Home & Garden

February 28, 2014

Household tips, win a grill, when to repot plants and more

Getting labels off items can be a sticky job. Use a solution of half coconut oil and half baking soda to remove the residue.

Household tips and tricks

• Getting labels off items can be a sticky job. Use a solution of half coconut oil and half baking soda to remove the residue.
• To get rid of paint fumes, add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to a gallon of paint and mix well. Supposedly the extract won’t affect the paint color and the house won’t stink like paint; instead it will smell like vanilla.
• A hair appliance drawer in the bathroom is handy: Have an electrician put plugs behind a drawer, then cut the back of the drawer out, or drill holes in the back of the drawer through which you can plug your appliances in.

— McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Enter to win a grill

You can enter The Wichita Eagle’s Barbecue and Basketball contest on Facebook to try to win a Lil' Tex Elite Traeger Grill from Treescapes in Andover. Visit www.facebook.com/wichitaeagle and click on “Contest” for information on how to enter. One entry per person. The grill is valued at $799. The contest ends on Selection Sunday — March 16.

When to repot houseplants

Some houseplants need replanting at least once a year; slow-growers may not. Knock a plant out of its pot — watering it several hours beforehand so it will come out more easily — and look at the rootball. If you see a clear network of roots, the plant needs to be moved to a larger pot, Ward Upham of K-State says.

If the original pot is less than 10 inches, move up an inch in size; if 10 inches or larger, increase the size 2 inches. Make sure the plant sits at the same level as in the old pot, Upham says, adding and firming soil underneath it and around the sides so there is one solid mass of soil.

Water the plant thoroughly after repotting but be careful not to overwater for about two weeks. The new soil tends to stay wet until roots penetrate, and overwatering can lead to rot, Upham says.

Flint Hills symphony talk

Christy Davis, executive director of the Symphony in the Flint Hills, will be at Botanica on Wednesday to talk about this year’s performance, in June in Butler County. Her lunchtime lecture, at 12:15 p.m., is included in Botanica admission, which is $7 for adults.

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