Boxes of books.

Lightening the Load

Man, Spring Fever hit with a vengeance around my house! I don’t know what’s gotten into me – normally I’m sentimental and thrifty and therefore hang onto way too much stuff I don’t need (because it might come in handy, say, during an alien invasion or a textile shortage). Not this year – I’ve been going through clothes, shoes, gadgets, widgets, attics, and basements, happily tossing and donating things right and left.

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Scraping paint on a windowsill.

Dangers of Lead Paint in Your Home

Lead poisoning from lead paint in older homes can cause serious health problems, especially in children. Though banned for use in paint in the U.S. in 1978, millions of homes, schools, and businesses still have lead based paint on their walls, both inside and out. Read more to find out how to see if your home contains lead.

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How to Grow Camellias

As a foundation shrub, or a specimen plant, camellias offer striking green foliage, elegant shaping, and brightly-colored blooms that make them one of the mainstays of the year-round garden. Here’s what you need to know to grow this nearly carefree shrub.

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Drywall hung and finished in home.

Toxic Chinese Drywall: Is It in Your Home?

Increasing evidence indicates that some of the over 500 million pounds of drywall shipped to the U.S. from China during the housing boom following Hurricane Katrina contained potentially toxic materials that can release gas believed responsible for damaging homes and causing health problems. Read on to find out more.

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Painting over wallpaper.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

Dwayne asks, “We want to paint over the wallpaper in our bathroom. What kind of primer should we use?”

As long as the wallpaper has a smooth surface, is firmly glued to the wall, and isn’t made of vinyl, you should be able to paint over it. Read on to find out how.

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Fresh grown peppers

Planting Vegetables Over a Septic Leach Field

Eric asks, “Can I plant a vegetable garden on my septic tank leach field?”

The septic tank leach field is a tempting spot for a vegetable garden. However, it’s generally not recommended to plant vegetables in this area, for several reasons. Read on to find out more.

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Plants growing in bed of pickup truck.

Truck-Bed Gardening

I have an old pickup truck that I use for gardening and hauling stuff. It’s a rusty little 1985 Toyota with 250,000 miles on it. It’s been in my family since . . . well, since well before I could drive. I LOVE my pickup, but I use it sparingly, out of respect for its age, and keep it parked most of the winter. Last fall, I used the truck to haul around some daylilies, and when I pulled out the truck this spring, I found quite a surprise.

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Houseplant on fireplace mantel.

Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Houseplants

Growing houseplants is a great way to start gardening while enhancing the beauty of your home. Like any other gardening endeavor, indoor gardens can be as simple or elaborate as you would like. Here are some general guidelines to help get you started.

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