Living Today The Salina Journal Friday, January 17,1986 Page 6 Seed catalogs inspire green thumbs Gardening By CHARLES L. MILLER Extension Horticultural Agent Have you received all of those mail-order seed catalogs? If not, look in the advertising sections at the back of any garden magazine and send for a few free catalogs. Even if you don't order from them every year or prefer to buy most of your seeds locally, they are a good source of information and ideas. Plant catalogs offer many new varieties from which to choose. New tools and supplies are pictured or described as well as useful gardening advice. Some contain charts of planting time, days to harvest, and planting distance for vegetable crops. For flowers and other ornamentals, they may give cultural requirements, season of bloom, germination time, and how the plants may be used. Some catalogs offer a little bit of everything. Others may specialize in just one type of plant. Keep in mind these are advertisements. The glowing descriptions and pictures of perfection may be difficult to duplicate in the home garden. Plan your garden in detail before ordering seeds. Draw a garden outline and mark the space needed for each crop. Now pretend this is July. It is hot, you are busy, and the weeds are taking over. Is the garden too large? It probably is. Memories of last year's experience are short- lived and expectations for this year's harvest run uncontrolled. Use a smaller space more effectively. Interplant crops which are good compan- ions, like lettuce among the cabbages. Make succession plantings to get a ( second crop in the space occupied by an early-harvested crop. Staggered plantings will spread out the harvest season of crops that produce abundantly at one time—lettuce, beans, corn, radishes. Try planting the garden in wide rows. Narrow rows were developed for large mechanical cultivating equipment. If you cultivate by hand, they will make work for you. Avoid wasted space. Weeds will grow there. Include the entire family in planning the garden. Plant what they will eat. Buy varieties adapted to this area. The extension service has a free publication which lists the better ones. It is titled "Recommended Vegetable Varieties for Kansas." Don't avoid varieties just because they are new. Try one each year for the fun of it. Before a vegetable can be' 'tried-and-true" it must be tried. If possible, order garden seeds early/There are several benefits. Receiving what you ordered is the most obvious. Supplies are limited and some popular varieties may become "sold out." Some companies offer discounts or bonuses for early orders. And early spring crops like broccoli and cabbage must be started indoors in February so you will need your seeds promptly. If you would like a free publication on the basics of vegetable gardening, stop by the extension office, Room 111 in the City-County Building, and ask for "Kansas Garden Guide." Many Americans relax in whirlpools From the Journal's Wire Services A nice hot soak in the tub is wonderful therapy for tired muscles and frayed nerves. Now you can magnify the benefits by adding a whirlpool massage. Once a luxury reserved for varsity athletes and members of health clubs, the whirlpool tub is adding new dimensions of comfort and style in American bathrooms, according to Better Homes and Gardens. One reason for the growing popularity of whirlpool tubs is our increased concern about health and fitness. We exercise more and we're subject to stress in our daily routines at home and at work. Whirlpool bathing affords a fast and effective means of dissolving tension and soothing strained muscles. Another reason is bathrooms now play a more important role in our daily lives. No longer just a utilitarian necessity, the bathroom is emerging as a personal retreat. There is a growing trend toward larger, more luxurious, multipurpose bathrooms that incorporate separate tub and shower compartments, exercise equipment, saunas, telephones, TV sets and stereo sound systems. At the heart of this new bath concept is a luxurious whirlpool tub. The soothing warmth of hot water and the gentle massage of a whirlpool's jet streams produce a number of benefits. (The benefits begin after only five minutes; 15 to 20 minutes produce maximum results.) The warmth raises body temperature and increases blood flow, pulse rate and water loss. It also dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, opens pores and improves circulation. The body's attempt to cool itself burns calories. For healthy people, these physiological responses are stimulating. However, manufacturers warn that persons with diabetes, respiratory problems, high blood pressure and other disorders should take precautions. Some manufacturers suggest anyone with health problems, as well as children, pregnant women, and the elderly, consult a physician before using a whirlpool. Many