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Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

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HOME I M P ROV E M E N T SECTION B ` THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 A DELTA PUBLICATIONS, INC SPECIAL SECTION

Gardening does not end as fall begins By Melinda Myers Fall is a great time to start a garden or renovate an existing planting bed. The soil is warm while the air is cool— a perfect combination for establishing new plantings. It is also a great time to prepare gardens for the next planting season. Investing time up front to create a healthy foundation for your plants will pay off with years of beautiful, healthy, and productive gardens. When you read plant tags and seed packets you will find that the majority of plants prefer moist, well-drained soil. Unfortunately, most gardeners are not growing in plant-friendly soils. Heavy clay, sandy, and droughty soils are much more common. Understanding what you have is the best place to start when creating a healthy soil foundation for new and existing gardens. Start with a soil test. Contact the local office of your Extension Service or statecertified soil testing lab for details. They can direct you on how to take a soil test and where to send the sample. The test results will tell you how much, if any, fertilizer, lime, or sulfur is needed. Following soil test recommendations can save you money spent on and time applying unnecessary soil additives. Plus, following the results will increase your gardening success. While waiting for the results you can do a bit of analysis yourself. Soils are made of clay, sand, and silt particles. The feel and cohesive nature of this sample will tell you a bit about your soil. Take a handful of soil and create a ribbon by rubbing it through your thumb and index finger to get a feel for your soil type. If the soil easily forms a ball or rolls into a sausage shape, feels slippery when wet and smoother when dry, you have a high percent of clay in your soil. Soils with a high percent of the very small clay particles are often called heavy soils. They stay wet longer and hold onto soil nutrients. Clay soils are slow to dry out and warm up in the spring. Avoid working them when wet. This leads to compaction and clods you will be contending with all season long.

Knowing what type of soil a garden bed has is a good starting point to creating a plant friendly environment.

Melinda Myers, LLC photo

Soils with a larger percent of sand particles don’t form a ball when moist and feel gritty to the touch. The much larger sand particles create bigger pores in the soil for water and nutrients to move through quickly. They tend to be nutrient deficient, fast draining and dry. But they warm up and dry quickly in the spring. Silt feels smooth like flour when dry and soapy slick when wet. They are the middle-sized particles that hold water and nutrients longer than sand, but not as much as clay particles. Silty soils drain slower and stay colder longer than sandy soils in the spring. Overworking soils with a high percent of silt leads to crusting and compaction, decreasing drainage and water infiltration.

Consult your soil test report when preparing your new garden beds. Prior to planting is the easiest time to add organic matter to any of these soil types. It increases the water-holding ability, the infiltration rate so less water runs off the soil surface and builds plant-friendly soil structure. Incorporate several inches of compost, aged manure or other organic matter into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil. Further improve your soil by using a slow release fertilizer with a high percent of organic matter like Milorganite (milorganite.com). The 85 percent organic matter feeds the soil microorganisms and your plants as it improves all soil types. You get multiple benefits with this type of fertilizer.

So, as you plan your new landscape additions this fall, include testing and amending the existing soil into your plans. Understanding your soil can help you create a strong foundation important to the health, longevity, and beauty of your gardens and landscapes. (Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including “Small Space Gardening.” She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Milorganite for her expertise to write this article.)

Moving Day: 5 tips to safely haul stuff to new home Changing residences can call for the coordination of a lot of details, and that is especially true if you are a do-it-yourselfer who is renting a truck rather than hiring a moving company. Though the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the average American changes homes 11.4 times in his lifetime, many of us never take time to think about the potential safety hazards involved. Usually we are way more focused on

the challenges of figuring out all the logistics, packing up our possessions in logical fashion, and starting the psychological adjustment of having a new place of residence. Still, it is important to take a moment to think about best practices for the safety of you and your family as you plan your move. Consider taking the following steps toward a safe and organized moving process.

1. Assign roles. Organize your packing and loading crew so everyone knows his role. Your work will be much more efficient—and you will not get in each other’s way—if your friends and family members are each assigned a task according to their physical capabilities. As a side note, you may wish to keep small children completely off-site so the adults can focus on the often physical work at hand.

