Material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.
Field Compost Mulches
Mulches are organic or inorganic materials that cover the soil around the root zones of plants.
Organic mulches (bark or wood chips, leaf mold, grass clippings, compost, hay, straw, newspaper) will break down over time and will need to be replenished. Keep them a couple of inches away from trunks and stems as moisture can cause rotting. They can also blow or float away with our strong winds and heavy rains. Organic mulches add small amounts of nutrients and cool the soil.
Inorganic mulches (gravel, decorative rocks, sand, boulders, decomposed granite) have a long lifetime and may need to be top-dressed or raked every once in awhile. Inorganic mulches add no nutrients and warm up the soil.