Where to Use Mulch

Using mulch in the landscape is one of the seven steps or principles of xeriscape design. Mulch helps conserve water by reducing evaporation from exposed soil surfaces. Be sure to use the correct mulch type and depth for the site and plant type.

Roots of some very drought tolerant plants do not tolerate too much soil moisture. Avoid using organic mulches around these plants.

Places Where Mulch Can be Used

  • Raised beds
  • Parking strips
  • Annual and perennial planting beds
  • Paths
  • Around trees to protect from mower and string trimmer damage
  • In new plantings to keep annual weeds in check
  • In rock gardens
Cactus garden with a gravel mulch
Inorganic gravel mulch used in a xeriscape cactus garden. Photo credit: Clare Wilkinson Flickr CC BY 2.0
Bark mulch path lined with a hedge and greenery
Bark mulch used on a path through a garden area where edging is not needed. Photo credit: trippedamine Flickr CC BY 2.0

Additional Resources:


Utah – Water-wise Landscaping: Mulch


Missouri – Mulches