2. Choose a reputable rental company. Secure your moving truck from a reputable dealer, then follow its specific instructions for safely packing and driving the vehicle. Trusted longtime vendor Penske Truck Rental offers a clean, reliable, well-maintained vehicle every time, with a range of available packing and moving tools and the peace of mind that Turn to MOVE/page 12B


10B

Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

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Last year the Scandinavian concept of Hygge took the interior design stage by storm with people around the world flocking to buy cozy blankets and sheepskin throws. This year, Noa Santos, interior co-founder of interior design company Homepolish, said hygge has experienced a rebirth and visually has become the elevated, bolder enhancement of last year’s concept. It is about purposeful design choices that stand out and speak for themselves, and not shying away from bold design decisions to make home an oasis of coziness. So whether enjoying a warm cup of tea while wrapped in your favorite blanket on the couch, inviting friends over for a quaint dinner or reading a good book on an incredibly comfortable leather chair while candles flicker, here is how to hygge your home. Hygge is more than just a Scandinavian way of life. Many Americans are embracing living in this manner while designing their spaces to reflect their personal approach to hygge. “I live in one of the world’s most bustling cities, which makes winding down even more essential in my day to day,” said Noa Santos, who is based in New York City. “For those chaotic nights when I really want to Zen out, I practice the Danish art of hygge—and it’s not just as

a passing trend full of all roaring fires and chunky sweaters. Hygge is a way of life and accessible to all.” Santos used his expertise to integrate hygge into his personal home as well as those of his clients. Here are his three tips to help you master this cozy trend in your favorite spaces, too.

Decluttering “There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home to a streamlined space,” Santos said. “To achieve this, it’s important to periodically rid your home of extraneous items and embrace the comfy ones, like a warm blanket and scented candles.” When it comes to Hygge, do not think that decluttering means destyling; in fact, where better to make a bold statement than with a piece you both need and want. “I recommend LG’s suite of Matte Black Stainless Steel kitchen appliances to really lend your space a sleek, minimalist vibe that still capitalizes on coziness,” Santos said. “What I love about them is that they’re statement pieces but are also versatile because they complement just about any color or kitchen style—whether it’s traditional or contemporary.”

ing natural elements to a home’s interior enhances any design aesthetic. From French country and traditional to contemporary and industrial, adding organic materials to your design will instantly add feelings of hygge. “Artfully arranged flowers and perfectly placed plants help cement your space as an indoor Eden,” Santos said. “The positive psychological benefits aren’t too shabby either. Organic materials like wood and leather work like a charm as well.” Gather Hygge isn’t just how you design your space, it’s how you use it. “Whether it’s just your significant other or a handful of close friends, sharing a meal around the table—especially a hand-crafted one—is a great way to nail hygge,” Santos said. “I recommend keeping your fridge stocked with food for these dinners. You never know when you may need to plan an emergency meal with your favorite warm comfort foods.”

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11B Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

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12B

Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

Precise practices help preserve produce By Ray Mueller Careful attention to storage practices for root crops and other vegetables can preserve their quality and extend their edibility for many months, experienced gardeners Larisa Walk of Winona, Minnesota and Jan Erdman of Menomonie told attendees at the 2017 Energy Fair. The two women shared differing practices on how they handle certain items but they agreed on the importance of knowing the traits on how various vegetables and fruits handle storage. Erdman said she is motivated by the idea of storage methods because it means less work at the time of harvest and less canning of the produce. A practice that Walk has discovered is using insulated picnic coolers once the summer is over for storing vegetables such as beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, and potatoes—each of which should be in a separate container. Walk cited the ease of moving the coolers to new places at the appropriate temperature as the weather changes and pointed out how the coolers buffer temperature and humidity extremes. She also has a root cellar that was constructed under a sun porch.

