The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 24, 1986 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 24, 1986
Page 7
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Living Today The Salina Journal Friday, January 24,1986 Page 8 Most seeds germinate indoors Gardening By CHARLES L. MILLER Extension Horticultural Agent There aren't that many secrets to starting seeds indoors but there are many different, successful techniques. The "secrets" are actually different ways to give seeds their few requirements — moisture, oxygen, proper temperatures, a clean environment to grow in, and sometimes light. Some seeds must be started early, inside the home or in a greenhouse, then transplanted to the garden. Many books will simply state as fact that other crops must be sowed directly where you want them to grow. If you have the desire and skill, almost anything can be germinated indoors and carefully transplanted out. I have grown corn, squash, and a few root crops from transplants with good results. This is a universal hobby, as simple or complex as you want to make it. If your budget for this is near $zero, seeds can be collected and garden soil 'sterilized' in an oven. The most consistent results are obtained with synthetic materials or soilless media. Seeds don't need any food or fertilizer to germinate. All their food is inside the seed. A material which supports their roots, holds moisture, and permits air penetration is all that is needed. Flats filled with perlite and/or sphagnum inoss will do well. They are already clean when new. The soilborne disease, damping off, is the most common reason for failure after germination. Clean materials must be used — clean hands, clean containers, clean potting soil. The damping off fungi cause the seedling to fall over, rotted away at the soil surface. It spreads very quickly in each container and among pots which touch. Milled sphagnum moss can be used as a fine, thin mulch to help damping off. Seed can be germinated singly in small containers. This eliminates lifting seedlings from the flat to pot up a larger container. Either way, use a good quality potting mixture. Containers can be found anywhere for free—styrofoam egg cartons, tin cans, plastic cups. Containers made of peat moss can be purchased in different shapes — cubes, pots, strips, and blocks. Plastic pots and trays can be reused several times. This year I am trying a block making tool. If it does a goob job, this will eliminate buying, finding, and storing containers. Plant the seed at the correct depth and on the correct date. If the seed package doesn't give this information, look in a good gardening book. Some vegetables germinate in only two days, others take as long as three weeks. You can supply a greenhouse-like environment by slipping the seed flat into a clear plastic bag and tying the end closed. Once they are up, seedlings like 12 hours of sunshine and 70 degrees each day and 60 degrees at night. I am planning to grow three tomato plants, two Jetstar and one cherry tomato. In this case, buying the transplants at the nursery or trading transplants with another gardener makes more sense than buying two packets of seeds. When planting out, give the plants opportunity to harden off first. Then plant out at the proper temperature. If a tomato is rushed out early, it will never do as well as it could have. As a precaution for a sudden cold spell, have some homemade hot caps standing by for immediate use. Photos illustrate authentic antiques By BARBARA MAYER APNewsfeatures One of the pitfalls of buying old furniture is separating the authentically antique from later reproductions that may look good, but are considerably less rare and valuable. Revivals of earlier styles occurred regularly World of antiques at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, and, indeed, are still being introduced today. Even the experts sometimes have difficulty separating the sheep from the goats, so a tyro is even more likely to make mistakes. What's needed, according to Judith Miller, an English collector, is a full range of photographs that illustrate the development of a particular piece and show characteristics of the style in various periods. Recently Miller and her husband, Martin Miller, a photographer, decided to create "the book we wished had existed when we began collecting old furniture in the 1960s," Miller said by telephone from her home in England. The resulting volume, "The Antiques Directory: Furniture" was recently published in England and the United States. The book has 640 pages more than 7,000 photographs, and it's hefty enough to go head to head with an unabridged dictionary. "When I started this project three years ago I didn't realize how much material there would be," she said. The undertaking got to be so unwieldy the Millers brought in an outside group of authorities to help them identify and catalogue the many kinds of furniture pictured. Though the most space is devoted to the 18th and 19th centuries — what she calls the golden age of furniture making — in England, France and the United States, the book covers the periods between the 15th century and the early 20th century. Besides the three countries mentioned, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal and the Orient are also represented. After studying all this furniture, she has come to the conclusion that the 18th and 19th centuries represent the height of the furniture making art. Today's furniture, for example, is almost completely based on the styles and methods originated or perfected in this 200 year period. Given that as a fact, how do you tell a revival piece from an original? According to Miller "there are pointers. The methods used in various eras are very well documented and descriptions and pictures reveal the differences,'' she said. For example, in the classical revival style a particular wood was commonly used whereas in an earlier period a different wood was common. There are also stylistic differences from one country to another. For example, American chairs may be based on an English style but have different arm and leg details. She has found that as one increases one's knowledge, the differences become evident. One way of gaming familiarity with the originals is to look at them in museums and restorations, especially in the United States where documentation is generally excellent. The greatest stylistic