The advantages of mulching your garden beds, is for water conservation. Mulch stops the top of the soil drying out, keeps the soil moist, and can reduce watering by about 60 per cent. Mulching also prevents weeds and weed seed germination, which compete with plants for moisture and nutrients. Mulching also keeps the soil temperature constant. It is good idea to rake mulch every couple of months to allow aeration to the plants roots. Mulch breaks down into valuable nutrients and provides an attractive ground cover. The end of Winter & early Spring is the best time to mulch your garden. Ideally, the soil will be moist from winter rains, and you want to help keep that moisture bank in the soil and protect it & before warmer temperatures cause the topsoil to dry out.