mulchLandscape plants benefit greatly from organic mulches. When installing new plants, place mulch around the root zone after planting. A two- to four-inch layer of organic mulch will keep roots cooler and will help retain moisture. Organic mulches provide further benefits. They keep weeds in check, improve soil structure, and increase water and nutrient holding abilities for the soil.

If you don’t think organic mulches offer the “desert look” you are after, cover it with granite. To add or replenish mulch to existing plants, simply rake back the rock, add the organic mulch and cover it back up. There is one word of caution: Keep mulches about three to four inches from the trunk or stem, since too much moisture against the bark can cause damage. Because of our high summer temperatures, mulch breaks down very quickly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to replenish organic mulches around existing plants each year.

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