also advise that water temperature not exceed 104 degrees. Before you shop around for a whirlpool tub, it's helpful to know how the tubs are constructed, how they work and how they're installed. Basically, a whirlpool is a bathtub attached to an electric pump. The pump pushes a mixture of air and water through jets located in the tub's shell. This system creates the buoyant and swirling Prices start at $1,000 Whirlpool tubs come in a wide assortment of colors, shapes and sizes. Many companies sell one-person tubs, sized to replace the standard bathtub, for $1,000 to $1,700. These are generally preplumbed units, ready for installation. Higher priced systems are .available in a greater range of materials, sizes, designs and colors, and come with more controls for adjusting the direction, aeration and volume of the water streams. • More extravagant single-person tubs cost from $1,700 to $2,500; whirlpools large enough for two persons range from $2,000 to $4,000; and systems sized for three or four persons range from $3,500 to $10,000. The cost of a whirlpool depends not only on size, but on the colors, piping material and fixtures. streams of bubbles characteristic of the whirlpool. The pressure behind each stream of aerated water is determined by the power of the pump motor, the number of jets and the size of each jet opening. If you're purchasing a single-person tub, be sure it has at least a %-horsepower motor. Shells on whirlpool tubs are usually constructed of fiberglass and surfaced with either a polyester gel or an acrylic coating. Polyester scratches and blisters easily but is repairable at home with a special kit. Acrylic surfaces are glossier and more durable but more difficult to repair if marred. To help maintain the finish on a fiberglass tub, some manufacturers suggest cleaning and polishing once a year by professionals. Many designers steer their clients toward whites and beiges because dark colors show water spots. Fiberglass shells need to be mounted and insulated carefully to reduce vibration. Whirlpool shells constructed of cultured marble and onyx, cast iron and solid stone are also available. These materials are handsome but more expensive than fiberglass. The least expensive type of shell is constructed of formed steel enameled with porcelain. Housed within the shell of a whirlpool tub is a three-part mechanical apparatus including the pump, the motor and the air induction system. Most tubs come complete with all working parts, but dealers who represent smaller regional manufacturers may sell the working parts separately. It's important to choose a system that's adequately powered for the size of the tub. If you're not sure which system is best, keep in mind that the big names in whirlpool productions sell products with properly sized mechanical systems. Some of these larger companies market their mechanical systems separately to regional tub manufacturers, so you may be able to specify a certain system when ordering a tub. A whirlpool tub costs more to install than a standard tub, but it's much cheaper to have the work done while your bathroom is under construction than to postpone it. Before you make your purchase, discuss the following questions in detail with your plumbing contractor and tub dealer. • Will your floor support the weight of the whirlpool when filled with both water and people? Even a small tub holds 70 gallons of water, which weighs about 575 pounds. • Will your water heater have the capacity and recovery rate to fill a large tub? If not, you'll need to investigate the cost of an auxiliary heater. • Will your plumbing system be adequate? In most bathrooms, the main supply line (the pipe, that supplies water to the fixtures) is % inch in diameter. To fill a large tub quickly, before the water cools, you will need a larger branch pipe. A tub designed for three or more people needs to be, piped with either one %-inch line or two Ms-inch lines. Water pressure is another consideration. It must be strong enough to fill a tub quickly. • Will an oversize tub fit your bathroom? If space is tight, you may want to consider a whirlpool tub that fits a standard-size tub opening (approximately 3x5 feet) or makes up in height what it lacks in area. • Can a whirlpool be positioned in your bathroom to allow access to pumps and motor for repairs? Some tubs have removable front panels; others must be serviced through a hatch in the bathroom wall. • What kind of tub surround do you want? It's less expensive to install a whirlpool with its own apron (like those on standard tubs) than one requiring a custom-built surround or platform. New wall switches computerize lighting ByANDY LANG AP Newsf eatures What's new on the market? • A On the house computerized wall switch. Manufactu rer's claim — This product is designed to replace any standard wall light switch ... it can be programmed