No matter how you water, the only way to know if you plants have received enough moisture is to dig a small hole six inches deep. Water moves differently through different soil types and textures, you really have to look to know how deeply it moved.
If you haven't added any fertilizer to your flower beds or vegetable gardens yet, now is a good time. Trees and shrubs don't need extra fertilizer in general, but it will benefit the gardens that you want to produce lots of flowers, fruits or vegetables. You can use conventional granular fertilizer (the rate will vary with the formulation so read the label directions), liquid fertilizer, or an inch thick layer of organic sources such as rotted manure or compost.
If you've already mulched your beds, either use liquid fertilizer that will soak through the mulch or rake back the mulch, apply the granules or manure, then rake the mulch back in place.
Amy Ivy is executive director with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton County. Office phone numbers: Clinton County 561-7450, Essex County 962-4810, Franklin County 483-7403. Visit the local Web site at www.cce.cornell.edu/ecgardening or email questions to askMG@cornell.edu