Mulch, what is it?

There seems to be some confusion as to what the word mulch means. Over at Garden Rant that point was made clear at the post about Billy Goodnick. There was a mis-understanding about weather Billy recommended soil amendments for the ground, he doesn’t or mulch for the surface of the ground, he does. It may be regional differences that account for the mis-understanding.

Here we refer to any top dressing applied to the top of the ground to conserve moisture or help suppress weeds “mulch”. The stuff you mix in the soil is called “soil amendment”. We use shredded cedar, planting compost, micro-bark, even rock as mulch. Mulch helps hold the moisture in during our long hot summers and is quite important to plant health. It’s like sun block for the ground.

There is no other process, except watering that will help plants survive and thrive here like a good 2 to 3” layer of mulch around the root zone. It keeps the soil cool and evenly moist while preventing the sun from directly hitting the soil.