to switch lights on and off up to eight times a day... it .has a built-in digital clock, plus a program button and is ideal for operating on an outside porch, stairway, hallway or room lights to make a home look "lived in" when nobody is there ... it can be operated automatically or manually... a touch of its panel switches the light on or off or activates a dimmer control... and it is simple to install in place of any single pole light switch. * * * • A polyurethane and stain in one. Manufacturer's claim — This finishing material can be applied to any interior wood surface to enhance the beauty of the grain ... it can be used on previously varnished surfaces in Homeowners policy valuable protection By The Journal's Wire Services Your home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. Protecting your investment adequately and at a reasonable price requires an understanding of what your insurance dollar buys. Don't wait until floodwaters are lapping at your doorstep to rummage around for the homeowners policy you bought last year but never read. When you consider the stakes, the few hundred dollars a year it usually takes to protect a family home is well spent. Rates depend on several variables, including the age of your house, whether it is brick or wood frame, and its proximity to police and fire protection. Rates vary considerably among insurers, too, so don't settle for the $300 quote offered by the first agent you talk to. The basic homeowners policy covers losses to your home and property due to fire, windstorm, hail, smoke, theft, vandalism and other causes. Exclusions include damage from nuclear radiation, flood and war. Contact several agents and carefully study the policies under consideration. Compare what each covers, but give equal consideration to what is not covered. Buy what you need and no more. How much is enough? A standard rule is to insure for at least 80 percent of the replacement cost—not the purchase price — of your home. The purchase price included the land on which your house sits. Insuring for the full amount of the purchase price is unnecessary because the land will retain its value even if your house is ruined. Most houses appreciate over time, so it pays to keep your policy current. good condition to change or darken the color without removing the old finish... it protects finished surfaces from ring marks and requires no waxing or polishing ... and it is available in six colors. • A system for easier installation of ceiling fixtures. Manufacturer's claim — The system has a two-piece modular design attached to a special receptacle that is installed into the 4-inch junction box in the ceiling... a jack is wired to the fixture while standing on the floor, then attached to the receptacle ... this eliminates holding a heavy fixture ... it can support up to 200 pounds ... it is corrosion-resistant and has received an Underwriters Laboratories listing. * * * • A clipper-shredder for turning plant and kitchen waste into mature compost. Manufacturer's claim — This ma- chine gives big-farm results but weighs less than 50 pounds ... in two or three weeks in a compost pile, chipped organic material from the chipper-shredder becomes a rich humus that improves soil texture and structure, and helps it to retain air, water and essential nutrients ... it resists hot and cold temperature extremes ... it is rustproof and shockproof ... and its blades detach easily for resharpening or replacement. (The wall switch is manufactured by Intermatic Inc., Intermatic Plaza, Spring Grove, IL 60081; the finishing material by United Gilsonite Laboratories, P.O. Box 70, Scranton, PA 18501; the fixture installation method by Ldghtech Industries, 6 Landmark Square, Stamford, CT 06901; and the clipper- shredder by Mantis Manufacturing, 1458 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006). There's a HEALTH INSURANCE Shield for you tool AT SHELTER, ITS A M ATT W Of ^ PERSONAL PRtoE. DON MOSIER Crawford & Ohio — Salina 825-6227 CUSTOM MATTING FRAMING Warm air leaks through and wets storm window By ANDY LANG APNewsfeatures Q. — I have read about how condensation occurs on a window when warm air settles on a cold pane, but I need some advice on what is happening on two of my living room windows. We have storm windows on both of those windows. When Here's the answer condensation took place on the inside of the storm windows last year, we were told the storm windows must not have been airtight, so we did everything we could to make them so, adding weatherstripping and caulking. It was near the end of the cold season and we could not be sure this remedy had worked. We find this season the same thing is happening — that is, the inside of the storm windows get wet and drip down. I sure hope you can solve this problem for us. A. — The inside of the storm windows would not be fostering condensation