Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

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July 15th thru July 31st, 2019

Moana Nursery Teammates say, "For successful high desert gardening, NOW is the time to ............."

Bug & Disease Alert!

Be on the lookout for Squash Bugs which attack squash and related plants like cucumbers, melons and pumpkins.  Treat naturally with Diatomaceous Earth, Bonide BonNeem II or non-organically with Bonide Eight.

Our normal, dry conditions can bring additional stress to plants: extra vigilance on appropriate irrigation and pest control will pay off in healthier plants.

Remember, compost teas & kelp will help your plants be naturally resistant to pests.

  • Thrips may be causing malformed flower buds which fail to open. Treat organically with Organocide 3-in-1 Garden Spray or with Bonide Captain Jacks Deadbug Brew or BonNeem II.  For a non-organic trip control, try Bonide Rose Shield. Use all according to label.
  • Lawn Brown Spots have a number of causes:  heat, poor irrigation design, insects, rabbits or fungus.  Visit with one of our plant doctors to determine how to identify the cause in your yard and get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Spider Mite activity is showing up as dusty webbing and discolored, spotty foliage on trees and shrubs.  Hose off with water and remove badly affected foliage. Treat with Bonide Neem Oil, All Seasons Horticultural Oil, Mite X or Organocide 3-in-1 Garden Spray.    Do not compost affected foliage.
  • Codling Moths may have another hatch. Use Codling Moth Traps to monitor when that hatching occurs. Then apply Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew, according to the label, to protect your apple crop from their hungry larvae.
  • Earwigs are active in many yards – these guys eat at night, so you’ll only see the destruction they’ve wrought in the daylight.  Use Diatomaceous Earth, Bonide Bug and Slug Killer, Bonide Eight or Bonide Eight Garden Dust.
  • Leaf Hoppers may be a nuisance on your plants. Sometimes called plant lice (Ehww!), they leave small scars on foliage, draw down the plant’s resources, and possibly spread disease. Ward them off your plants with Bonide Eight, All Seasons Horticultural Spray Oil, or Fruit Tree & Plant Guard.

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • UNR Cooperative Extension is recommending setting your mower at a higher height setting of 3-4”.  This will reduce water stress, control weeds and develop a healthier lawn naturally.
  • To avoid lawn fungus, water lawn only between 4 -10 AM.
  • Water newly planted trees, shrubs, perennials & roses 3 - 4 times per week in July and August.
  • Check all plants weekly to be sure they are getting adequate water; established trees, shrubs, perennials & roses require 1 inch of water per week throughout their root zones.           
  • Adjust watering schedule as weather dictates.
  • Inspect irrigation system regularly for leaks, clogged emitters, broken/clogged head and other problems. 
  • Curb insect pests, including leafminers, spider mites, thrips and others, with natural controls like lady bugs. Ask us for best controls on significant infestations. We can advise you on the best products to address pest problems while minimizing impact on your environment.
  • If not done yet, mulch garden beds immediately after weeding with 2 to 4 inches of G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner to retain moisture and keep weeds under control.
  • Continue to cultivate and weed. 

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Continue to deadhead roses by cutting flowers back to the first set of five leaflets.
  • Monitor roses closely for blackspot.  Remove any leaves that show darkened circles with fuzzy margins on either side of the leaves; yellow foliage with dark spots; and any leaves that have already dropped from the plant.  Begin a spray program with an appropriate control as necessary. Make note to use Bonide Copper Fungicide during the dormant season. Dispose of infected leaves in the trash; do not compost.
  • Fertilize roses with G&B Organics Rose and Flower Fertilizer.  Regular feeding is important for vibrant blooms & healthy plants.  Don’t put off fertilizing – feeding too late in the season will put plants at risk when cold weather arrives.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • For a second, late summer bloom, shear, cut back or remove flower spikes from catmint, perennial geraniums, salvia and delphiniums.
  • Remove spent flowers or seedheads of daylilies immediately to conserve plant energy.
  • Make note of empty spots in borders that might benefit from planting summer-flowering bulbs next year or a perfect time for planting Moana perennials now.
  • Continue deadheading annuals and perennials to encourage more flowering.  When deadheading annual geraniums, remove entire stem with fading flowers.
  • Continue pruning out longest stem of cascading petunias weekly to prevent plants from becoming scraggly.
  • Fertilize container plants with G&B Organics Bud & Bloom Fertilizer every two weeks or G&B Organics High Bloome liquid up to twice per week; avoid applying in the heat of the day.  Always water plants before adding liquid fertilizer.
  • Hot dry weather can result in increased mite activity. Remove affected foliage and treat with Mite X.  Use according to the label.
  • Stake tall perennials plants, if necessary, by tying with soft Rapiclip Soft Twist Tie.
  • Continue to guide clematis & all other soft-stemmed vines to their supports and secure with Rapiclip Soft Twist Tie.

