Mulch can do a lot for your yard and garden. Adding mulch to your landscape gives it a finished look, reduces weeds and helps retain moisture in the soil.
There are several available options for mulching. Wood mulch whether plain or colored is a natural product that slowly decomposes adding nutrients to the soil over time. Rock is another option which looks nice, but can heat up the soil and can also be problematic to keep clean looking over time. Cocoa bean mulch and cotton burr compost are also materials that can be used as mulch. Both have a darker appearance and need to be added yearly.
When mulching add at least 2-3″ and even deeper for larger chunk mulches. Keep all mulch away from the base of the plant a bit to prevent rotting. Mulch “volcanoes” around trees are also a no-no. The mulch should never go up the trunk of the tree, but rather look more like a donut around the tree. Weed barriers under mulch are not necessary, but if you prefer to use it choose a weed fabric instead of plastic. Fabric barriers allow water and oxygen to get to the soil and plants.