Bruce Chladny

Think spring now and purchase bulbs
September 14, 2006
Each spring, and in some cases, late winter, I step out on a bright, sunny day and see narcissus (daffodils), crocus, snowdrops and other flowering bulbs blooming before all others, putting on a strong show of color. And each spring I think, “Wow, I need to plant some more of those.” Well, as I look down the list of planting times for flowering bulbs I see most, if not all of them, want a fall planting. “Too late now,” I say, and put this as a note to self for the fall. OK, note to self: It’s fall.
It’s time to deal with dead or dormant grass
September 7, 2006
We all like lush, green lawns. September is the perfect time to give your lawn a boost, and, in my case, some form of rebirth for a good showing next year.
Cicada wasps pose little threat to people
August 31, 2006
Hot and dry summer days in Kansas brings out the sound of the cicada.
Mites cause pesky bites
August 24, 2006
Now that the heat wave has given way to more seasonal temperatures, it is once again pleasant to return outside and begin some late summer tasks. However, for many it will not be the heat that will drive them back inside but itchy welts on the arms, legs and lower torso. For the past two years, many Midwestern gardeners have dealt with a nasty unseen attacker, and this year should be no different.
Homeowners can tackle unsightly webbing
August 17, 2006
Most gardeners are familiar with spider webs, which are ornately designed and sticky enough to capture most unsuspecting insects. However, one group of webs commonly seen this time of year is nowhere near as sightly and hardly functional when it comes to catching a six-legged meal. The protective webbing of fall webworms can be found in many trees lining city streets and country roads. The recent and sudden appearance of these webs gives the impression that an overnight infestation has occurred. In fact, worms have been actively feeding and spinning for the past four to five weeks and are just now starting to mature. Here is what you need to know about fall web worms and what can be done to untangle their massive webs of defoliation.
Web sites helpful for gardening aficionados
August 10, 2006
In this age of computers and high-tech gadgetry, a vast array of information on most subjects is just a mouse click away. Admittedly, I am one of millions of surfers who cruise the information superhighway from time to time. However, when it comes to gardening, there are a few sites I use regularly for accurate, reliable information. Here is my list of favorite Web sites and sources of information that you may wish to explore.
Summer yields fine melon crop
August 3, 2006
The oppressive summer heat has been good for neither man nor beast. However, based on a number of gardeners with whom I have spoken, the dry summer has been great for developing high-quality, flavorful fruit in this year’s melon crop.
Blister beetles tear into produce
July 27, 2006
Grasshoppers, drought, leaf spots - does the list of garden pests ever stop? Not yet!
Ground cover fights soil erosion
July 20, 2006
A wise professor once told me: “Life on earth exists because of a thin layer of soil and possibility of rain.”
Keep those June beetles at bay
July 13, 2006
So you’re standing in the garden and you hear a loud buzz pass your head. Soon there’s another and yet another. Suddenly you feel like you are the target of an all-out air assault. After some patient investigation, you realize the attackers are large, dull, velvety green bugs. They appear to be some sort of morphed May beetle or June bug on steroids - a science experiment gone bad. They seem to fly until they hit something with their poor navigational skills. Put the kamikaze attitude, the buzzing and the size together, and you have a beetle that many people do not like. Here is what you need to worry about when it comes to green June beetles in your home garden.
Preserve your bountiful tomato harvest by fighting disease, rot
June 29, 2006
There is nothing more delicious than fresh salsa made from vine ripe tomatoes harvested from the garden. And there are few things more disappointing than having to throw away tomatoes because they are spotty, malformed or have a dark patch on the blossom end. Now that we are entering tomato harvest season, gardeners are starting to inspect their crop a bit more closely.
Grasshoppers, bagworms pesky this time of year
June 22, 2006
If your landscape could talk, like it does in TV commercials, it would tell you that the flowers are thirsty, the shrubs are complaining about the heat, and there are grasshoppers and bagworms eating the garden. But unlike the homeowner in the shoot, instead of running to the phone to call a professional, head to the garden to investigate and begin making plans for controlling these unscrupulous feeders. Here is what you need to know about controlling grasshoppers and bagworms in the landscape.
Squirrels, rabbits create mischief
June 8, 2006
Flowers are not the only enjoyable life in the garden. The amazing aerobatic antics of eastern gray tree squirrels can amuse gardeners for hours … up the tree, across the power line, over the roof and down to the bird feeder for a mid-morning snack. Likewise, furry cute bunnies can bounce freely through the green grass, stopping just long enough to steal a quick bite of clover or dandelion. Although both are clever and mischievous, they wear out their welcome when they begin chewing on something more desirable.
Remove these hidden dangers from your yard
June 1, 2006
Most gardeners enjoy companionship while they toil in the warm summer sun, and encouraging young children to help is a great way to promote outdoor physical activity and cultivate a budding green thumb. However, the garden is full of hidden dangers - accidents waiting to happen.
Some bugs beneficial to flowers and veggies
May 25, 2006
There is little more gratifying than the beauty of a well-maintained flower garden. And nothing compares to a robust vegetable garden full of delicious fresh produce. Unfortunately, along with the beauty comes the beast. One, then two, then a whole family of plant-eating, life-sucking bugs will work their way across the landscape, resulting in utter plant death. But all is not lost. For every bad bug there are plenty of good bugs fighting on our side.