Answer: Your garden should be mulched with an organic mulch. There are a variety of materials you could use including herbicide free grass clippings in a thin layer, chopped autumn leaves saved from the previous year, straw, shavings, half finished compost, or even a bark mulch; you can also mix different materials. The mulch may need to be fluffed up or replenished during the season. Cover the soil with mulch or a cover crop in the fall to limit erosion over the winter. Rotted down mulch can be dug into the soil as a source of organic matter.
For fertilizer, as a general guide, use a general purpose granular fertilizer per the label directions along with a top dressing of compost. Ideally, you would run some basic soil tests to check the fertility and also the soil pH, then add fertilizer and/or lime according to the test results. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the testing and interpreting the results.
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