differences are found from one country to another in provincial furniture which was made locally by individuals who usually did not travel and thus were less influenced by the fashions of the day. These individuals would modify designs of other nearby cabinetmakers. Thus, over time a particular style became differentiated from its origins. With the longtime interest old furniture has been generating, one might question whether any pieces are left at affordable prices. According to Miller, the answer is yes. Prices generally fluctuate as different styles go in and out of fashion. Currently she says the demand for 19th century pieces has got some 18th century furniture underpriced. Since the recently completed book lists price categories for the furniture described, Miller should qualify as an expert on the subject. She noted "mid-range" (not grand) mahogany chests of drawers were recently selling for around $150 in England. She feels pieces from the low countries such as Belgium and Holland are also good buys at present. There are few secrets to getting a bargain in Miller's opinion: "What you must do is to buy anything that isn't currently popular." "The Antiques Directory: Furniture" is published by G. K. Hall & Co. Noisy pipes require repair by homeowner ByANDYLANG AP News!eatures When it sounds as though somebody is hitting your water pipes with a hammer, you have what is known as — naturally — "water hammer." A valve that has been shut off quickly makes the water in the pipe surge ahead and stop abruptly, causing the pipe to vibrate On the house and bang into a floor joist or something similar. Other things, such as excessive pressure in areas close to utility stations, can cause water hammer, but in a residence, the usual problem is the quick shutoff in a system that lacks a shock absorber or air chamber or has one or both that are malfunctioning. One way to stop the noise and the subsequent probable damage is to locate the source of the hammer. If you can trace it and get to the pipe, securing it with a metal strap or placing some kind of cushion between the pipe and whatever it is slamming against, you can eliminate the noise. Basically, however, there should be a shock absorber on the line that will prevent the pipe from vibrating in the first place. An air chamber is the usual solution. It's an extra piece of pipe attached to the line near the source of the trouble and has a cap on it. The air chamber cushions the shock. Air chambers can be assembled at the proper points or factory-made shock absorbers can be used. In either case, it's a job for a plumber unless you are experienced in plumbing work and your local codes permit that kind of installation by an unlicensed person. In certain cases of excessive pressure, the plumber will put in a pressure- reducing valve. Water hammer can occur even when your plumbing line is equipped with one or more air chambers. That's when an air chamber, normally filled with air, does not function properly because it becomes filled with water. The water can be removed from the chamber or chambers by turning off the valves under the bathroom tanks after being certain they are filled to their normal levels. Then shut off the water valve to the entire house. Turn on the faucet at the lowest point in the house, then turn on all the other faucets. This procedure will force the water out of the air chambers. If it doesn't, you need a plumber. When a noise in the water line takes place only at a faucet that is being used and is in the form of a chatter, it is likely the washer in that faucet has come loose or been chewed up. That means replacing the washer. First, turn off the water to the fixture, remove the stem, turn the screw at the Insects rely on survival strategies in winter By EARL ARONSON food requirements for the larvae the entomologist said. "Some, such soecies over the seasons. Liel Weeder's guide By EARL ARONSON AP Newsf eatures Many bugs deplete themselves of water as the days shorten and replace it with an antifreeze—glycerol — just as you prepare your car for winter as the cooler days arrive. The shorter days warn insects of the cold coming and they rid themselves of much of their body water, which can freeze when temperatures drop below 32 F. And the change in daylight triggers production of glycerol, a simple alcohol with a lower freezing point than water. "These insects also replace much of their water weight with fat, much the same way a bear does," says Jim Liebherr, entomologist at the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. ' 'The fat will provide most of the food requirements for the larvae during the cold winter.'' Liebherr explained in cold temperatures, water turns to ice by first forming crystals around impurities. To prevent this, insects also clear their bodies before settling in for winter. Once water has been replaced with fat and glycerol, the insects are in a state of hibernation called diapause — metabolism and respiration rates plummet, placing the bugs in a suspended animation that allows them to survive the winter. As long as no ice crystallization begins, the insects remain in a stable, non-frozen state, even though surrounding temperatures may drop well below freezing, Liebherr notes. Although many larvae spend the winter in diapause, adults face death in winter. "Many outdoor insects, such as adult fleas, die with the first frost," *•< the entomologist said. "Some, such as flies and beetles, however, rid themselves of their body's water and head for a cozy, warm spot," such as treeholes and building nooks. Adults usually don't become as dormant as larvae and may become active on a warm day. But larvae wait until their bodies are warmed for several days and break diapause. Other insects have different survival strategies. Liebherr says ants burrow several feet into the ground, where the soil provides insulation, and they need less food because their metabolic rates drop. Yellowjackets and hornets die in autumn's first frost, but not before the colony produces queens "that emerge with a body chock full of fat reserves and eggs that will be laid in spring." The queen goes to a warm place; females lay cold-resistant eggs before they die. This also is how spiders, gypsy moths and aphids perpetuate their Dollar bill helpful in finding air leak ByANDY LANG APNewsfeatures Q. — I once heard or read somewhere about a way to tell whether air is leaking into your