Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

facebook pictures 007.jpg  

November 16th thru November 30th, 2019

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

Plants in the ground, especially newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials, need the equivalent of one inch of precipitation per month.   Plants in containers need more since they dry out faster.  If natural precipitation does not arrive, this will be necessary throughout the winter for ALL plants. Visit this helpful link on high desert winter watering  to read our fact sheet titled IF-13 Winter Watering.

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • If you have not already done so, consider applying a pre-emergent weed control to open areas in your landscape.  Many cool-season weeds, including cheatgrass will emerge in late winter or very early spring.  Apply by the end of the month to get ahead of next year’s weeds. Treat beds for weeds now with Amaze pre-emergent herbicide or organically with Concern Weed Prevention Granules or Bonide Maize Weed Preventer. Lawns can be treated with Bonide Crabgrass & Weed Preventer unless you have recently seeded them.
  • Store all unused fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides in original, labeled containers IN A FROST FREE PLACE; check expiration dates to be sure they’re still viable.
  • Once night time temperatures drop to below freezing for a few consecutive days, turn off your irrigation system and drain the valves.  Or call Moana Landscape Services to do it for you – 825-0602 x134.
  • Don’t panic if you see yellow or brown needles which then drop on pines, firs and spruce; as long as they are not at the end of each branch, it’s normal shedding.  If the needle die off is at the end of the branch, then contact a Moana Nursery professional for advice.
  • Regularly rake lawns to keep falling leaves and twigs from suffocating grass.
  • Fertilize lawns for a final time this month, if you haven’t done so in the past six weeks, with Bonide Winterizer or G&B Organics Lawn Fertilizer slow-release organic product high in nitrogen; it will help lawns retain green color longer in winter and color up faster in early spring.
  • Avoid walking on frozen turf; it breaks grass blades.
  • Add 2 to 4 inches of G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner (SBC) to garden beds once the ground has completely frozen.  Moana recommends SBC because it stays in place.
  • Continue to add grass clippings, leaves and dried plant material to your compost pile; turn regularly to speed decomposition.
  • Before temperatures fall below freezing, disconnect outside water hoses, drain and store indoors.
  • Empty ceramic, cement and terra cotta containers, clean and store in a frost-free space.
  • Avoid using salt-based, de-icing products in or around garden areas for snow removal. Moana recommends Sierra Blue Snow & Ice Melt which is friendly to the environment, pets and plants.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Continue to plant trees & shrubs with G&B Organics Starter Fertilizer & SUPERthrive; apply 2 to 4 inches of G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner to protect their root zones, being careful to keep it 4 inches away from their trunks.
  • Continue to water newly planted trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, until ground freezes.
  • Don’t forget to use appropriate dormant season sprays to control insects and disease.  If you identified a disease problem, now is the time to spray with a fungicide.  Moana Nursery professionals are happy to help if you need advice.
  • Spray broadleaf evergreens (rhododendrons, laurels, boxwoods, euonymus) with Bonide Wilt Stop now and again in January to help with our dry winters.
  • Wait until trees and shrubs drop their leaves or undergo color change before digging and moving them to new sites.
  • To keep deer from rubbing antlers on tree trunks, spread garden netting or snow fencing around abused trees.
  • Deter rabbits and rodents from over-wintering in gardens by cutting down their winter habitats, e.g., ornamental grass clumps, perennials left standing for winter interest. Treat area with Bonide Repels-All or Plantskydd according to directions.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Continue to plant spring blooming bulbs this month as weather and soil conditions permit; be sure to add G&B Organics Bud & Bloom, water well and mulch with G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner after planting.  If deer, rodents or rabbits have been a problem in the past, plant these pest-resistant bulbs: ornamental onion, grape hyacinth, narcissus, windflower, winter aconite or fritillaria.
  • Use Molemax to repel burrowing rodents and Bonide Repels-All or Plantskydd to protect perennials and bulbs from deer, squirrels & rabbits.
  • Perennial beds should be cleaned up this time of year, but some foliage should be left to protect the crown, even in those plants that are not being used for winter interest. 
  • Once perennials are dormant, mulch crowns with G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner to protect against drying winds and freeze/thaw temperatures.
  • Winterize aquatic gardens.

Outdoor Fountain, Bird Bath & Pottery – Winterizing instructions – click on link below:    


Indoor Plant Care:

  • Regularly inspect plants brought in from outside -- citrus, gardenia, geranium, etc -- for insects.  Spider mites and scale will quickly damage plants and spread to other house-plants.
  • To treat fungus gnats, use Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control, Summit Mosquito Bits or Bonide Eight.
  • Pot up bulbs, such as amaryllis, paperwhite narcissus and others, for holiday blooms.
  • Reduce watering and cut back on fertilizer except for plants intended to bloom all winter, such as miniature roses or geraniums.
  • Violets should be fertilized year round. We recommend Bonide Liquid African Violet Plant Food.
  • Give houseplants a 1 to 15 degree difference in day and night temperatures.  Increase humidity with pebble trays and humidifiers.
  • Continue to fertilize orchids with Grow More 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer until they set flowers; run room temperature water through pots every 2-3 weeks to leach salts from soil. Examine foliage to ensure it doesn’t scorch from exposure to direct southern sun.


  • Feed high fat, high caloric content seeds to help satisfy birds’ cold weather needs.  Nyjer, peanuts and finch blend all add needed calories. Try our new Winter SuperBlend™ - a complete winter food source.  You can also add mealworms or Bark Butter Bits for a special treat!
  • Install a clear plastic weather dome to protect tube feeders from rain and snow.
  • Hang a cylinder feeder with one of our many seed or suet cylinder choices for easy no-fuss bird feeding in winter. Be sure to check out our winter blend seed cylinders, fun characters & festive wreaths along with special seed cylinder holders.
  • Put out suet, bark butter and mealworms to attract insect-eating birds that are residents or arriving to spend the winter.
  • Install a birdbath heater to ensure a steady supply of water.  Remember, birds still need to bathe even in winter to keep their feathers conditioned for insulation and flight.
  • Store bird food in a sealed container and keep in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage.
  • 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?

  • Seasonal Containers, Garden Design, Installation and Maintenance (plus proper pruning and grooming by our Gardener Services Team)  call 825-0602 x134 for more info
  • Install and maintain indoor plants – Interior Plant Services team 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 - - all Aborists & High Desert Horticulturists.:
    • Diagnose disease & insect problems on trees, shrubs & lawns
    • Identify existing plants in your landscape and how to care for them
    • Provide plant placement for DIY customers

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.