During the growing months keep your garden clean and tidy by removing any dead foliage and weeds. At the end of the season, remove all dead and dying foliage and pull old bloom stalks. Leave the healthy foliage for winter protection. Mulch, although not essential in every area, can be applied as a means of improving the soil, helping to retain moisture, and assisting in weed control. In climates with large temperature swings, mulch can be applied to protect against potential freeze damage to new foliage.