This has no doubt been posted already but I can't access the few that I have run across.
Anyway. I fertilized with a slow release fertilizer this spring. It's about time to give my plants another boost and I am hesitant to fertilize them during this drought. On one hand it seems that some nutrients would be of help to them, but on the other hand it would also encourage them to grow which with so little water is a difficult business. I don't want to stress them even more than they already are. The forecasts are for the drought to continue around here possibly through October so I wouldn't think waiting and fertilizing then would be a good idea either
Any thoughts on the advisability of fertilizing now?
Without a soil test, its hard to say. I do know that plants that are lacking nutients during drought will suffer more as they try to "suck" up every bit of moisture to get what they are lacking.
Are your plants showing signs of deficiencies that you can recognize?
In your conditions, I would be using a very week fertiliser like maybe half strength only IF it is needed, I always think the plants are more in need of water and plenty of it and make sure you hoe ot light rake the top CRUST that forms on top of the soil around the plants as any water just runs off the crust and the plants ? roots dont always get any water. stick your finger into the soil about an inch or two down, this will give an idea as to how dry the root area is, it is best to absolutely soak the roots area for ages and then leave for a few days before you need to water again than to give a few seconds of water every day.
If it is perennial plants you have, they can wait for an autumn feed till say September to let them build up some energy for making good roots for next year in spring time feed again, IF your worrying about anniels, they can take either a liquid feed of spray foliage feed anytime but as you said, be careful you dont make a strong feed or any very delicate new growth that forms after feeding and in the temps you have, could be damaged.
Hope this helps you out, good luck. WeeNel.