Following are several tips that can help home gardeners in growing transplants.

* Use fluorescent lamps, not incandescent bulbs. Often a south-facing window does not provide enough light to grow strong transplants and therefore supplemental lighting is helpful. Fluorescent lights produce much less heat than incandescent bulbs. This allows fluorescent bulbs to be placed very close to the plants (two to four inches), if desired. Sixteen hours of light each day usually is sufficient. A timer can be used to automate the process.

* Re-wet a peat-based media with hot water. Though moist peat will absorb cold water easily, dry peat will not. Hot water overcomes the hydrophobic nature of dry peat. Small batches of media can be mixed with water in a sealable plastic bag to cut down on the mess.

* Plants react to movement. Brushing your hand over the tops of the plants each morning and afternoon will cause them to become stockier. Use about 10 strokes each time. Strokes will not compensate for lack of light. Plants grown under inadequate light will be spindly regardless of care.

Information provided by Ward Upham, Kansas State specialist.

Rabbit-resistant flowers

Rabbits can cause a great deal of damage to plants in Kansas. Though fencing is a very effective control, it may be too unattractive for some uses. In such cases, using plants that are less likely to be attractive to rabbits can be helpful. Note that these plants are resistant, not immune, to attack. Young plants or those that are succulent due to over-fertilization are more likely to be damaged. Also, the unavailability of other food sources can result in rabbits feeding on plants that are normally rejected.

A list of flowers considered resistant to feeding damage by rabbits include artmesia, aster, bee balm, begonia, blanket flower, bleeding heart, candytuft, columbine coreopsis, crocus, daffodil, dahlia, daylily, ferns, gloriosa daisy, herbs (except basil), iris, lamb's ears, pincushion flower, red hot poker, surprise lily, sweet violet, verbena and yarrow.

This information came from a University of Arizona publication titled "Deer and Rabbit Resistant Plants." Other resistant plants including trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines are also listed in this publication. Publication is available at the Finney County Extension Office, 501 S. Ninth St.

Plants recommended for Kansas

If you have had trouble finding a listing of plants recommended for Kansas, visit the Finney County Extension Office for this information. We have information to a wide variety of plants including annual flowers, perennial flowers (including breakouts for iris and daylilies), fruit, vegetables, turf grass, low-maintenance roses and tree recommendations that are broken out by areas of the state. Also, there is a list of recommended low-water use plants for south-central Kansas.

'For The Birds'

Knowledge at Noon, sponsored by the Finney County Extension Office, will be Thursday, 12:05 to 12:55 p.m., at the Finney County Public Library meeting room, 605 E. Walnut St. Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch.

Barbara Campbell, master birder, will present the program. With more than 800 species of birds in the United States and Canada, it's easy for beginning bird watchers to feel overwhelmed.

Campbell has been a birder for more than 25 years. She watches birds, she feeds birds and she loves birds. Campbell will share her knowledge about birds and give you the birding basics. Garden City is rich in birding opportunities and she'll share how she got started birding. You'll learn all about birds!

For more information, call the K-State Research & Extension Finney County Office at 272-3670 or email

Walk Kansas

Celebrate healthy living by organizing a Walk Kansas team of six and "Blaze A Trail for the Team." While medicine can save your life, it won't make you healthy. Lifestyle habits that include physical activity, healthy food choices and better management of stress provide a foundation for health. Join thousands of Kansans and participate in the Walk Kansas health initiative. Work toward increasing activity and eating better.

To participate, contact the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 or email Walk Kansas information is available at Register by March 17.

Guide to aerobic exercise

It is one of the most commonly recurring questions in fitness: Which is better for my health, aerobic or strength training exercises? The answer is both. Aerobic exercise and strength training are both essential to leading a healthier, longer life. While they are equally important, they don't necessarily need to be accomplished in the same session.

Why should aerobic exercise supplement strength training? Aerobic exercise and strength training both help to burn calories. Aerobic exercise instantly burns calories, while strength training increases your ability to do so even after you have finished your workout. The two forms of exercise go hand in hand. For example, you could spend hours doing sit-ups or crunches, but you won't see any muscle definition unless you also use aerobic exercise to burn extra calories and diminish the amount of fat occupying that area.

What are the benefits? Regular aerobic exercise increases your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. It allows both your heart and lungs to work more efficiently, providing you with energy and stamina to complete daily tasks. If you are not used to physical activity, you may tire easily and become short of breath when walking up a flight of stairs or carrying a heavy sack of groceries to the car. Other benefits include an improved immune system, better mental health and reduced risk of developing chronic diseases.

Warm up and cool down. Take five to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of each session to warm up and cool down. This will gradually get your body ready to challenge itself and allow it to recover from your activity. Use the warm-up and cool-down time for stretching, walking at a slower pace and other techniques.

Start small. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, "You should always be able to catch your breath and speak comfortably while exercising. It is also normal to sense effort, and maybe even discomfort, but you should never sense pain." Don't overwork yourself. Know your limits and stop if you feel pain. Make small steps toward increasing your goals (length of time, speed, etc.) over time.

Source: Kansans Move Into Health, K-State Research & Extension.

K-State Research & Extension Finney County is the front-door source to your everyday questions for information and knowledge. Every question is of value to you and us. Give us a call at 272-3670, email,, or better, walk in our front door at 501 S. Ninth St,, for information to help you make a better decision.