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Garden Q&A: This vine can do permanent harm to your plants

A vine quickly grew up and over two shrubs and a perennial bed this summer. It hurts to pull these vines, but the plants below them are turning brown (what I can still see of them, anyway!) What should I do about this mess? Can I spray? This is a …

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Ready for tiny-home living? Start at the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo

A few years ago, the college-age daughters of longtime friends Frank Hazzard and Kirk Johnson got interested in tiny houses – small dwellings, sometimes on wheels, that typically cap out at around 400 square feet. The girls’ interest faded before their fathers had time to build them tiny houses of …

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This South Baltimore rowhouse renovation is anything but cookie-cutter

When Stanford Kimmel and Chris Franzoni were searching for a new home five years ago, they wanted three things: a place accessible to the interstate — Franzoni was working in Washington, D.C., at the time — lots of windows and parking. The four-story South Baltimore rowhouse only met one of …

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Garden Q&A: What is this camouflaged leaf creature?

This leaf creature was flying from plant to plant yesterday, otherwise I would never have noticed it. Do I want it in my garden? I hope so. Katydids are great mimickers. The adults camouflage themselves as leaves, but their immature nymphs can look like spiders, assassin bugs (all the better …

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Garden Q&A: What to know about the weed with petal-less flowers

We vacationed for a month and returned to find a 5-foot tall weed. I keep waiting for it to flower to help identify it, but the flower buds just sit there unopened. This is American burnweed, and you’ve noticed the most interesting thing about it: the flowers don’t have petals. …

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Turns out your kitchen (not the bathroom!) is the grossest place in the house

With the longer, sunnier days of summer comes the crashing realization that you can now see with startling clarity just how filthy your home has become. In a study to measure the contamination of 30 common household items and surfaces, NSF International, which develops public health standards and food safety …

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Garden Q&A: How to control stiltgrass

My front lawn has been overtaken by Japanese stiltgrass. It’s making serious inroads in my backyard, and this year it exploded in my woods. I much prefer the moss and clover that used to grow in my yard! Other than mowing stiltgrass before it flowers and drops seed, and waiting …

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Garden Q&A: Getting rid of tree of heaven, a lanternfly magnet

With the spotted lanternfly threatening from Pennsylvania, I don’t want to have one of those trees of heaven that attracts them! I’m terrible at identifying trees. How can I avoid having the neighborhood magnet for these pests? Tree of heaven itself is an Asian invasive pest, and now we have …

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