Staying alive Once certain species are removed from the garden, they want to remain alive in storage, Erdman and Walk pointed out. This applies to root crops and tubers along with leafy cole crops and the biennials such as carrots and parsnips which produce seed in a second year of growth, they explained. With carrots, Erdman processes those of poor quality and prepares the remainder for longer term storage. In order to maintain the cleanliness of her facilities, she washes the soil from her carrots with

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comes with 24-hour roadside assistance. 3. Optimize tools. Use dollies, hand trucks, harnesses, and/or multiple people to lift boxes that weigh more than 50 pounds. If you are a do-it-yourselfer you may take pride in being able to handle any chore yourself, but you need to remember you will be self-sufficient no longer if you sustain an injury from trying to be superhuman. 4. Lift correctly. When picking up any-

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a hose, trims the top one inch, dries them, and then stores them in plastic bags. Walk partially washes the carrots dug from her clay soil, does not trim the tops, and dries them for storage with the help of sawdust. She said it is important to chose the carrot varieties which are suitable for long-term storage. Additional hints One cardinal rule of storage is to avoid having apples and potatoes close to another, Walk and Erdman pointed out. That is because apples, along with tomatoes, honeydew melons, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, and pears emit an ethylene to which potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and beans are sensitive. With awareness of the storage life of differing varieties of apples, Walk likes to use the coolers for storage. She finds that putting layers of newspapers between the apples is a good practice. For potatoes, Erdman chooses plastic bins (not wood ones) and Walk uses milk carton crates, making sure the storage site temperature is not below 45 F. While those foods thrive on high humidity in storage, lower humidity is appropriate for onions and garlic, the presenters noted. Walk pointed out that onion storage varies with the variety, meaning that the Vidalia is not a candidate for long-term storage. Both need to be cure dried before being put in a dark place with 60 to 70 percent humidity. Dried shelled beans also enjoy the dark in sealed jars. Season extenders In addition to enhancing the storage window by harvesting as late as possible, Walk and Erdman cited the possibility of harvesting root crops such as carrots, tur-

continued from page 9B thing even moderately heavy, avoid back injuries by keeping your back vertical and your chest forward. Draw the item as close to your body as possible while bending at the knees and lifting with your legs, avoiding bending horizontally as you straighten. 5. Be aware of obstacles. When moving items out of your house and into your vehicle, watch for items that could trip you or get in your way.

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nips, and parsnips throughout the winter if they are covered to prevent freezing of the soil. With a bit of covering during the winter, spinach plants can survive the winter and provide fresh greens early in the spring, Walk pointed out. Erdman mentioned the harvesting of kale in November and December in most years. While noting it is a risky practice, she cited one success with planting peas in August. Walk advised growing pea sprouts indoors and harvesting them throughout the winter as fresh produce. Plant growth will virtually cease when there are less than 10 hours of sunlight

per day but there are ways to keep species such as lettuce alive during those times, the presenters indicated. They explained each added layer of protection such as a cold frame unit, a blanket, plastic row cover, low tunnel building, or hoop house in effect adds one growing zone to the possibilities at a given site. Walk provides insights on a “four season pantry” on her www.GeoPathfinder. com website. For a while, she published a blog but stopped doing so because it rarely received a reply. She can be reached by e-mail to boxeldergrove@ yahoo.com.

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Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

13B

5 steps to protect home from rodents this fall Once they are inside, rats and other rodents can do a lot of harm to your home. This includes damage to electrical wiring, metal or plastic pipes and insulation found in walls and attics. On top of structural damage, the critters are not good for the people who live in your home, either: Some species of mice and rats can transmit diseases like hantavirus through their urine and droppings. Between the potential health issues and possible damage to your home, the last thing you want to hear is the scurrying of little rodent feet in your walls or attic. Luckily, there are steps you can take that will help keep those critters out. The experts at Terminix have some tips that can help you protect your home from rodents.

of firewood or piles of debris away from your home, as they can attract rodents and hide burrow entrances.

airtight containers so rats will not be able to smell it, and avoid leaving unsealed food sitting out.

avoid letting rodents looking for a free meal make the trip into your walls, attic or even chimney.

Protect food from hungry rodents Your house may be filled with food, but you don’t have to make it easy for rodents to find that out. Avoid attracting rodents that can eat and contaminate your food by storing it properly. Keep unpackaged food—even pet food—in

Properly dispose of waste An open trash can presents a feast for hungry rodents. Keep outdoor trash cans properly closed and away from your home. If you have a compost pile in your yard, also try to move it as far away from the exterior of your house as possible, to

Call in the experts Pest control professionals, such as Terminix’s trained technicians, can provide an inspection to determine the best way to set up a strong defense and get rid of any unwelcome houseguests that have already moved in.

