Mulching your garden can shade roots, retain water, insulate in winter, provide nutrients, host beneficial worms and insects, reduce weed growth, and improve the appearance of your garden.
There are both organic (plant based) mulches such as bark mulch and inorganic mulches such as stone. We at Garden Gate recommend organic mulches for most applications, especially around plantings. While stone and rubber mulches can give your garden bed a tidy appearance, they do not degrade. Planting in a bed with stone or rubber mulch may change the soil composition over time as they mix into the soil. Also, they do not provide nutrients or an environment for beneficial insects and worms. These factors can make it difficult to maintain and update your garden over the years.
Bark mulch should be applied at a depth of 2-4 inches, with about an inch or two of clearance between the mulch and the plant base. Any more mulch may suffocate the roots or increase the risk of fungal diseases.