> What is the puspose of waiting until after a freeze to mulch?
I don't know about mulching immediately after a hard freeze - around
here (Zone 5, Denver) we'll usually get the first hard freeze in
September or October, but I don't apply heavy winter mulch (shredded
leaves, followed by Christmas tree branches) until December. The idea is
to prevent thaw/freeze cycles once the ground has frozen, which are a
real problem here. We'll get below-zero temps in November and December,
then a week of 60-degree days in January. Repeated freezing and thawing
can "heave" plants out of the ground and make bulbs break dormancy
early. Mulching is especially important because we don't get extended
snow cover - snow is good protection from fluctating temperatures and
from drying winter winds.