Block possible points of entry Be aware of any holes or cracks in the exterior of your home. You may think a small hole is too narrow for a rat to squeeze through, but a rat may think differently—and may even gnaw the hole wider. A full-grown rat can enter your home through a hole about the size of a quarter, and a mouse only needs an opening measuring one-fourth of an inch. Properly seal any openings you find to help prevent rodents from wriggling their way into your house. Trim back trees, move debris Tree limbs that touch your house can provide an easy access point for rodents, almost like a ladder or bridge. Some species of rats even nest in trees. Do some careful pruning to clear away any branches close to or touching your house. You should also keep any stacks

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14B

Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

4 ways to prepare home as winter nears When you start feeling those first hints of winter, the instinct to get ready kicks into high gear. You may dig out your car’s snow brush, blanket, shovel and winter survival kit and place them in the trunk of your car. The winter coats and boots come out of storage, and you may pick up some extra mittens. We do these things to protect ourselves from the cold when we are out and about. But what do you do to protect your house against the hazards of winter? If you do not take time for maintenance and winterization now, you can end up paying for it later in the form of higher energy bills, frozen pipes, or fixing a broken furnace. Here are four common problems that can hit home during the winter and what you can do to ward them off. Sky-high energy bills: Do your electric bills rise during the wintertime? Heating your home accounts for about half of your home’s energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Combat the cold by sealing off any cracks or gaps with caulk and inspect entrances for worn or broken weatherstripping. Schedule a furnace inspection with an HVAC contractor and consider installing a smarter thermostat. Learning thermostats, such as Nest, can remember your favorite temperatures, turning itself down when you leave for work, as well as returning to your favorite temp at the end of the day. Water leaks: We take our pipes for granted, but we do not always anticipate

what can go wrong when we are not home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage accounts for half of all property damage claims. Add winter’s freezing temperatures to the mix, and you can end up with a big problem if your home has a power outage or your furnace malfunctions. For extra peace of mind, there is now a leak and flood protection system you can purchase that shuts off your water main’s supply when it detects leaks—and sends an alert right to your smart device. LeakSmart Snap installs in seconds without any tools or the need to cut into the main water supply line. Wireless sensors placed around the house can detect a leak or temperature changes and shut down the whole house water supply in seconds. It is compatible with LeakSmart Hub 3.0, which offers battery back-up and built in Wi-Fi for 24/7 whole home protection. The system will still work on its own or integrated with smart home systems, so if the power and internet go out, you do not have to worry about coming home to water damage. If you are interested in learning more about how this smart device can protect your home, visit LeakSmart.com. Power outages: When a winter storm hits, the ice and wind can break power lines and interrupt the supply of electricity to our homes. It is not uncommon for some outages to last for days, which is why it is always smart to be prepared. Before winter hits, make certain your generator or other backup power source

has ample fuel and is in good work- heat from escaping through the roof. ing order. Keep some basic supplies at While you are up there, look for gaps the ready, so you can keep your family and leaks. Finally, this is a good time to comfortable. Make sure you have extra invest in a simple snow rake, so you can blankets, stocking caps, batteries and easily remove wet, heavy snow from your fully charged power banks for your mo- roof before the dams can start forming. bile phones. It is also good to have a few Now that you know the most common gallons of fresh water and some cans of winter hazards that can hit home, you ready-to-eat chili and stew. If you have can take the steps to protect your investa camp stove, keep it in an easy-to-reach ment and keep your family comfortable place, along with a fuel supply. and safe. Ice dams: Another thing to watch for in the winter are pools of water forming on your roof. These can be caused by ridges of snow and ice, and eventually cause leaks to the interior of your home. Ice dams can also lead to the formation of large, pointy icicles that hang from the gutters, which can fall and injure RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL • AGRICULTURAL people. Luckily, a little work up front can go a long way toward preventing ice dams and the damage they can cause. First, make sure the gutters and downspouts Plumbing • Heating/AC • Septic are clear of leaves and “For over 90 years and 4 generations” other yard debris, so the 954 FORWARD AVENUE, CHILTON snowmelt has a place to (920) 849-2050 go. Next, poke your head karlsmechanical@hotmail.com into the crawlspace of www.karlsmechanical.com your attic and see if the MP# 247289 insulation layer is still thick enough to keep the

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Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

