January a great time to mulch the garden

Gardeners have been told to mulch their gardens as part of a January checklist of things to do in the garden and greenhouse in the Daily Mail.

Mulching helps suppress weeds, retain moisture in the soil and allow the ground to breathe.

Such are the benefits of mulching that the newspaper describes the process as a "cure-all" for soil problems.

"Home compost, spent mushroom compost and Strulch" (an organic mulch product made mainly from straw) are all recommended for eco-gardeners.

The Royal Horticultural Society also advises that gardeners use organic mulches made of things such as garden compost, woodchip, leafmould, bark, spent hopps, cocoa shells and grass clippings.

Other greenhouse and garden activities for January include cutting back any dead foliage and having the lawnmower serviced to avoid the hassle and queues that come with the spring rush.

Clearing out pots and planning the layout of the garden are also good ideas to help prepare for the warmer weather, when the garden can once again be enjoyed to its fullest.