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Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

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September 15th thru September 30th, 2021

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

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • Apply Hi-Yield Herbicide Granules Weed and Grass Preventer pre-emergent now to control cheatgrass and other cool season weeds next spring.  For pet friendly areas use products made of corn gluten such as Bonide Maize.
  • 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 for the final time this fall with G&B Organics Lawn Fertilizer or Bonide Winterizer 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 Fertilizer and G&B Organics Rose & Flower Planting Mix
  • Core aerate lawn with a Yard Butler Core Aerator 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 & perennials with G&B Organics Starter Fertilizer & SUPERthrive according to the labels.  Be sure to water regularly during the winter if we get little to no precipitation.
  • Spraying or pulling weeds before they go to seed will reduce weeds next spring

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Continue to deadhead roses by cutting flowers back to the first set of five leaflets. Do not fertilize roses until next spring.
  • Apply one-year Bonide Annual Tree & Shrub Insect Control to trees and shrubs to prevent early spring infestations of aphids and other troublesome insects.
  • Treat chlorotic (washed out green/yellowish color) trees and shrubs with Encap Iron.  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.  Consider mulching with G&B Organics Compost or fertilizing with G&B Organics All Purpose Fertilizer or Paradise slow-release fertilizer if your landscape is nutrient deficient.
  • From August thru fall, it is natural for evergreens to drop their needles on the inside of the branches, closest to the trunk.  However, if needles on the outer ends of branches begin to turn yellow, brown or drop, there is likely a problem that should be treated immediately.  To determine the exact cause and treatment plan, visit one of our plant doctors.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Purchase spring blooming bulbs now for best selection, but don’t plant any until later in October and November.
  • Refresh flower beds and containers with cool-season favorites such as pansies, ornamental cabbage & kale, chrysanthemums, or fall-blooming asters.
  • Allow certain dried flower heads 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. 

Indoor Plant Care:

  • To get rid of pesky fungus gnats, add a layer of Uni-Gro Horticultural Sand over houseplant soil.
  • Place a layer Uni-Gro Polished Stones on the bottom of succulent terrariums to keep excess water from roots.  Add Uni-Gro Potting Soil mixed with Uni-Gro Sand   & succulents, then finish with Uni-Gro Sand and/or Polished Stones.
  • Use Uni-Gro Green Moss or Spanish Moss to top dress your houseplants & dried floral arrangements.
  • Blend Uni-Gro Vermiculite with soil for moisture retention and aeration for indoor and outdoor planted containers.

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Gather your canning supplies and food dehydrator and start researching pickling recipes to prepare for your harvest. 
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Provide quail 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, organic sugar, or red dye.)  Be sure to change every few days to avoid spoilage. Consider adding Nectar Defender to extend life of nectar in feeders.
  • 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?

  • Seasonal Containers, Garden Design, Installation and Maintenance plus proper pruning and grooming by our Gardener Services Team; call 825-0602 x134 for more info.
  • Indoor Plants – Interior Plant Services offers clean air plants, design, installation, maintenance & more; call 825-0602 x 134.                  
  • Rent indoor plants for special events; call 825-0602 x 134.             
  • Irrigation system turn on and inspection for leaks, broken/clogged heads, coverage & other problems by Moana Irrigation Specialist. Call 825-0602 x134 to schedule.
  • Make an appointment for an at-your site consultation with one of our plant doctors to help with the following:
    • 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 Store

Pyramid Way Store

South Virginia Street Store

Official Planting Guide from Moana

Moana Nursery's High Desert Vegetable

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.