Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

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September 7th thru September 21st, 2016

Moana Nursery Teammates say, "For successful high

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

Fall is the best time for high desert planting ... really!

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • Get started on your landscape design for a fall installation – the best time to plant.
  • Reinvigorate your lawn with fertilizer and, if needed, top dressing and overseeding.
  • Fertilize lawn with G&B Organics Lawn Fertilizer if you haven’t done so yet.
  • Install a new lawn or repair bare spots with Bonide Dura-Turf Premium Grass Seed and Lawn Seed Starter, then cover with G&B Organics SBC.
  • Core aerate lawn if you didn’t do so in spring or if you have heavy clay soils or areas of compaction.
  • Start a compost pile.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and perennials – fall is the best time to plant. 
  • Prepare your plants which you will be bringing indoors for the winter by treating them with Bonide Systemic Granular Insect Control or Bonide Neem Oil.  This treatment will kill insects which are suppressed in the outdoor environment but may flourish in the home.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Continue to deadhead.
  • For trees and shrubs that are regularly affected by pests, plan on using a dormant season treatment as leaves begin to fall.
  • Treat chlorotic (washed out green/yellowish color) trees and shrubs with Endcap Iron.  Perform a pH test or full soil analysis in chronic problem soils. Perform a pH test or full soil analysis in chronic problem soils.
  • Do not fertilize trees and shrubs with fast acting fertilizer between September 1 and March 15th.  If your landscape is nutrient deficient, consider mulching with G&B Compost or SBC or feed with a slow release fertilizer like G&B Organics All Purpose or Gro- Power Toss’n’Gro.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Refresh flower beds and containers with cool-season favorites such as pansies, ornamental cabbage & kale, chrysanthemums or fall-blooming asters.
  • Purchase spring blooming bulbs now for best selection, but don’t plant any until later in October and November.
  • Allow certain dried flowerheads to remain standing for fall and winter interest and food source for birds; these include astilbe, coneflower and globe thistle.
  • Divide daylilies, peonies & iris.
  • Continue deadheading annuals and perennials to encourage more flowering.
  • Gather your canning supplies and food dehydrator and start researching pickling recipes to prepare for your harvest.  

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Plant cool-season vegetables – lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic and endive at two week intervals to keep a supply coming into cooler weather.  If they bolt, remove seed heads.
  • Continue to harvest warm-season vegetables as they ripen.  Warm-season crops like peppers and tomatoes must be picked as soon as possible.  If an early frost threatens, cover these plants with Dalen Harvest Guard
  • Begin to harvest late-season squash and early pumpkins. 
  • Allow collards, kale and Brussels sprouts to be hit with frost before harvesting to improve their flavor.
  • 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.


  • Put out wild bird blocks to feed those large recently hatched families of quail and other ground feeding birds.
  • Rufous hummingbirds will stay until October, if not longer, so continue to keep feeders full of nectar until then.  (Hummingbird nectar:  4 parts water to 1 part granulated sugar – do not use honey or red dye.)  Be sure to change every few days to avoid spoilage.
  • 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 or no-melt suet dough (if feeder is in the sun) and mealworms to attract insect-eating birds which are beginning their migration south.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with water wigglers to attract more birds.
  • Continue to supply fresh water.  To prevent the chance of disease, change the water daily during the hot weather and clean birdbath weekly with a weak bleach solution (1 part 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.
  • 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? Call 825-0602 x134 for more information.

  • 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 825-0602 x118 or jonb@moananursery.com

 Lisa Braginton at 825-0602 x104 or lisab@moananursery.com

 Steve Packer at 853-1319 x225 or stevep@moananursery.com

 Michelle Gilmore at 425-4300 x303 or michelleg@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.