Can I turn my spent annuals into the soil?

I planted a number of flowering annuals this year like zinnias, petunias, etc. Can I turn them into the soil in the spring? If so, will that serve to improve the soil or will it just be filler? Any advice is most welcome.
Thanks!
Rhonda Alexandria, VA Zone 7
===================== Better a bleeding heart than no heart at all.
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I would turn them in as soon as you are able and then plant a rye/vetch mix as a winter cover crop--when this is turned in in the spring then you will have made a major improvement to your soil. The off season is a wonderful time to do soil improvements like adding limestone if your pH is low or adding long term mineral amendments such as rock phosphate or greensand. What you take out of the soil depends on what you put into it.
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I would turn the under... can't hurt.

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