When to add compost to my crops?

Q: I have my first batch of finished compost this year and I was just wondering when my garden would benefit most from its application. As some of my vegetable beds finish up for the year, I’m preparing to plant some cover crops. Should I add the compost before seeding the cover crops, or should I add it in the spring after I dig the cover crops in?

Thanks for the great question. Compost can be added at anytime of the year. Personally, if you have room to hold it, I would wait until spring (winter rains and snow can be hard on soil with leaching and compaction), however if the compost bin is full and you need space by all means topdress. You can experiment as well, try a bit now and some next spring and see how it goes.  One thing I like to do is topdress my vegetable containers when they are planted up (in May), with about 125 mL (1/2 cup) on top of each. This adds nutrients and beneficial microorganisms to the planting.
Your soil should be in good shape with the cover crop and compost and you should expect great results!