The beast in the basement

Only in Minnesota do we include photos of the new furnace when we list a home for sale. The weather has been wonderful these past few days but we know we are living on borrowed time and today is the first day of winter. I wrote this post in 2008 and it continues to get traffic during the colder months when Minnesotans have to deal with the cold and the beast in the basement. (more...)

Improvement More De-cluttering

Making resolutions for the new year is easy but sticking with them isn't so easy. Again this year one of my resolutions was to get rid of stuff that I don't need. I have been making at least one trip a week to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store on West 7th street and have been dropping off a few items each time. (more...)

Put that shovel down

I have been gardening most of my life in St. Paul Minnesota. Sure were are having a super warm and early spring but starting a garden now is risky. Twenty years ago the common wisdom was to put the plants out and plant the warm weather crops at the end of May. (more...)

Planting time in the city

From this week to the end of the month is the perfect time to start a vegtable garden. Gardening is a great hobby and popular too. It is nice to grow fresh vegetables and I can grow an impressive amount of produce on my postage stamp sized city lot. Gardening is like real estate in that it is local. If you are new to gardening here are some local resources that I think you will like. The university of Minnesota extension and they have classes too. The site is worth exploring it has a lot of information about plant care and can help with identifying weeds. Gardening can be social and here is a local site called Garden Guides where other gardeners hang out. Who knows they may be able to answer questions or give advice and there is a section on urban gardening. For people interested in community gardens see Gardening Matters there are community gardens all over the twin cities. I learned about a site at yesterdays social media breakfast called plantjotter where gardeners keep online garden journals. For new gardeners that may need advice on plants you can't beat going to the neighborhood garden center. I go to Leitners and they can answer most any question about plants and gardening. They may be able to help with plant identification too. If you have are a new home owner and you can not identify a plant ask your mother or a neighbor with a garden for help. If you don't want to grow your own veggies or start flowering plants from seeds I highly recommend the St. Paul Farmer's Market. You can't beat local Minnesota grown food including meat, cheese, honey and those wonderful fresh eggs. Did you know that landscaping is a home improvement that can give a 1000% return on your investment when it is time to sell? Maybe something worth looking into this summer.