Trying to improve my soil
I have been trying to improve my soil the 'organic' way, first by making compost to use in my beds. This was a bit of a disaster because in my neighbourhood one must have a compost bin in the back yard. For me this is in a shaded area so the compost production has been almost nil. Last fall, I decided to use nature's bounty: I bought a shredder and shredded all the leaves from my very large maple, and used it as a mulch for all my beds. Now it is spring, my perennials are sending up new shoots and I have moved away the mulch from around the crowns of the plants to provide oxygen. I will be filling in some of those areas with annuals in the next month or so. I am a little uncertain about how to go about dealing with this mulch now. Do I just remove it where I need to plant my annuals? Should I leave it on all summer or will it attract pests? I am afraid of snakes which made their first appearance in our gardens last year. Will this be a habitat for them? I have quite a thick layer down - about 4- 6 nches- so of course most of it is still there. How should I proceed? Thank you.