unless warm air was settling on them. The conclusion is the warm air is coming from inside the house. In other words, it is getting through your regular windows. To prevent this, you have to make them airtight. You don't say, but presumably they are double-hung windows, which usually are at fault because of the space between the two windows at the center. After checking the putty around the pane to be sure air is not leaking through it, weatherstrip wherever there is a space through which air can pass. If warm air cannot touch the insides of the storm windows, there will be no condensation there. * * * Q. — My house was painted about five years ago. It has stood up pretty well until now, when I notice some parts of the wood siding have developed small cracked lines in them that cross all over each other. What causes this and how can I correct it before repainting? A. — The condition is known as either checking or alligatoring, depending on how severe it is. In its early stages, it is called checking. If the lines are not severe, you might get by sanding them down before painting. But the condition known as alligator- ing — so-called because it resembles the skin of an alligator — requires removal of the paint. All surfaces of this kind can be due to any one of a number of reasons or a combination of them. Among the causes are painting over a dirty surface, using one kind of paint over another without a primer or applying an inferior paint, but in most cases, it is the result of not allowing sufficient drying time between coats. * * * Q.—I want to refinish my attic. Is there some standard size the knee walls should be? A. — Your local building code will specify the required height of the knee walls, but usually it is about 4 feet. If there is no specification, that height is a good idea in any case, as it will handle almost any kind of wall material you use. * * * Q. — In putting insulation in my attic, which side should the insulation vapor barrier face? A. — Any vapor barrier on insulation should always face the heated part of the house. * * * Q. — I have to replace some windows in my house. Can I leave the old window frame and trim in place? A. — In many cases, yes. The Small Homes Council-Building Research Council of the University of Illinois has an excellent publication called "Replacement Windows" that discusses this question and the entire subject. Single copies are free on request from the Council at the University, One East St. Mary's Road, Champaign, 1161820. * * * Q. — Our house needs reroof- ing. I think, but am not certain, there is only one layer of asphalt shingles on it. Can another layer be placed right over it? A.—This is the most frequently asked question regarding reroof- ing. Everything depends on how much weight your particular roof can stand. That can only be determined by a roofer after an inspection. Two layers usually are all right for most roofs. Some can handle three. * * * Q. — The gutters on our house have thousands of what look like tiny pebbles in them. Presumably they have come off the roof. What does this mean? A. — It usually indicates a re- roofing is due. Better have it checked professionally. The "pebbles" are mineral granules. (Questions of general interest wil be answered in this column. Send them to Andy Lang, P.O. Box 477, Huntington, N.Y. 11743.) Club calendar Saturday Eagles Lodge, 6:30 p.m. birthday and anniversary dinner; dance following to music by "Tumbleweeds," Aerie Home. Leslie Kreps Post 62, the American Legion, 7 to 9 p.m. steak night, Post Home. Bowling tournament through Sunday at New Holiday Bowl. Chapter HH of PEO, 11 a.m. meeting, Wendy Moshier, 2362 Montclair. Program: "PEO — The Spirit of Founder's Day" — New members. Co-hostesses: Margaret Yarnevich and Rose Brungardt. Salina Moose Lodge 721, 9 p.m. anniversary night dance to music by "Kansas Country," Moose Home. Western night. Winning Ones, 9 p.m. dance, Abilene Inn Club. Xi Eta Delta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, 7:30 p.m. Chinese New Year party, Gaylene Rupert, 2607 Key. Co-hostesses: Marsha Cobb and Cheryl Stockham. Sunday Parents Without Partners Inc., 2 p.m. family roller skating party, 2661 Market Place; 7:30 p.m. coffee and conversation, L. Mahoney, 2146 Kensington, topic: "Craft Sewing as a Hobby." Alateen Serenity Seekers, 6 p.m. meeting, Carver Center, 315 N. Second. Tri-Rivers Running Club, 3 p.m. fun run, meet north of Oakdale Park gazebo. Open to members and guests. and anyone interested in running. Non-competitive. No entry fee. Breakfast Alcoholics Anonymous, 10 a.m. meeting, Red Coach Inn, 2110 W. Crawford. Alcoholics Anonymous, 8 p.m. meeting, Cavalier Court. rummage SflL€! ENTIRE WINTER STOCK! CLOSE-OUT PRIZES! JRS'.! MISSES'! Sweaters! Blouses! Activewear! Skirts! Pants! Blazers! Dresses & More!
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