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Watering Do's And Don'ts When It's Dry

By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Whatever amount of moisture we get from rain showers this week or not, spring so far has been incredibly dry. So if you planted any trees, shrubs or even perennials, keep an eye on the rain gauge and, if it's empty, water deeply at least once a week.

How much water depends on how big the plant is and whether you have sandy soil in New Jersey, heavy clay in PA, or something in between.

Put a trickling hose near the base of the plant - so it's not running off, just soaking in - until the ground is moist several inches down. Make sure it's damp down through the root ball and into surrounding soil. Check with a trowel the first time you water, so you'll know how long to let the hose run.

DON'T make the mistake of watering a little bit all the time instead. If you point a hose at your new shrub for 20 seconds every day instead of watering it deeply once or twice a week, you'll train the roots to stay up high instead of growing down to find water! Then, when it gets hot this summer or you go away for a few days, those roots will be right near the hot surface of the soil, where they'll fry and your plant will die.

So, water deeply, at least weekly, instead. Find more good tips on watering and basic plant care at

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