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What to do with your household’s excess baggage

Can Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method work for you?

How to manage too much 

Expect congestion in downtown Annapolis

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Or find experts who’ll do that and two dozen more chores and projects for you
     Paper in hand, reading these words, who are you?      Computer at hand, writing them, I’m my business self. To drive to my office in Annapolis, I don’t have to gird myself as staunchly as my husband Bill Lambrecht, Bay Weekly’s editorial analyst, who has to put on his “Washington face” before his harrowing daily commute. (It looks a little like the contortion he wears to show me how he terrified opponents as a high school football...
     The famous quotation about the certainties of life that includes death and taxes should also mention weeds. They are sprouting up all over. Even the most meticulously tended landscapes are not immune.   Where to Begin?       The first step is identification. You need to know your opponent. Control is more attainable if you know whether it is a grassy or broadleaf weed. Is it an annual, perennial or biennial? When does it germinate? Fall, spring, or summer...

Dos and Don’t

     Don’t work your soil too early. Unless both March and February were dry, avoid the temptation to turn over or dig into wet soil. Tilling wet soil can cause it to become cloddy and brick-hard when it dries out. How do you know when your soil can be turned or tilled? One test is to form a clump of soil into a ball. Bounce it up and down in your hand a few times. If it breaks apart easily it’s probably OK to dig.      Do get compost, and spread it an...

How to avoid most plant problems with one concept

     Many plant problems in your landscape can be avoided by choosing the right plant for the purpose and the site. Many insects and diseases are opportunists, taking advantage of plants that are stressed and aren’t healthy enough to fight back.      Whether your landscape plants are having issues with insects, diseases, lack of blooming or just overall poor performance, chances are that they were not suited for the location in the first place.   Plant...

Tips for new and experienced gardeners

      Creating a beautiful landscape takes time and resources. Invest in careful planning and research before you begin to establish or renovate a landscape. It will pay off in the long run.      Here are a few common blunders that occur in landscaping and, more importantly, how to avoid them.   Problem: Planting Without Planning      It is easy to get overwhelmed by the planning of any project, let alone one you don’t have a lot of...

A home energy audit will identify where energy escapes your home, costing you money

      In any season, a leaky home costs money. How do you stop it? It starts with a comprehensive home energy checkup, a series of tests and inspections to find out where your house could be more efficient.       The end goal is to save energy, save money and make your house more comfortable. Installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances will help. So will creating a sealed barrier around your house, kind of like putting a blanket around the outside,...

Expert tips and advice from local businesses on home and garden care

Lay the Groundwork This Spring for a Beautiful Yard What can I do to get my yard looking better after winter?         Fertilizing your lawn this time of year is always helpful. Starter fertilizer should be applied around April, when lilacs and forsythia start blooming, and should be completed prior to the end of their blooming period.          In areas that are mostly in the shade, you can lightly apply lime to help restore the pH...

Building your soil is vital for plant health and growth

     The most important elements in your soil for plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They are the N-P-K you see on fertilizer bags. Plants also require micro­nutrients such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and boron.       Building or improving your soil is extremely important for plant health. The foundation of soil is weathered rock. The best way to build up your soil, after determining what it is missing, is to use...

With rockfish numbers suffering, these prolific fighters make a good alternative

      Late last season I had a most unusual day on the water.       Moving again after releasing a number of undersized schooly rockfish, I cruised south down toward the Bay Bridge. It was nearing the end of a falling tide, and my fish box, bait box, chum bag and patience were all verging on empty.      Noting a fleet of boats anchored in the distance off a nearby channel, I edged near to see what they were doing. As I recognized a distinctive C-...

Us

This horror masterpiece forces us to look in the mirror 
     Left mute and wounded by a childhood trauma, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) struggled into adulthood. Now she is married, has two children and is thriving by American standards.      But husband Gabe (Winston Duke) is status-obsessed. Daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) barely looks up from her phone. Son Jason (Evan Alex) is oddly given to masks and magic tricks.       Adelaide herself can’t shake the feeling that something awful...