Overwatering Is Out

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6 Benefits of Mulching

Mulch is an excellent, natural material that is often composed of leaves, dried grass clippings, straw, bark, wood chips and even small rocks. Mulching the soil around plants, shrubs and trees in your yard can reduce your watering needs by holding in much-needed water and help you save money on garden irrigation.

Many gardeners use mulch year-round, and here are a few reasons why I think all Orange County homeowners should mulch now:


  1. Increases water infiltration and prevents soil compaction.
  2. Relieves the force of rainwater and irrigation thereby preventing erosion, soil compaction and crusting.
  3. Helps conserve moisture in the plant zone.
  4. Stabilizes the soil temperature.
  5. Helps to suppress weeds.
  6. Most cities in Orange County give away free mulch.

ar118191797800882Most cities in Orange County give away FREE mulch a few times a year, so please check your city’s website to see if it is offered in your area. You can also find great deals on mulch through CalRecycle’s directory of Compost and Mulch Facilities to give your landscape a fresh look and to prevent water runoff.

Have you mulched your plants and trees yet? If so, submit some photos to
to be featured on our homepage!

Photo Credits: Christopher Sessums,,

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  1. Gnorman the Gnome Says:

    April 11th, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Use a 3-inch layer of mulch to hold water in the ground around trees and plants each season.  

  2. Felipe Says:

    May 15th, 2014 at 2:42 pm


    I noticed that sometimes when I’m watering a good amount (but not too much because overwatering is out!), when I move the mulch out of the way I notice that the dirt underneath is not even wet. Seems like my mulch is soaking it all up.

    So this makes me want to water even more. This seems to go against the idea of mulch conserving water.

    Should I just wait and hope that moisture will make its way down to the dirt? Maybe I’m not being patient enough. Wondering what your thoughts are… Thanks,


  3. Not my real name Says:

    September 1st, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I recommend the SMWD in Mission Viejo send letters to the gyms in the area and ask them to help. I go to the gym daily and see male members walk in, go straight to locker room and shower for about 20-30 minutes while they shave their beard, their bald head and then wash up. LA Fitness should install timers actuated by a token that limits these water wasters.

  4. Gnorman the Gnome Says:

    September 1st, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for the suggestion. As you have demonstrated, saving water in the yard is not the only way. I will forward your comment to the SMWD.