Mulching around you plants and vegetables servers many purposes. It’s most important is helping the plants to retain moisture. If you mulch properly when theres a hard rain the mulch will protect the plants and allow the rainwater to be gently absorbed. It also protects the soil from the drying effects of sun and wind. Weed control is second the mulch will help keep the nasty weeds at bay. I don’t know about you but I loath weeding!!!
It also acts as an insulating material keeping the soil an more even temperature. If you are using an organic mulch the added benefits are all the nutrients the plant will absorb as it decomposes and adds humus to the soil. Some organic mulches are leaves, grass clipping, peat moss, wood chips, bark chips and hay. You can also use inorganic mulches such as black polyethylne plastic sheeting, stones and newspaper. I tried the plastic sheeting last year in my chile pepper garden and was not happy with the result. So part way into the summer I tore the plastic out as it was a breeding ground for the potato worms. They were feeding off the roots of my peppers and killing them.
So first and last time for that. I usually use leaves from last year and yard clipping for my vegetables and peppers. But for my flowers I use Bark mulch that seems to work really well on flowers and shrubs. As for my Herb garden I don’t use any mulch at all. Herbs are so prolific they seem to take care of any weeds that try to grow.