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THIS WEEK'S CHECKLIST

The Baltimore Sun

Around the house

Check toilets for leaks. Add a drop or two of food coloring to water tanks at bedtime; if the water in the bowl is colored in the morning, replace the flapper ball.

Clean grit and mineral buildup from showerheads and faucet aerators.

Post important emergency info: Location of main gas valve, for instance, or contact numbers for heating and cooling service.

Get rid of old medicines, and make sure household chemicals are out of reach of children. Post the Maryland Poison Center hotline number (800-222-1222) near the main phone.

In the yard

Harvest kale, onions, leeks or other winter vegetables. Many vegetables store more sugars when they are exposed to cold temperatures.

On mild winter days, it's time to clean out the flower beds, remove fallen leaves and blossoms to avoid potential fungus and molds from growing.

Begin pruning fruit trees and rose bushes in order to improve the production before they start to bud.

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