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Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

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July 31st thru August 15th, 2020

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

Pest Alert

With the heat come more nighttime feeding insects like earwigs which eat leaves in such a way they look like lace. Treat earwigs with Bug & Slug Killer, Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew or Diatomaceous Earth.earwig damage.jpg

Black vine weevils notch the leaf’s edges and leave little poo marks on the back sides of leaves.  Treat weevils with Bonide Systemic Insect Killer or Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. 

Spider Mites are on the rise and can be problematic with both evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and perennials. Treat with Neem Oil, Organicide or Mitx, according to directions, in early morning or late afternoon, or hose off with a strong spray of water.

General Garden & Lawn Care:weevil.jpg

  • Be on the lookout for root weevil damage -- you’ll know you have them by their tell-tale notching of the leaves.  To control, treat with a combination of Bonide Systemic Granules Insect Control with Bonide Eight.  Make a note to apply Beneficial Nematodes next spring to control the weevils in their larval stage.
  • Heat stressed trees will drop some leaves to conserve moisture. Additional watering and mulching will help somewhat in this situation.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch with G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner, Compost or Planting Mixes.
  • Inspect your irrigation system for leaks, clogged emitters, broken/clogged heads, and other problems.  Remember to adjust emitters out from the trunk or base of your plants as they grow.
  • Brown spots in lawn could be a sign of insects, fungus, or lack of water from an improperly designed or malfunctioning irrigation system. To best diagnose the cause, bring in a lawn sample: 4” X 4” square X 2” deep that contains both healthy grass and affected grass to show one of our plant doctors.
  • 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.  Water newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials 3-4 times per week. 
  • Water infrequently and deeply – not frequently and lightly.  Early morning is always the best time to water.  Nighttime watering can cause fungus on grass.  Click here for How to Water Wisely for Healthy Plants.
  • Fertilize lawns with a sustained release fertilizer like G&B Organics Lawn Fertilizer.
  • Control insect pests, including aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, thrips, whitefly and others with lady bugs or use Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew, an organic insecticide for chewing insects, and Bonide Insecticidal Soap for sucking insects, or ask us for best controls on significant infestations.
  • Bonide Tomato & Vegetable 3 in 1 may be used as an insecticide, fungicide & miticide up to the day of harvest.
  • Continue to cultivate and weed. 
  • Caterpillars may be causing ongoing damage; treat with Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew.
  • Some yellowing & browning of needles on pines can be expected at this time of year as old growth makes way for new. Excessive thinning on the interior of the tree and/or browning or dropping needles on the tips of your branches; however, are signs of a problem  Bring in a branch and pictures to one of our plant doctors for a diagnosis.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Watch closely for signs of scorch on tender new foliage – the margins of leaves turn brown and crispy – indicating lack of water and/or exposure to hot drying winds.
  • Monitor newly planted trees and shrubs for insects or disease.  Succulent new growth is often the first area to be attacked by insects.
  • Pruning is generally not advised this month except for shrubs that have just flowered; prune immediately following their flowering.
  • Fertilize roses for the third and final time on or before August 15th with G&B Organics Rose & Flower Fertilizer.  Do not fertilize after August 15th.
  •  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.  
  • Continue to deadhead roses by cutting flowers back to the first set of five leaflets. 
  • Monitor roses closely for mildew.  If detected, spray with Bonide Neem Oil or Copper Fungicide immediately.  Dispose of infected leaves in the trash; do not compost. 

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Remove yellowing daylily foliage or leaves that are browned and spotted.  Green leaves must remain on the plant to continue to manufacture food.  Deadhead individual flowers to keep plants looking tidy.
  • Continue deadheading annuals and perennials to encourage more flowering. 
  • Fertilize container plants up to twice per week with G&B Organics High Bloome liquid fertilizer and G&B Organics Bud & Bloom fertilizer every month but avoid applying in the heat of the day.  Always water plants before adding liquid fertilizer and avoid fertilizing drought-stressed plants.
  • Continue planting new perennials, ornamental grasses & roses.

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Plant cool season fall crops in succession now. 
  • Use codling moth traps in apple trees to monitor their activity and spray with Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew when they are active.
  • Remember that deep root watering your apple trees throughout the season will ensure maximum fruit production.  Remove fruit infested with coddling moths from tree and pick up any that has dropped on the ground promptly and discard in trash to reduce coddling moth population.  
  • Keep vegetables picked so the plants will keep producing.
  • Monitor tomatoes and ensure that they receive an even supply of moisture instead of heavy soaking and then a drought. 
  • Keep records of harvest dates to help plan next year’s garden.
  • Monitor vegetables for symptoms of fungus or blight: soft, darkened areas, yellow and dropping leaves, sunken dark spots on otherwise green foliage.
  • Monitor all plants for insects.  Hand-remove large insects such as tomato hornworms, cicadas, and other caterpillars.
  • 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.
  • Continue fertilizing vegetables with G&B Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb fertilizer every month and G&B Organics High Bloome liquid fertilizer up to twice per week.


  • Rufous hummingbirds have arrived and will stay until fall, so keep feeders full of fresh sugar water until then.  Be sure to change every few days to avoid spoilage -- more frequently if in full sun all day.  For great family entertainment, consider adding a few extra feeders – one on a window for close-up birdwatching and another in a different part of your yard that is a good viewing spot.  Because Rufous are so feisty and territorial, be sure that no feeder is in the sightline of the others.
  • Many birds continue 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.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with water wigglers to attract more birds.  A mister is also an attractant – especially for hummingbirds.
  • 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 (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.  This makes your birdfeeding less wasteful and more economical.
  • 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.