Benefits of Proper Mulching

*   Helps reduce soil moisture loss through evaporation

*   Helps control weed germination and growth

*   Insulates soil, protecting roots from extreme summer & winter temperatures

*   Can improve soil biology, aeration, structure and drainage over time

*   Can improve soil fertility as certain mulch types decompose

*   Inhibits certain plant diseases

*   Reduces the likelihood of tree damage from mowers and string trimmers

*   gives planting beds a uniform, well-cared-for look

However, Improper Mulching May Cause Problems

*   deep mulch on wet soil can stress plants and cause root rot

*   Piling (volcano style) against the trunk of trees can stress stem tissues and may lead to development

of insect & disease problems or stem girdling roots

*   Thick blanket of fine mulch can become matted and may reduce the penetration of water and air