refrigerator through a door that isn't quite airtight. Can you tell what it is? • A. — If you place a dollar bill jn the door Here's the answer frame so half of it is inside and half is out, the bill should be so secure it cannot be pulled out. If it comes out with a little tugging, then the door probably isn't airtight at that point. To make a complete test, you have to repeat it at different points along the door. If there is a leak only at one point, you can fix it by placing some tape there, but if there are several leaks, you are better off to buy a new seal. * * * Q. — We have some moss on part of our roof that is shielded from the sun by a large overhanging tree. Could this be the cause of the moss? A. — Definitely, yes. When the sun's rays cannot get through, that area of the roof remains damp longer than the other parts of it. The dampness generates growth of the moss. See if the removal of a single branch of the tree will permit the sun to shine through. * * * Q. — Settle an argument. I say clay roofing tiles come only in a natural reddish color. My friend says they come in many colors. Who is right? A. — Your friend is. Red is the natural color of clay tiles, but they can — and are — colored merely by adding certain pigments before the clay is fired. * * * Q. — There is a slight leak in our garage, which has a flat roof. Is there some way to find where there is an opening, A. — On a flat roof, the area where the leak shows usually is the area where the water is entering, which isn't always true with different kinds of roofs. Also, on a flat roof, a leak occurs where water collects. Just after a rain, examine the roof to see the place or places where the water remains. A single leak can be patched with roofing cement. A lot of leaks call for a new roof coverng. * * * Q. — I have located where a leak is on our asphalt shingled roof. It is from a loose shingle. What do I use to cement it? A. — Regular roofing cement. Lift the loose part gently and push the cement under it. Press it down with a piece of board. (Questions of general interest will be answered in this column. Send questions to Andy Lang, P.O. Box 477, Huntington, N.Y., 11743.) Club calendar bottom counterclockwise and make the replacement. Every house should have a box of assorted washers on hand, but if you don't have one and don't know the exact size, take the old one with you to the hardware store. When you do, make sure nobody in the house turns on the water while you are away or things will get a little wet. And while you are at it, buy some extra washers. A rumbling noise that occurs only in the hot water line is often caused because the water is too hot. Lower the temperature by 10 degrees or so. If it stops the noise, you will also save energy and money. In many houses, only the man of the house knows where the main water shutoff valve is located. All adult members of the household should know this in the event a pipe breaks or there is a major leak in the water line. In fact, it's a good idea to place small tags on each valve telling what its purpose is and how it can be turned off in an emergency. These tags can mean the difference between minor damage and a major repair bill if a pipe breaks at the wrong time. * * * (Questions of general interest will be answered in the column. Send questions to Andy Lang, P. 6. Box 477, Huntington, N.Y., 11743.) Saturday Amnesty International, 7 p.m. orientation for new members, 7:30 p.m. meeting, Carver Center. American Association of University Women Salina Branch, 9 a.m. buffet breakfast meeting, Elmore cafeteria. Program: Book review on "A Piece of Kansas History: The Orphan Train." Hostesses: Current affairs study group members. Cost: $3.64 per person. Dixie Dudes Square and Round Dance Club, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. eighth anniversary dance, National Guard Armory, Abilene. Caller: Larry Crady, Topeka. Rounds: Bill Stewart, Chapman. All dancers welcome. Parents Without Partners Inc., 6 p.m. soup supper, cards and games, J. Day, 505 W. Wilson. Cost: $1 per person. Moose, 9 p.m. dance to "Myron Hull Orchestra," Moose hall. Sunday Parents Without Partners Inc., 7:30 p.m. coffee and conversation, Eva Hickerson, 818 E. Cloud. Topic: "Progress in Parents Without Parents Inc. and Chapter Activities." 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. Kansas Day Club meeting TOPEKA — The Woman's Kansas Day Club annual meeting will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ramada Inn Downtown, Topeka. The theme of the event is "Opera Houses and Entertainment: Prior to 1950." Following a noon luncheon, Sali- nans Constance Achterberg and Pauline Cowger, past-presidents of the organization, will be hosts at a 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. reception at Cedar Crest, the governor's mansion. WKDC was formed in 1905 by the wives of legislators who were at the Capitol but not allowed in the chambers. The group contributes to the preservation of history by adopting a particular subject each year and collecting artifacts on the current theme. Memorabilia relating to the theme will be presented to the State Historical Society. "Serving Salina Since 1927" EQEN-WDD INSURANCE Pat Bolen «Ron Dupy species over the seasons, Liebherr says. "With so many species of insects in the world — somewhere between 6 to 10 million — there are many ways that insects have evolved to survive winter's harshness," Liebherr says. Stir Plant Soil The topsoil of your plants, whether in clay, ceramic or other pots, should be gently loosened to permit the constant exchange of air needed for healthy plants. Stir the surface soil with a small fork occasionally, before watering, and you'll find your plants look and grow much better. * * * (Any queries about gardening problems must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope and sent to Earl Aronson, AP News- features, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10020.) SAUNA'S BEST LOBSTER DEAL Discover the new taste in town — savory lobster tail at Skipper's Seafood 'n Chowder House. For just $6.99 you can enjoy a lobster tail served with lemon and butter, plus freshly baked cornbread, baked potato and coleslaw. Come on down today for a deal of a meal that no seafood lover should miss. Only at Skipper's. $6.99 lobster Tail Dinner 1-135 and Crawford in Salina —gkippenfr

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