There seems to be some confusion as to what the word mulch means. Over at Garden Rant that point was made clear at the post about Billy Goodnick. There was a mis-understanding about weather Billy recommended soil amendments for the ground, he doesnâ€™t or mulch for the surface of the ground, he does. It may be regional differences that account for the mis-understanding.
Here we refer to any top dressing applied to the top of the ground to conserve moisture or help suppress weeds â€œmulchâ€. The stuff you mix in the soil is called â€œsoil amendmentâ€. We use shredded cedar, planting compost, micro-bark, even rock as mulch. Mulch helps hold the moisture in during our long hot summers and is quite important to plant health. Itâ€™s like sun block for the ground.
There is no other process, except watering that will help plants survive and thrive here like a good 2 to 3â€ layer of mulch around the root zone. It keeps the soil cool and evenly moist while preventing the sun from directly hitting the soil.