By Ron Alexander
Generally, gardeners and professional landscapers understand that you don’t ‘work’ the soil when it is excessively dry, like in the summer, as this can destroy the soil’s structure. Planting during the summer heat increases the risk of plant establishment failure, as plants require more water, so no mistakes can be made in irrigation. if fertilization is done at all during the summer months, apply only slow-release nitrogen fertilizers as quick release nitrogen products are prone to causing leaf and turf burn at higher temperatures. Further, nitrogen pushes the top growth of plants, which is something that we try to avoid when there is heat and/or water stress. For similar reasons, we don’t perform aggressive cultural practices (e.g., tree pruning, turf aeration, heavily fertilization) on plants and turf when they are in periods of stress. Generally, don’t push plant growth or complete cultural practices that create plant stress when environmental stresses are expected or happening.
That said, there are sometimes mild and rainy summers when planting and maintenance rules can be broken with success. And there are always circumstances that increase successful summer planting, like establishing a garden in a shadier area and/or being able to readily irrigate. But it is still risky.
As far as using the Bloom products in the summer:
- Cured Bloom – may be applied at lower application rates, for fertility, around plants and trees if irrigation is available.
- Fresh Bloom – may be used in soil blending projects, whether blending on the project site or stockpiling the blended product. However, it would be best to wait until the fall to plant in these soils.
- Sandy Blend and Woody Blend – may be used at normal ‘soil amending’ application rates for garden renovation and establishment, but it should be done so with caution and only where gardens are not in full sun or where irrigation is readily available.
Generally, be cautious with any type of planting or maintenance practices during the summer months when plants are in stress. While some gardening with Bloom that may be done over the summer, if you can wait until the fall to do your planting or maintenance activities, it’s probably smart to do that. It just increases your level of success and reduces potential risk created by environmental stressors.