As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, our unique climate presents both challenges and opportunities for gardeners. In June, the high desert’s intense sun and low humidity require specific strategies to ensure your garden thrives. From selecting drought-resistant plants to optimizing your watering schedule, our expert tips will help you make the most of this growing season.

Plant Doctor Quips

Moana Lane Plant Doctor, Michael Roth, says, ” With so many colors and textures available, June is a great month to jazz up your garden or patio space.  Some annuals such as Petunia, Calibrachoa, Snapdragon, and Celosia thrive in a sunny location.  While Impatiens, Begonia, and Coleus need afternoon shade to perform their best.  Annuals look best when planted in groups, and for optimum show, keep up with a regular fertilizing program.”

Our South Virginia Plant Doctor, Steve Packer says, “As the temperature increases in summer so does the bug population.  Check your shrubs, trees, and flowers on a regular basis and if you see any insect pests, treat early to minimize  severe plant damage.”

Our Moana Lane plant doctor, Jon Bruyn, says, “With the heat of summer coming on fast, our landscape often need more water to handle it. Many garden care givers just add more start times to accommodate this and that can be sufficient if those start times are in the morning. There is an old Nevada saying, “never put your garden to bed wet”. This “wet” is when you water after 10am, and if this is done, it creates an environment in which diseases and insects flourish with our warm nights. Getting all your watering done before 10am allow the surface of your soil to dry out  and still provide water for those deep roots that you have been [hopefully] encouraging.

Our Pyramid Way Plant Doctor, Jeni Lowery says, “Ever been curious about carnivorous plants? This month we’ll have the biggest selection we’ve ever had. They are intriguing & fascinating plants, evolved to eat meat! Using distilled water and not ‘over feeding’ them with insects will keep them healthy.

Bird Nerd, Lisa Braginton explains, “June is the perfect month to explore options for natural pest control. Implementing Integrated Pest Management achieves the best results without unintended consequences. Birds benefit when we avoid the unnecessary use of pesticides.Consider harnessing the power of natural systems to have a beautiful and healthy landscape.

Moana Nursery High Desert Gardening
Timely Tips

  • Avoid late afternoon and evening watering to prevent leaf diseases on lawn, shrubs and especially roses.
  • Established trees, shrubs, perennials & roses must receive 1 inch of water per week throughout their root zones.
  • Continue to cultivate and weed. 
  • If not done yet, mulch garden beds immediately after weeding with 2 to 4 inches of organic material such as G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner to retain moisture and keep weeds under control.
  • Inspect lawn for weeds.  Pull out annual weeds, such as crabgrass before they go to seed.  UNR Cooperative Extension recommends setting your mower at a higher height setting of 3-4”.  This will reduce water stress, control weeds, and develop a healthier lawn naturally.
  • Control insect pests, including aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, thrips, whitefly and others with Ladybugs and Lacewings and Fertilome Triple Action Plus.  For safe and quick control of leaf chewing insects, use Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew.
  • Check all plants weekly to be sure they are getting adequate water.  Inspect your irrigation system regularly for leaks, clogged emitters, broken/clogged heads, and other problems.  Adjust watering schedule as weather dictates.
  • To prevent brown patch and other lawn fungus diseases that begin to show up in June and July, spray your lawn with Fertilome F-Stop Fungicide or Copper Fungicide – especially if fungus was present last season.  For best results, alternate the fungicide used each year.
  • Be watchful for signs of lawn grub damage.  Consult a Moana Nursery expert to determine the true cause of your patchy lawn and for the best treatment.
  • Continue to deadhead roses by cutting flowers back to the first set of five leaflets.
  • Monitor roses closely for blackspot.  Remove any leaves that show darkened circles with fuzzy margins on either side of the leaves; yellow foliage with dark spots; and any leaves that have already dropped from the plant.  Dispose of infected leaves in the trash; do not compost.  In the future, select disease resistant roses like Bailey’s Easy Elegance series.
  • If not done yet, renovate overgrown shrubs including red twig dogwood, lilac, and forsythia by removing one-third of the old, thick canes.
  • Prune out all ground-level sucker growth from crabapple, apple, plum, peach, or apricot trees by cutting outgrowth below soil level; treat with Bonide Sucker Punch.
  • Prune out weak, green but very fast-growing water sprouts that grow vertically from branches of fruit trees, redbuds, or other ornamental flowering trees.
  • Continue deadheading annuals and perennials to encourage more flowering.  When deadheading annual geraniums, remove the entire stem with fading flowers.
  • Prune out the longest stem of cascading petunias weekly to prevent plants from becoming scraggly.
  • Hot dry weather can result in increased mite activity. Symptoms include stippling of foliage.  Remove affected foliage and treat with Bonide Neem Oil or Mite-X®Use according to the label.
  • Continue planting new perennials, ornamental grasses & roses.
  • Stake tall perennial plants.
  • Continue to guide clematis & all other soft-stemmed vines to their supports.
  • Fertilize fruits and vegetables with G&B Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer or Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer every 2 months. For those who are starting late or just want greater planting growth, one application of G&B Bat Guano will give a quick boost in growth for your corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and many others.
  • Spray tomato (and other vegetable) blossoms with Fertilome Tomato & Pepper Set to encourage more fruit production and use G&B Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer which is rich in calcium to prevent blossom end rot.
  • Monitor tomatoes and ensure that they receive an even supply of moisture instead of heavy soaking and then a drought. 
  • Monitor vegetables for symptoms of fungus or blight: soft, darkened areas, yellow and dropping leaves, sunken dark spots on otherwise green foliage. Control with Copper Fungicide and removal of infected tissues.
  • Monitor all plants for insects.  Hand-remove large insects such as tomato hornworms, cicadas, and other caterpillars.
  • For maximum fruit size and vigor, prune out excessive fruit on trees as follows:

