Garden mulch is the use of a material over the surface of soil. Mulch creates a protective layer. It insulates roots of plants like a blanket, holds soil in place and keeps moisture from evaporating too quickly. Mulch can be organic like a layer of bark chips, compost, peat or straw that will eventually decompose back into the soil. Organic material is a good choice for poor soils as it can enrich the content and texture when it breaks down. A protective layer can also mulch surfaces with longer lasting materials like gravel, stone, decomposed granite or sand. Or it can be any other material that will allow water to permeate the layer like tumbled glass, brick, interlocking pavers or any other permeable covering. Stone and gravel drain quickly so they are good mulch for plants that are prone to rotting at the root join like cacti and many succulents. Garden mulch can not only add a layer of protection, it can offer an element of design and decoration by adding a surface texture and color to the landscape or garden bed. Mulch is growing in popularity as a sustainable, artistic and practical way to handle soil surfaces.
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