Conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering
Maintains an even soil temperature by insulating soil
Improves soil structure, keeping the soil loose for root growth
Prevents weed growth (this is the main reason we use it!)
Keeps flowers clean by preventing dirt backsplash on plants during a rain event
Keeps feet clean, allowing access to garden even when damp
Provides a “finished” look
Each kind of mulch has benefits and drawbacks. Straw mulch can blow away and may contain weeds Shredded wood mulch is cost-effective and won’t blow away, but it may deplete nitrogen over time. Cocoa bean mulch holds well on steep slopes, though it can be toxic to pets, it floats, and it can be expensive – but the chocolate smell is enticing!
We added a fresh layer of mulch to this garden in its second year.