Mulch is used in gardens to help maintain the health of the soil and the appearance of the landscaping. There are two types of mulch: organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include formerly living substance like leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips, sawdust, pine needles, paper, and shredded bark. Inorganic mulches include stones, black plastic, gravel, and landscape fabrics.
Both organic and inorganic mulches help prevent weeds but organic mulches also improve the soil when they decompose. Inorganic mulch does not decompose but they are useful in certain circumstances and for certain plants.
Mulch also helps to reduce evaporation from the soil surface, thereby reducing the need for water. As mulch is made of recycled material, it is an environmentally friendly way to keep gardens healthy and beautiful.