The following is a brief overview of mulch and it's uses. Based on your own knowldege and experience, feel free to add to this list.

  1. it is usually applied towards the beginning of the growing season, and may be reapplied as necessary
  2. it serves initially to warm the soil by helping it retain heat
  3. heat allows early seeding and transplanting of certain crops, and encourages faster growth.
  4. mulch stabilizes temperature and moisture as season progresses
  5. it prevents sunlight from germinating weed seed
  6. organic mulch (such as grass, leaves, wood chips, bark, etc.) is often used in homes and gardens
  7. inorganic mulch such as plastic mulch is used in large-scale commercial production
  8. organic mulch is usually spread by hand around emerged plants in home gardens
  9. smaller farming operations can straw and hay
  10. organic mulches are usually piled quite high, six inches or more, and settle over the season
  11. many mulching materials act as a direct composting system