Give gardens a boost with mulch, expert suggests

Greenhouse enthusiasts may be interested to hear that giving a garden a "spring tonic" of mulch is a great way to revitalise the soil.

That is the opinion of Helen Yemm, who wrote in the Daily Telegraph that this can be in the form of home-made compost, recycled organic waste, manure or leaf mould.

Applying this type of covering kills weeds and adds vital moisture to the earth in preparation for planting, she explained.

However, Ms Yemm went on to state that it pays not to be too heavy-handed with this type of material to allow unexpected plants to flourish should leaves and seeds drop into the soil.

"I dig in organic matter whenever I plant and I am fussy about the way I mulch," she explained.

The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index showed greenhouse and gardening enthusiasts spent 56 per cent more on home and garden items online in January compared with the same month in 2010.