               2-4” apart for plums along stem

               3-5” apart for peaches and nectarines along stem

               1 to 2 fruits per cluster for apples and pears

  • Continue to harvest herbs, whatever you can’t use fresh, you can dry, or freeze in small batches in an ice cube tray (with olive oil or butter, yum!).  
  • Pinch off developing flowers to retain essential oils and flavor in the plant’s foliage. Especially with basil, leaving the blooms on basil can reduce the sweetness of the leaves.
  • Mulch vegetable garden with 2 – 4” of G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner or Purely Compost to retain moisture and control weeds.
  • As the weather gets warmer, you may notice the increasing presence of gnats with your houseplants. We recommend using Houseplant Sticky Traps or Mosquito Bits to help get rid of these pests. Sticky traps are effective at catching the adults, while mosquito bits are useful in targeting the eggs and larvae that live in the soil. If possible, cut back on watering your houseplants slightly to help control the gnat population, as they love damp, wet soils! 
  • Continue to fertilize your indoor plants, especially bloomers and fast-growers! Make sure to carefully read the instructions on fertilizers for the correct concentrations. If you have orchids, African violets, bromeliads, check out our stores, as we also carry fertilizers in specific concentrations for these types of plants.
  • Continue to bring indoor plants outside when nighttime temperatures are over 45°. Indoor plants will appreciate morning sunshine, but too much afternoon sun may burn their leaves. If you do bring them out, be sure to adjust your watering schedule as needed, more light usually leads to them needing more water.
  • June is the month for bird families! Birds that have been absent from your feeders for several weeks may start showing up again with reinforcements – the next generation!
  • Look for awkward perching, scruffy plumage and incessant begging, as juveniles strive to learn the skills they need to carry their species forward.
  • As summer progresses, rufous hummingbirds will start showing up and will stay into the fall.
  • Add movement to birdbaths with Water Wigglers and Solar Bubblers to attract more birds and deter pests like mosquitos.
  • Continue offering WBU Suet or Suet Dough to warblers, nuthatches, wrens & woodpeckers.
  • Continue to put out oranges, grape jelly and nectar for orioles and sugar water for hummingbirds.  Be sure to change the solution every few days or use a product with Nectar Defender in it to avoid spoilage. Spoiled nectar can be toxic to the birds, so this is very important. Try to keep feeders out of direct sunlight if possible. Remember, we offer FREE nectar refills at all 3 Moana Nursery locations!
  • Keep nectar feeders and all feeders fresh with regular cleaning. We have a selection of brushes and safe solutions to keep feeders safe and healthy.
  • Continue to supply fresh water and change it every other day 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 thoroughly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Irrigation system turn on and inspection for leaks, broken/clogged heads, coverage & other problems by Moana Irrigation Specialist, call 825-0602 x134 to schedule.