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Espaliered fruit trees should be pruned for the second time once their spring flush of growth is over.  The first pruning is done in late winter when plants are dormant.
  • Stake tomato plants if they have no supports.  Begin harvesting as fruit ripens.
  • Monitor tomatoes and ensure that they receive an even supply of moisture instead of heavy soaking and then a drought. 
  • Monitor vegetables for symptoms of fungus or blight: soft, darkened areas, yellow and dropping leaves, sunken dark spots on otherwise green foliage.  Not sure what’s ailing your veggies?  Make an appointment with a plant doctor to visit and diagnose your problems.
  • Monitor all plants for insects.  Hand-remove large insects such as tomato hornworms, cicadas and other caterpillars. Control worms and caterpillars organically with Bonide B.t. or Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. 
  • Continue to harvest herbs to use fresh, dry, or freeze in small batches in ice cube tray.  Pinch off developing flowers to retain essential oils and flavor in the plant’s foliage.
  • Fertilize vegetables with G&B Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer every 2 weeks or G&B Organics High Bloome liquid fertilizer up to twice per week.  Twice as often, when planted in containers.
  • Use Bonide Tomato & Blossom Set Spray on tomatoes, beans, cucumber, eggplant, melons, and many more – to increase your harvest.


  • Many birds are now beginning their main molt (replacement of their feathers) which requires extra protein to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation. For the next few months, offer high-protein bird foods, such as nyjer, peanuts, Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter® and mealworms, to ensure that your birds have a reliable source of protein to help them with molting.
  • As summer progresses, rufous hummingbirds are showing up and will stay into the fall.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with water wigglers to attract more birds.
  • Continue offering WBU No Melt Suet Dough & Seed Cylinders to attract warblers, nuthatches, wrens & woodpeckers.  Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of our July  seed cylinder special.
  • Continue to put out oranges, grape jelly and nectar for orioles and sugar water for hummingbirds.  Be sure to change every few days to avoid spoilage -- more frequently if in full sun all day.
  • Continue to supply fresh water and change it every 3 days to keep it clean.  To prevent the chance of disease, clean birdbath weekly with a weak bleach solution (1part bleach to 9 parts water) and rinse well.
  • Store bird food in a sealed container and keep in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage.
  • To ensure that bird seed is eaten quickly and stays fresh, keep feeders filled with a one or two day supply of seed.
  • Be sure to clean and sterilize your bird feeders every 6 weeks with a bleach solution (see above) to prevent the spread of disease. 
  • Install a customized Wild Birds Unlimited bird feeding station where you can easily watch the birds it attracts.  It can be installed in the ground or on a deck.

Did you know that we can do the following for you?

  • Small yard clean-up, planting bed preparation, early spring pruning and container designs by our Seasonal Color Team  - -  call 825-0602 x134 for more info
  • Install and maintain indoor plants – Interior Plant Services division features design, clean-air plants, maintenance & more    - - call 825-0602 x134 for more info
  • Rent indoor plants for special events  - - call  825-0602 x134 for more info    
  • Irrigation system turn on and inspection for leaks, broken/clogged heads, coverage & other problems by Moana Irrigation Specialist)  Call 825-0602 x134 to schedule
  • Bulk Material Installation/Spreading -- call  825-0602 x218 
  • Create a backyard bird habitat; have a healthier landscape this year.
  • Make an appointment for an at-your site consultation; call our Plant Doctors: 

Moana Lane Location::

South Virginia Street Location

Pyramid Way Location:

Official Planting Guide from Moana Nursery

Moana Nursery's High Desert Vegetable Calendar

Helpful Video Showing How To Turn Your Irrigation/Sprinkler System On & Off - - View by clicking this link to Moana's You Tube Video.

Click on this link for ... Helpful Landscape Articles Written By Our Professionals For Do-It-Yourselfers.