March is a fickle month here in the High Desert, with temperature swings and unpredictable weather patterns, but don’t let that scare you off from getting your garden going! Now is the time to prep your existing plants by fertilizing, pruning, and proactively treating them for pests and diseases, while also getting your new plants set up for success with the proper soil amendments, frost protection, and irrigation set-up. Keep pests and weeds at bay with preventative measures now and draw pollinators and birds by providing them with early food sources and shelter that will make your garden the place to be this growing season. Remember: you reap what you sow, so sow a healthy foundation for your garden now to reap a season of enjoyment!

Plant Doctor Quips

Moana Lane Plant Doctor, Michael Roth, says, you would have a hard time finding a more perfect shrub for your yard than a Blueberry bush. They range in sizes from 1 foot to 5 feet tall & wide. They’re hardy to our northern Nevada climate, most have vibrant fall foliage, and all produce delicious fruit with bountiful harvests for years to come.  They need regular watering and acidic soils to thrive, can be planted in a large container or the ground, and by planting multiple varieties you’ll have all the cross pollination needed for success.

Our Pyramid Way Plant Doctor, Angela Turner says, “It’s officially seed starting season! Tomatoes and peppers need 6-8 weeks to grow big enough to plant outside, so this is the perfect time to get them started. We have a huge selection of seeds, so come on out and talk to a Plant Doctor about what you can grow!”

Our Moana Lane plant doctor, John Bruyn, says, with the new A.B. 162 legislature, neonicotinoid systemic insecticides will soon be unavailable here in Nevada. Now is a great time to start learning about proactive controls, like how plants can resist insect infestations if they are healthy and treated properly. Over the long run, this will save a great deal of time and money for you, start transitioning your methods now.

Our South Virginia Plant Doctor, Steve Packer says: If you’re like me, you have Spring Fever and can’t wait to get your garden started. Peas are the answer!  Peas can be planted at the latter end of March or when soil temps are over 50° F, (use a soil thermometer).  Pre- soak  pea seeds for several hours before planting to reduce germination time. Sow seeds at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed and 2 inches apart.

Jeni Lowery, South Virginia’s Plant Doctor says, “You may be eager, but, it’s not quite time yet to prune those roses- we recommend mid-April (easy way to remember is tax day, the 15th.) So focus on your fruit trees (and deciduous) if you are itching to use those pruners. Make sure they are sharpened and use a cleaning solution in between trees and shrubs to keep them sanitized and prevent any spreading of fungal disease that may be present.”

Bird Nerd, Lisa Braginton advises, “March, with its notoriously variable weather, can convince us that we are still in the depths of winter for weeks, and then delight us with a perfect spring day. Despite the uncertainty of the weather, birds have no choice but to push ahead with spring plans, because there’s only just so much time for them to accomplish what they need to get done! Help them out by providing food and water, nesting boxes and nesting material, and be sure to include bird-friendly plants in your spring gardening plans.”

Moana Nursery High Desert Gardening
Timely Tips

  • Cut back all ornamental grasses & perennials. Cut close to the ground to get rid of any winter stressed foliage.
  • Gently press back any perennials that may have heaved out of the ground over winter.
  • Plant cool-season flowers – stocks, primrose, pansies, violets, Shirley poppies, ranunculus, candytuft, thyme, flowering kale and cabbage, etc. with G&B Organics Starter Fertilizer.
  • Enjoy summer blooms earlier by potting up gladiolas, dahlias, crocosmia, lily of the valley, etc. indoors at the beginning of the month, then transplant in the garden when weather has warmed up with Happy Frog Steamed Bone Meal or G&B Organics Bud & Bloom Fertilizer for long lasting blooms.


  • With wild birds’ natural food supply at its lowest this month, offer them high energy foods like peanuts, suet, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® and mealworms.
  • Keep feeders clean and seed fresh; if food has gotten wet or has been sitting, it’s time to clean the feeder and start with new seed.
  • Some birds will begin building their nests this month; place nesting materials out for them now and consider a Wild Birds Unlimited birdhouse for wrens, chickadees or woodpeckers if they are visiting your yard.
  • Continue to supply fresh water and change it every 5 days to keep it clean.

Feederscape Consultation
If you want our expert help setting up a feeding station at your home or business schedule a consultation today. Our Bird Nerd will help you make your landscape a refuge for birds and humans alike. 

Our Seasonal Color Team can help you with custom containers, annual planting beds or a simple refresh of your existing garden. Schedule a free consultation today! 

Need help with your indoor plants? Contact our Interior Plant Services team. They can help you design, install, and maintain your indoor plants! Want a WOW plant presentation? Ask about installing a LIVING PLANT WALL! Examples of plant walls are available to see at both our Moana Lane and Pyramid Way locations.

Our Expert Plant Doctors can help you with your high desert gardening;
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.

Contact our Plant Doctors with questions about your garden.
Moana Lane Store

Jon Bruyn
Michael Roth

Pyramid Way Store
Angela Turner
Gary Jentink

South Virginia Street Store
Steve Packer
Jennifer Lowery