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Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

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May 31st thru June 15th, 2021

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

We are seeing a variety of pests, especially aphids, with infestation populations.  If you’re not sure what’s eating your plants, visit your nearest Moana Nursery Plant Doctor with a sample of plant with bugs or disease.  We’ll help you ID the culprit and suggest the safest, most effective controls.

After an extremely dry winter and sparse spring rains, now is the time ensure sure your plants, especially your trees, are getting sufficient water.  Standard two drip emitters may not be sufficient to supply enough water to them.  As trees grow their roots extend out towards their dripline –the area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree branches, defined as a circle on the ground corresponding to the dripline of the tree. The most active water absorption area is at the dripline and beyond, not close to the center or trunk.  Emitters should be added, moved outward & perhaps increased in size every 2 years or so to follow roots that expand laterally as the tree grows.  Click here for our Drip Irrigation Fact Sheet:

Or call 825-0602 x134 to schedule an appointment with one of our irrigation service technicians for thorough assessment of your drip system.

Caterpillar Alert!

A variety of caterpillars, including hordes of leafrollers are being reported.  A great way to get rid of them without harming beneficial insects is to attract birds to your yard by hanging a bird feeder or two near your plants.  Many birds love caterpillars and will eagerly eat yours.  Larger populations may require different methods of control; if the birds can’t handle them and you need “reinforcements,” visit us for more pest control options.

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • Treat turf fungi with a fungicide.  For best results, alternate the fungicide used each year – use Bonide Infuse or Copper Fungicide.
  • If you haven’t already done so, mulch all garden beds with G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner after thoroughly weeding and watering. 3 inches of SBC will reduce your water requirements by up to 30%.
  • Check all plants weekly to be sure they are getting adequate water.  Inspect irrigation system regularly for leaks, clogged emitters, broken/clogged heads, and other problems.  Adjust watering schedule as weather dictates.
  • Inspect lawn for weeds and use Bonide Weed Beater Complete, Weed Beater Fe or Weed Beater Ultra to control.  Mow high (3 to 3-1/2 inches) so individual blades of grass can shade each other.
  • Control insect pests, including aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, thrips, whitefly and others with Ladybugs and Lacewings or Organocide Bee Safe 3-in-1 Garden Spray.  For safe and quick control of leaf chewing insects, use Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Use Fox Farm Marine Cuisine or G&B Organics Rhododendron, Azalea & Camellia Fertilizer to help green up conifers that are looking chlorotic (yellow).
  • Fertilize roses after first flush of flowers with G&B Organics Rose & Flower Fertilizer and mulch with G&B Organics Harvest Supreme.
  • Prune hybrid tea roses back to 5 leaflet leaf as soon as flowers fade.  Many shrub roses are self-cleaning and don’t require pruning.  When in doubt, lightly prune old blossoms to keep plant looking attractive.
  • Pinch off 1 inch of sticky new growth on azaleas and rhododendrons to increase next year’s flowers.  Mulch acid-loving plants with G&B Organics Acid Planting Mix.
  • Continue to prune all spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they flower.
  • Small evergreens such as boxwood or yew can be lightly pruned after the new growth fills in to maintain a formal character.

Perennial & Annual Care:

  • Fertilize annuals in containers, baskets and window boxes every 2-3 weeks with G&B Organics Bud & Bloom. Liquid G&B Organics High Bloome Fertilizer can be used with each watering. Always water plants before fertilizing.
  • Monitor succulent new growth for signs of aphids (puckered, stunted leaves).  Hose down affected plants.  Don’t use strong chemicals if beneficial insects are present.
  • Hot dry weather can result in increased mite activity.  Symptoms include stippling of foliage.  Remove affected foliage and treat with Bonide Rose Rx 3 in 1.
  • When cutting peony blossoms to bring indoors, remove as few leaves as possible from the plant.  Don’t cut more than 25% of the flowers from one bush and avoid cutting flowers from newly planted peonies.
  • Continue to deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage new flower formation.
  • Apply Plantskydd to emerging lily shoots and other plants if rabbits and deer are a problem.  Because the animals can become desensitized over time, best results are achieved by alternating repellents.  GO AWAY! Deer & Rabbit Repellent with hot pepper can be used directly on fruits, vegetables, and root crops.
  • Fertilize spring blooming bulbs with Happy Frog Steamed Bone Meal or G&B Organics Bud & Bloome Fertilizer if you did not do so at planting time. Mark the spots with small stakes to repeat fertilizer application in the fall when plants are not visible.
  • Monitor all annual plantings in containers and window boxes.  On windy days, hanging baskets will require water every day.
  • Continue planting new perennials, ornamental grasses & roses.
  • Stake tall perennials and continue to tie annual and perennial vines to supports.  Train and tie clematis stems with soft cloth to guard against breakage caused by stems blowing in the wind.
  • Continue to pinch off new growth of mums, asters, and late-blooming tall sedums.

Herb, Fruit & Vegetable Care:

  • Fertilize vegetables with G&B Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer.
  • Stake or cage tomatoes as they begin to grow.  If your tomatoes are exposed to wind, apply Bonide Tomato & Blossom Set.
  • Protect tomatoes from blossom end rot as soon as fruit sets with Bonide Rot Stop.
  • Pinch new top growth of herbs to keep them from flowering.  Snip or cut off sprigs of herbs to use in cooking all season.
  • Plant pumpkins and melon plants.
  • Mulch vegetable garden with G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner to retain moisture.
  • To grow larger, sweeter fruit, physically thin your fruit trees of excessive fruit now. For apples and pears (cluster fruit) thin cluster to one or two fruits, spaced along branches no closer than six inches. For most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots), thin fruit to one every six inches along branches. Plums generally do not need thinning.


  • To ensure that bird seed is eaten quickly and stays fresh, keep feeders filled with a one-or two-day supply of seed.
  • Clean all bird feeders with hot soapy water and a bleach solution of 1-part bleach to 10 parts water.  Rinse and thoroughly dry before refilling.  Ideally, feeders should be cleaned and bleached every 2-3 months to prevent disease from spreading and to keep feeders in good condition.
  • Continue to supply fresh water and change it every 3-5 days to keep it clean.  To prevent the chance of disease, clean birdbath weekly with a weak bleach solution and 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 or on a deck.
  • Offer WBU Bark Butter Bits, Peanut Butter n’ Jelly Suet Dough or Jim’s Birdacious Bark Butter to provide the extra calcium needed during nesting season.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with water wigglers to attract more birds.  Install a mister for added water interest for both hummingbirds and songbirds. 
  • Continue to offer a variety of fresh food at your feeders. Bird parents and their young with access to backyard feeders benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety.
  • Hummingbirds & orioles have shown up in various parts of town.  Put out oranges, grape jelly for orioles and WBU Hummingbird and Oriole Nectar for both hummingbirds and orioles.   Be sure to change the nectar every few days so it doesn’t spoil. Keeping feeders out of direct sunlight and using Nectar Defender will help ensure that your nectar stays healthy for your birds. 
  • Store bird food in a sealed container and keep in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage.

Did you know that we can do the following for you?

  • Seasonal Containers, Small yard cleanup, Planting bed preparation, 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.
  • Certified Backflow Testing for commercial irrigation systems - $95 for testing & reporting. To make an appointment, call 825-0602 x134.

Plant doctors are available for at-your-site appointments beginning June 7– they can 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

South Virginia St. Store

Pyramid Way 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.