I have read over and over and over again the virtues of THICK mulch layers to keep moisture in. I know everyone swears by it.
But I can't get past one mental roadblock about thick mulches.
Every time I've moved aside a thick layer of straw, even after a very heavy rain, the first inch or so is wet, but the inches underneath are bone dry.
So in my head, I think thick mulch layer = water not getting to my plants' roots.
Can someone justify these two things and explain how thick mulch will still allow my plants to get the water they need? or does all the water they need travel through the tiny ring I leave open around the stem/trunk?