Mulch is what is put on the soil around your plants and trees. It is most commonly dried grass and leaves. Covering your soil with a thick layer of mulch is a great idea, it protects the soil from direct sunlight and direct rain drops, the latter sounding a bit silly but is actually something that contributes largely to soil compaction. It keeps the soil from drying out. Suppresses weeds and is adding organic matter to the soil, food for the microbial life.
A few things to look out for especially if your using old grass clippings is that it doesn’t contain seeds waiting to become weeds as soon as you leave. Another is not all leaves are good for the soil, gum tree leaves, for instance, have an allelopathic effect
which are compounds that suppress other plant species growth. This is the gum trees strategy for restricting plant growth around the tree and therefore so you don’t want to use them as mulch. Wood chips, sawdust, and other woody materials are one that you don’t really want to use as mulch on your veggie garden. Ok to use on fruit trees as the high carbon to nitrogen ratio in the woody materials will lock up the nitrogen making it unavailable to your veggies. This isn’t what you want as your veggies love nitrogen.
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