The Dirt: Watering and Fertilizing - Dallas News |

The Dirt: Watering and Fertilizing

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It has been a hot, dry summer so far, and your landscaping or lawn may be showing some signs of stress.

However, it can be kind of a tricky thing to find the right balance with watering this time of summer.

"People under water and then they respond by over watering and create similar problems.  The roots will die out and the plant can't absorb moisture or nutrients," said Rick Vespa with English Gardens.

What are some of the signs of over watering and under watering?

"Over watering, typically you'll see a wilting of the plant, won't look so good, but it will generally still be green.  Whereas under watering, plant starts to dry out.  You'll see browning on the tips.  Pretty easy to tell the difference if you know what to look for."

Water cans work well for your containers, but there are some other cool tools to make watering a lot easier.

"An important tip on watering is to use a water breaker.  Whatever you're watering, it puts the water down gently, allows it to absorb into the soil.  If you put too much water down at one time, it will just flow out of the pot."

So it's important to have soft spray and let the water soak in.  How does a Soil Soaker work?

"Just a leaky pipe.  You can actually take this and run it throughout your plants in a flower bed or a garden and it just basically leaks."

"When you go on vacation or really throughout the season, a drip irrigation kit ... can really help.  Basically uses a timer you attach to the faucet, and you run small pipes to various containers on your deck or patio and it basically drips water into the pots, very efficient watering, no waste."

We know that feeding your plants and your lawn is important this time of year, but it's not one size fits all when it comes to fertilizer.

"A very important point, and, for example, on something like evergreens, Holly-tone is a high end acid or acidifies the soil, which is important for your evergreens.  A tomato food like Whitney Farms Organic, high in calcium, calcium's very important to have nice, healthy fruit on your tomatoes."

"You have things like the granules Osmocote, which you can put down.  It will feed for four months.  Granules, liquids, they all have different purposes and need to be used differently, and remember you need to feed often.  [A soluble] you can use in a sprayer ... and you can use it every ten days to two weeks throughout the growing season.  They really need a lot of food."

You want to makes sure your plants no only survive this summer, but also thrive.

English Gardens has seven locations throughout metro Detroit.  For more information, visit

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