15B

Tips offered for making indoor gardening pet safe By Melinda Myers Houseplants make a wonderful addition to our home’s décor and improve the indoor air quality. Those with pets, however, may struggle with keeping plants safe from curious pets and the pets safe from indoor greenery. The good news is you can grow an indoor garden even when you own pets. Yes, some do love to dig in the soil or even eat our favorite houseplants, but with proper plant selection and planning you can keep your pets safe while enjoying an indoor garden. Start by selecting plants that are safe for your pets. Consult the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website for a list of pet-safe plants to grow and toxic plants you should avoid. This will reduce your anxiety by helping you create an indoor green space safe for your pets. Incorporate a few easy-care plants like blunt leaf peperomia, cast iron plant, spider plant, and Swedish ivy that are not toxic to cats and dogs. Add some color to your indoor garden with dog and cat safe African violets and Phalaenopsis orchid. Next, adjust your gardening style to keep your plants safe from curious pets. Mulch the soil in large planters with chunky woodchips or decorative stones to prevent cats from using the planters as a spare litter box. Just make sure the mulch is not attractive to or poses a danger to dogs or other pets that might be tempted to eat the mulch or get it lodged

in their mouth. Another option is to invest in a commercial mat designed to prevent digging. Most are made of plastic or rubber with upward facing nubs that humanely discourage digging. Just cut the mat to size and set it on the soil surface. Consider elevating your garden by growing plants in hanging baskets or in pots placed on high shelves out of the reach of curious animals. Be sure to keep up with pruning as those longdangling stems can provide tempting entertainment. Break out the homemade or commercial repellents for those persistent pets. Use products labeled for this purpose or make sure your homemade concoction is safe for pets, plants, and furnishings. Enlisting scare tactics may be the next step to keeping your plants safe from grazing pets. Squirt bottles, noisemakers, and commercial devices may help deter pets from digging and munching on plants. Using a variety of strategies often yields the best results. Once you find the best method for keeping your plants safe and pets healthy and happy, you will be able to enjoy the beauty and benefits indoor plants provide. (Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books and is the host of The Great Courses’ How to Grow Anything DVD series. Her website, www.MelindaMyers.com, offers gardening tips and videos.)

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Spider plant is an easy-care plant that is non-toxic to dogs and cats.

Melinda Myers, LLC photo

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Tri-County news • Serving Chilton, Kiel & New Holstein • Thursday, September 27, 2018

8 home security tips as recommended by police Did you know that many police departments have a community affairs officer whose primary goal is to build a strong working relationship with the community? That means you have access to a trained safety expert who wants to give you ideas to keep your home and neighborhood safe. Read on for eight simple home security hacks from a recent home safety evaluation conducted by a police officer. 1. Change the locks When was the last time you changed the locks? How many previous owners have there been and how many keys have been given out to neighbors, friends, family or delivery people? You never know who has a second copy, and for less than $100 at Home Depot, you can change your locks immediately. 2. Replace outdoor lightbulbs If you don’t have outdoor flood lights, get them. If you have them, make sure the bulbs are in working order. 3. Place an alarm sign in your yard Many would-be thieves won’t approach a house if they think it has an alarm. You can get an alarm sign online. 4. Buy an indoor camera Cameras can capture a suspect in the act and let homeowners check the

footage from anywhere. FunLux indoor cameras offer high-quality images and night vision, and they are motion activated and affordable. You can get them on Amazon for about $25 each. 5. Get out the garden shears Every bush outside of your windows should be below the window line, usually two to three feet in height, to maximize your visibility from the inside of your house to the outside, so that means you must trim your bushes. You can get garden shears at your local hardware store for $15.

Security cameras are just one way to monitor the safety of a person’s home.

6. Bake some cookies One of the best ways to stay safe is to work together as a neighborhood. We all need to keep an eye on each other and what better way to start that relationship than with a plate of cookies? 7. Protect your neighborhood There are many measures you can take to improve your community safety, with varying levels of affordability. Some cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and some, like Flock Safety, you can buy for less than $3 per month, per home. 8. Ask for a security survey Officers will walk around your house, inside and out, to assess its safety and could reveal some surprising tips. They want to help.

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Fall Home Improvement 2018  

Enjoy reading Fall Home Improvement 2018

Fall Home Improvement 2018  

Enjoy reading Fall Home Improvement 2018