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According to the United States Department Of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service:

“Mulching can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your soil and your plants: (source)

Mulches help to:

  • keep down weeds,
  • reduce the compaction and crusting of the soil,
  • reduce runoff and retain moisture.
  • organic mulching “encourages the growth of worms and other beneficial soil organisms that can help improve soil structure and the availability of nutrients for plants.”
  • some mulches can improve the look of your garden.

Organic mulches can consist of tree bark, mulched grass clippings, wood chips coffee bean shells, decayed leaves and even newspaper. We prefer colored dark, wood chips or coffee bean shells simply because they look nicer.

Mulch should be applied to a depth of of 3 to 4 inches. This would mean that a 10′ by 10′ garden would need about a cubic yard of mulch. ( This amounts to roughly 3/4 m³. Yes, we are metric, but old habits die hard.)