We've all heard the phrase 'putting the garden to bed'. I'm not fond of that phrase, really. There is so much activity that takes place in the winter. It can be pretty disruptive. Just think of all the freezing and thawing, frost heaving, all the microbial activity that continues to take place (maybe at a slower rate than summer). The snow, the ice, the cold winter rains. All these help with decomposition of organic matter over the winter.
I've given our garden at the office a nice layer of leaves -- just whatever I could rake up close by.
Then I was given some old straw bales left over from Halloween decorations. I would prefer to know my source of straw since I'd have some idea exactly what type of grasses made it up and -- more importantly -- if it came from a weed-infested field. But beggars can't be choosers.
I can plant right through this straw next spring. The worms should continue to work as it will be relatively warm over the winter with this nice layer on top. I'll take pictures next spring!