Wood mulch helps soil retain moisture and as it decays it adds nutrients and organic matter improving the soil oxygen and water hold ability. Mulch also provides a weed barrier as it prevents weed seeds from reaching the soil and if weeds do emerge they can easily be removed from the mulch. Two to four inches of mulch is sufficient. It is best not to use weed barrier under wood mulch. The fabric makes it easier for the mulch to blow off and prevent the nutrients from getting to the soil. Any weeds that start on top of the fabric will root into the fabric. Landscape fabric works best if used under rock mulches.
Certain times of the year, the Village has wood mulch available at no cost for residents. Loose mulch, when available, can be obtained at Village Greens Park, 9501 East Union Avenue.
As a cost saving tip, place an inch or two of the free mulch then cover it with the decorative mulch of your choice, this will reduce the cost of mulch by a third to a half depending on the thickness of each layer.