Soil amendments can be extremely beneficial to our gardens. They can take on physical soil conditions, improve soil pH, improve soil nutrient storage, etc.
What is the Best Time to Apply Soil Amendments?
It depends on what we are asking. What time of the day? or What time of the year?
Time of Day
Time of Day for Solid Amendments
We’ll start with what time of the day. For solid soil amendments any time of day is fine as far as the amendment itself goes. Morning is probably a better choice simply because you have the light of the day to complete your task. Clearly it is more difficult to start a physical task late in the day and try to complete it in the dark. If you’re one that likes to work in the sunshine make sure you use appropriate sun protection and keep well hydrated. If it gets too hot it’s time to stop. Your project can wait. Your health and well being come first!
Time of Day for Liquid Amendments
The best time of day for applying liquid soil amendments is generally early in the morning, especially if they are applied in the middle of the summer. In the wee hours of the morning the ground will be about as cool as it will get before the morning sunrise begins heating it up again. Liquid soil amendments will tend to penetrate into the soil more without the associated water evaporating rapidly. This results in lower water usage needed to carry your liquid amendments into the soil.
Time of Year
Time of Year for Solid Amendments
Early spring or late fall are generally the best times of year to apply solid amendments and tilling the amendments into the soil is easier where the soil is bare. If early spring has come and gone you probably have established the plants in your garden. Then it becomes more difficult to till solid amendments into the soil around the plants. And where you have perennial plant it is also difficult. Top dressing is still an option. This results in the amendment leaching into the soil. The improvement may not be as rapid but it should still occur over time.
Time of Year for Liquid Amendments
Liquid soil amendments are versatile and can be applied any time of year. Early spring or late fall may be the “ideal” time to apply a liquid soil amendment but the truth is any time you need it is the best time to apply it. Think of it like you would think of watering your lawn or garden.
Even though it might be more efficient to water in the spring or in the fall, you don’t want to wait until spring or fall if it needs to be watered. You water it when it needs to be watered. If your garden is growing but could use the help of an amendment you can apply a liquid soil amendment where plants are growing. And that is the beauty of a liquid soil amendment, you can apply it any time and regardless of the status of your planting. You can apply it when it’s needed.