I am wondering, when is the best time to mulch , autumn or spring? what are the advantages of one against the other? any advice will be appreciated. thanks
The idea of a mulch is to seal in and conserve the moisture and act as a weed suppressant so it doesn't make a lot of difference- providing the soil is wet and not frozen
I usually do it in Autumn in case I'm late in spring and things have started to grow
Autumn for me too, providing the soil is moist. Main reason is I have loads of bulbs everywhere, so Spring mulching not always possible wthout demolishing things! I also do try & do 'mini' mulches as I revamp/replant areas. Not a problem in such a wet season as this has been. J.
I do pretty much the same as jo4eyes. I've had this garden for about 18 years now, and take every opportunity to add organic matter to the soil. I've just emptied a dumpy bag of leaf mould onto one border, and always add compost etc into new planting holes. The soil is still like dust!
I usually add leaf mulch and plenty of organic matter in the Autumn, I've room to collect next years then and by spring what has been put on the beds has broken down quite nicely and the soil is nice and black. A lot of the farmers leave organic matter in sacks outside their farms about this time of year which is free and so can collected for next autumn.
I save dalek made compost to mix with multi purpose bought in the spring. Saves on the amount needed to buy and this year multi purpose compost seemed of lesser quality than that bought in previous years so it improves the quality.
Does anyone else feel delighted when checking their bag/pile of last autumn's leaves and finding such lovely leaf mould and enjoy putting it on the beds/borders? Non-gardening friends find me very strange but I'm sure I'm not alone.
Christopher - do you think seaweed would help improve my clay soil too?
Clay soil here too, I take every opportunity to add sand/grit/compost whenever I can. I wouldn't advise anyone to take any material from natural sources though.
Anyone collecting seaweed from the beach would need to check their local bye laws. Where I live it's ok to collect it washed up on the beach and at this time of year there is usually a lot due to high tides and rough sea's. Picking it off rocks is a big NO.
You'd need to collect bags of the stuff for it to improve your clay soil Caroline, I'd advise horse or mushroom muck.
Seaweed is very good as a feed, pest deterrent spray and mulch though, which I start to use in the spring for the duration of the growing season up to autumn. .