Local and Timely High Desert Gardening Tips

facebook pictures 007.jpg  

December 1st thru December 15th, 2018

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

Store your drained hoses in the garage so that you can easily use them to water your lawn, trees, shrubs, containers and newly planted perennials should we not get precipitation during this month and throughout the winter.

Keep your holidays merry, bright and SAFE for everyone by keeping in mind Pet Safety Tips for toxic plants, holiday decorations and more. Click here for tips.

General Garden & Lawn Care:

  • Be sure all leaves and twigs are removed from your lawn before our next snowfall.
  • If voles have been a problem, apply Bonide MoleMax to those areas they typically frequent before the next snowfall.  MoleMax acts as a repellent and will protect the plant material in the treated zones.
  • Avoid walking on frozen turf; it breaks grass blades.
  • Mulch perennial beds & roses now if you haven’t done so with 2 to 4 inches of G&B Organics Soil Building Conditioner.
  • Avoid using salt-based, de-icing products in or around garden areas for snow removal.  Moana recommends Sierra Blue Snow & Ice Melt which is friendly to the environment and plants.
  • Check ponds for branches, leaves and other debris deposited by our seasonal high winds and remove them.

Tree and Shrub Care:

  • Continue to water newly planted trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, until ground freezes.
  • Water existing trees and shrubs, especially evergreens when there has been no precipitation for three weeks and there is a thaw.  This is necessary for plants in containers.
  • Light pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs can be done this month.  Wait until late winter or very early spring before buds break to do heavy pruning.  Immediately prune back any branches damaged by snow and ice.
  • If disease such as powdery mildew was identified last season, preventative spraying of Bonide Liquid Copper at leaf fall and prior to bud break in spring can reduce incidence of disease. Make certain to clean up leaf and fruit litter that can harbor disease.  Fruit trees should also be sprayed with Bonide All Seasons Dormant Oil to control insects such as white fly, spider mite, aphids and coddling moths.
  • To protect the bark of young trees and older trees that may be susceptible to winter sunscald & frost damage to the south and southwest sides of their bark, wrap their bark in the coldest months of the year.  Use Dalen Protective Tree Wrap, a light colored and flexible tree wrap from a few inches above the ground to just below the lowest limbs. From late December through mid-March this will help prevent damage from extreme cold and temperature fluctuations. Leaving the wrap on year ‘round will provide habitat for pests, so make a note to take the wrap off when pea and potato planting time comes around - St. Patrick’s Day in the Truckee Meadows.
  • Remove heavy snow loads from evergreen branches by gently sweeping snow off with a broom.  If branches have been anchored to the ground, gently lift them from underneath with a broom.  Avoid beating tree branches with any heavy tools.
  • Allow any ice that accumulates on tree branches to melt.  Cracking ice with heavy objects should be avoided.
  • To protect broadleaf evergreens like rhododendron and photinia planted in exposed areas from drying winds, apply Bonide Wilt Stop this month and again in January and February.

Holiday Plant Care:

  • Plant paperwhites and amaryllis for holiday color.
  • When choosing a cut Christmas tree, select one with firm needles that don’t drop off when the tree is raised up a few inches and dropped to the ground.  The bottom of the stump should be moist with some sap present.   Cut two inches of the stump and immediately plunge tree into a bucket of warm water. Before bringing the tree inside spray with Bonide Wilt Stop to help prevent the needles from drying out.   Make sure the stand is full of water each dayIf left without water, the tree will form a seal which prevents it from taking up any water.  Add SUPERthrive to every watering to enhance water uptake & promote tree vitality.
  • Living Christmas trees should be kept inside the home no more than 10 days.  Spray with Bonide Wilt Stop before bringing indoors to prevent drying out.  Place tree away from all heat sources – fireplaces, space heaters, vents, electrical appliances & televisions.  Water daily with SUPERthrive (1/4 tsp/gal). Use a saucer to collect water. Decorate with LED lights which give off minimal heat & are energy efficient
  • Remove decorative foil from bottom of gift plant pots or punch holes in the foil to allow water to properly drain.
  • Cyclamen prefer cool temperatures.  Water them only when the soil dries out and avoid splashing the foliage.  Remove faded flowers and stems promptly to keep the plant blooming.
  • Azaleas require bright light, moist soil and occasional misting.  Flowers will remain for months if old blooms are quickly removed and the plant receives adequate moisture.
  • Poinsettias require bright light away from heating vents, fireplaces and drafty windows or doors.  Maintain even moisture; plants will wilt dramatically if allowed to dry out.  Avoid getting water on the leaves.

Indoor Plant Care:

  • Monitor houseplants for insect problems that often occur when plants become stressed due to insufficient light, overheated rooms or improper watering and fertilizing techniques.  Isolate new houseplants or gift plants for 10 days before adding to your existing plants.  Pests to look for include spider mites, scale, mealybugs, whitefly and fungus gnats.  Treat immediately.  Moana recommends Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control; use according to the label.


  • Put out compressed seed cakes and cylinders to provide birds with a steady supply of food, even in the worst of weather and when you go on vacation.
  • Clean and refill bird feeders.  Regular cleaning and rinsing are essential to prevent disease from spreading to visiting birds.
  • Feed high fat, high caloric content seeds to help satisfy birds’ cold weather needs.  Black oil sunflower, nyjer, peanuts and finch blend all add needed calories.
  • Install a clear plastic weather dome to protect tube feeders from rain and snow.
  • Hang a cylinder feeder with one of our many seed or suet cylinder choices for easy no-fuss bird feeding in winter.  Hang a cylinder feeder with one of our many seed or suet cylinder choices for easy no-fuss bird feeding in winter.  Be sure to check out our holiday cylinders – Peanut the Squirrel, Sugar the Cat and Honey the Mouse, Olive and Screech the Owls along with festive seed cylinder holders!
  • Put out suet and mealworms to attract insect-eating birds that are residents or arriving to spend the winter.
  • Provide a heated birdbath to ensure a steady supply of water.  Remember, birds still need to bathe even in winter to keep their feathers conditioned for insulation and flight.
  • Store bird food in a sealed container and keep in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage.
  • 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? (call 825-0602 x134 for more info.)

  • Indoor Plant Services offers clean-air plants, design,   installation, maintenance & more.
  • Plant rental service          
  • Seasonal container & bedding service                                            
  • Custom Container drop-off & pick up                                                             
  • Irrigation System Repair & Tune-up                            
  • Bulk Material Installation/Spreading with ‘Slinger Truck’ - Call: Moana Rock  (775) 691-1220
  • Create a backyard bird habitat; have a healthier landscape this year. Make an appointment for an at-your site consultation; call our Plant Doctors:  

Moana Lane: Jon Bruyn at 825-0602 x118 or jonb@moananursery.com

Moana Lane: Lisa Braginton at 825-0602 x104 or lisab@moananursery.com

S. Virginia St.: Steve Packer at 853-1319 x225 or stevep@moananursery.com

 Pyramid Way: Michelle Gilmore at 425-4300 x303 or michelleg@moananursery.com

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.