The Xeriscape Landscaping Organization
Conserving for our future

"Building a

Xeros: Greek for dry



Mulching is the use of organic and inorganic materials to create a layer or barrier on top of your soil.  Common inorganic mulch materials are mulch rock chips such as various lava rock types and plastic coverings.  Make sure to get plastic sheets specifically made to perform with mulch qualities.  Large, thick plastics meant as weed barriers are not appropriate.  Plastic sheets should be semi-permeable to provide the equivalent benefits of a natural mulch.  Common organic mulch materials are wood chips, bark chips and compost.  There are two main benefits in creating a mulch barrier.

  • The main benefit is to control water evaporation.  A layer of mulch material (organic, rocks, plastic, etc.) will keep the ground moist.  The more water you retain in the soil, the bigger the benefit to your plant's root structure.  Roots will also grow deeper and stronger when provided with sufficient water and moisture.  Light watering that does not permeate deeply cause the roots of your plants to grow out and shallow and leaves them more prone to damage during drought conditions.
  • The second major benefit of mulching is to create a natural weed barrier.  The lack of sunlight penetrating the mulch layer is usually all you need to prevent unwanted growth of weeds.

The Xeriscape Landscaping Team