way …

Cheerful Pussy Willows Chase Away the Mud Season Blues

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In general, I don’t sing. I can’t carry a tune, and words to even the simplest of songs seem to disappear from my brain in about 20 minutes. Always have. So it was a surprise to me when, walking by a clump of pussy willows, I remembered a …

Welcome Spring, Welcome Bulbs

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I’ve been paying attention to snowdrops and crocus since I was 9 years old — I recently found entries in my diary that tell me so. My entry for March 7, 1956, in its entirety was this: “Spring is getting here at last the snow drops are in …

Early Spring Chores

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring finally seems to be coming to Cornish Flat — about a month late this year. My snowdrops are just starting to bloom and large patches of snow are still on the lawn and garden, though there are bare spots. I really want to get outside and start …

Foggy Windows Can Be Cleared

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Akron, Ohio — Marie Poling thought she was looking at an expense of thousands of dollars to replace all the windows on her Northfield Center Township, Ohio, house. The insulated glass in the home’s bay window had gotten foggy, and she figured her only option was new windows. …

Spring Pruning: It’s Not Too Late, and the Trees Will Benefit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Conventional wisdom has it that fruit trees should be pruned in March, but don’t worry if you haven’t started yet. I haven’t. There is no harm in pruning in April, or anytime, really. After the buds on fruit trees open, they are more prone to being knocked off …

Interior Painting: Picking Best Color And Right Finish

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In the spring, many a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of fresh paint, because what else renews a room as quickly? That doesn’t mean interior painting is a breeze. There are defined steps to a quality job, and they start with picking the right color and paint finish. …

A Winter Meal From the Garden, Even in March For March

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Technically, spring arrived on March 20. Most years I have snowdrops blooming on a south-facing hillside by early March, and some Glory-of-the-Snow in blossom by now. Not this year. Snow is still deep on my property, and nights …

Refrigerator Technology Uses Magnets, Boosts Efficiency

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Your next refrigerator might not even have a compressor. GE Appliances is developing magnetic refrigeration for residential use, a technology that needs no refrigerants or compressors and promises to increase the energy efficiency of refrigerators by 20 percent. Magnetic refrigeration — technically called magnetocaloric refrigeration — is not …