Timely, Local Tips

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September 30th thru October 15th, 2014

Moana Nursery Teammates say, "For successful high

desert gardening, NOW is the time to ..........." 

Yellowing & dropping pine needles

It is common for pines to shed needles annually.  As long as the needles are on the inside of the branch (close to the trunk) instead of at the tip of the branch, there is nothing to worry about.  If needles are browning and dropping at the tip of branches, there is a problem; in this instance, bring a branch in to one of our plant doctors for a diagnosis.

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • Mulch, mulch, mulch.  The best thing you can do to prepare and protect your trees and shrubs for winter is to mulch them with a 2 -3” layer of Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost or walk-on bark.    Be sure to water them thoroughly and regularly until the ground freezes if there is no natural precipitation. 
  • Continue planting trees, shrubs and perennials – fall is the best time to plant.
  • Continue watering all trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns regularly until the ground freezes, gradually reducing the amount of water provided and lengthening the time between watering.
  • Core aerate your lawn if you didn’t do so in the spring.
  • Reinvigorate tired lawns with top dressing and overseeding while daytime temperatures are still mild.
  • Fertilize lawn with Dr. Earth Lawn Fertilizer or Bonide Winterizer if you haven’t done so yet.
  • Keep compost pile active by adding layers of green material (grass clippings and frost-killed annuals or perennials) and brown, dried material (fallen leaves, shredded twigs, dried grasses) with small amounts of soil, fertilizer & water.  Turn regularly.  Keep diseased material out of pile. Use Dr. Earth Compost Starter
  • Continue to mow lawns at 2-1/2 to 3 inches.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Wait until trees and shrubs drop their leaves or undergo color change before digging and moving them to new sites.
  • Continue to water newly planted trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, until ground freezes.
  • Apply organic, slow release Dr. Earth Life Fertilizer to trees and shrubs that have not been fertilized this year and/or have demonstrated need – stunted growth, failure to fully flower or leaf out, undersized fruit, off-color foliage, and recovery from disease or insect attack.  Do not use a fast-acting fertilizer.
  • Prior to leaf drop, while problems can be easily indentified, prune dead wood out of trees and shrubs.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Cut back perennials when their leaves and stems have lost all green color.
  • Refresh flower beds and containers with cool-season favorites such as pansies, ornamental cabbage & kale, chrysanthemums, sedums, ornamental grasses and fall-blooming asters.
  • Plant bulbs later this month or up until the ground freezes.  For best results, plant with Dr. Earth Bulb Food or Dr. Earth Bone Meal.
  • Allow certain dried flowerheads to remain standing for fall and winter interest and as an attraction for birds -- astilbe, coneflower, cosmos, and others.
  • Divide daylilies, peonies & iris; transplant while soil is still warm.
  • Harvest seed from non-hybridized flowering perennials.

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Harvest pumpkins before a killing frost.
  • If hard frost threatens, pick all tomatoes, including the unripe ones and store in cardboard boxes or paper bags in cool, dry place. Or protect them and other tender veggies with Gardeneer Harvest Guard.
  • Harvest watermelons the second week of October – or right before a killing frost.  The warm days and cool nights will increase their sweetness.
  • Allow collards, kale and Brussels sprouts to be hit with frost before harvesting to improve their flavor.
  • Plant garlic and onion bulbs for spring harvest.

Indoor Plant Care:

  • Tender plants like mandevilla, jasmine, citrus, gardenias and bougainvillea should be brought inside to overwinter in a sunny window before the first light frost. Preventative treatment with an insecticide and/or fungicide is suggested for all plants coming indoors. We can recommend the appropriate product for your plants.  Use Bonide Insecticidal Soap or Bonide All Seasons Oil as a minimum precaution.
  • Check houseplants carefully for any sign of insect or disease before bringing them indoors.  Gradually reintroduce them to indoor conditions.  Consider repotting and changing soil at this time.  Do not change size of pot until spring.
  • Isolate new plants from those that grow indoors year-round to prevent disease or insect contamination.


  • Goldfinches are returning to back yards from their summer feeding grounds.  Enjoy this social, entertaining bird by placing a nyjer seed sock or mesh finch feeder where you can view it.
  • Many birds continue their main molt (replacement of their feathers) which requires extra protein to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation.  Continue to offer high-protein bird foods, such as nyjer, peanuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter® and mealworms, to ensure they have a reliable source of protein to help them with molting.
  • Put out suet and mealworms to attract insect-eating birds, such as flickers and woodpeckers, which are beginning to arrive to spend the winter here.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with water wigglers to attract more birds.  As nights get colder, consider a birdbath heater or heated birdbath to provide a consistent source of water.
  • To prevent the chance of disease, clean birdbath weekly with a weak bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Rinse well.
  • 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, on a patio or on a deck.

Did you know that we can do the following for you? Call 825-0602 ext.134.

  • Install and maintain indoor plants – new Plant Services business features design, clean-air plants, maintenance & more.
  • Plant rental service.
  • Seasonal container & bedding service.
  • Custom Container drop-off & pick up.
  • Bulk Material Installation/Spreading.
  • Design & install holiday lighting.
  • Tune up your landscape and irrigation system.
  • Add a water feature.
  • Design and install a new landscape.
  • Upgrade an existing landscape.
  • Install a driveway, patio and other hardscapes.
  • Install FieldTurf artificial putting greens, lawns, dog runs & play areas.
  • Create a backyard bird habitat.
  • Have a healthier landscape this year – Make an appointment for an at-your site consultation; call our Plant Doctors: 

  Jon Bruyn at 240-9783 or jonb@moananursery.com

  Lisa Braginton at 843-7479 or lisab@moananursery.com

  Steve Packer at 233-5113 or stevep@moananursery.com

  Michelle Gilmore at 425-4300 or michelleg@moananursery.com

  Brian Eubanks at 775-853-1319 Ext 25 or briane@moananursery.com

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.