It’s time to tuck your plants into a compost bed for winter

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Winter and early spring are a good time of year for gardeners to enrich their soil with organic matter such as manure and compost. Many of the plants have died back, leaving more room to dig the material into the soil or making it easier to just lay it on top with the “no-dig” technique that helps suppress weed growth too.

Uncultivated soils tend to contain 3 to 6 per cent organic matter, which accumulates from the natural cycle of plants dying and being broken down by microbes. Cultivated soils may be at the lower end of that range, …