Fall is the best time to put materials into your garden, because they have 4-6 months to compost before you plant again. However, you can do it in February-March also, but be sure it is clean and free of bugs, weed seeds, and disease!
If you can find clean, finely ground-up leaves to use, they will improve your soil tilth. Dry leaves provide very little nutrition, but they also do not introduce disease, bugs, or weed seeds into the garden, so they are good to use.
Other compost and manure may have somewhat more nutritional value, but the risk is much higher that you will introduce one or more of the negative elements into your garden. Therefore, use extreme caution when putting these materials into the garden.
Please understand that we are not opposed to the use of organic materials – on the contrary we use them ourselves. We are, however, very careful about what we use, and where it comes from.
We do promise folks that you will have “a great garden in any soil,” even without amending your soil, when you follow the principles and procedures taught on the website and in Dr. M’s books. This requires that you feed your plants very small amounts of natural mineral nutrients during the plants’ peak growing times. This eliminates guesswork, and assures that your plants are really healthy.
Your poor soil will grow great plants if you will just make level, ridged beds as the website and books teach, and water, weed, and feed as instructed. We can grow a great garden even in a gravel pit, or in blow sand. As a matter of fact good friends in Santa Clara, Utah did just that, and their neighbors were amazed. The pictorial evidence is in the Yahoo Groups Mittleider Method Gardening Group at https://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/MittleiderMethodGardening/photos/browse/970e