I like a mulch that will eventually break down nicely into the soil, adding nutrients as it goes. Strulch is a type of straw mulch I that I have been using for a few years now. People are always curious about it as it looks so different to the oft-used mulch of bark. Fluffy in texture and bronze in colour, it seems like it might fly away when you first take it from the bag, but it knits together well and stays put! (The fact that it weighs very little is a bonus for any gardeners out there with creaky backs.) Made from wheat straw treated with iron in a patented process that ‘preserves’ the straw for up to two years, Strulch performs well as a mulch (reducing weeds and conserving soil moisture) and when it does eventually rot down it helps to improve the structure of soil. It does this by acting as a conditioner (the substance itself helping break up heavy clay) and by adding organic matter. Recommended for organic gardening, it has a neutral ph and one bag covers three square metres. Because it doesn’t retain water on its surface I have found it has helped deter slugs, as they don’t seem to like the dry texture of it. I think using this over a layer of home made compost is the way to go – the layer of clean straw will stop any weed seeds present from germinating and looks attractive.