The way I look at mulch is that it's an attempt to copy nature. When you ask most people what the purpose of mulch is, most will say: "To trap in moisture". That's only partly true and in some cases it's not true at all, example my very sandy soil will not hold water even if heavily mulched, because sand is nothing more than rock and the water just drains away, it doesn't evaporate away. Mulch provides habitat for organisms to grow, both microscopic and macro in size. It does this because heavy mulch does trap moisture within itself, but that's not much help to plants as for getting water.
That trapping of water within itself starts the process of decomposition, which eventually becomes the organic matter of soil that provides nutrients to the soil and the crumb-like structure of the soil that traps moisture and promotes further biodiversity in the soil. Another example with my extremely sandy soil is that worms can not live in it, until I build it up with heavy mulching. This all takes a lot of time though.
Your other option is to artificially provide the nutrients to your plants via fertilizers and add soil amendments to improve texture. And spray stuff to kill the weeds (or simply pull the weeds) and after the plants you started growing get bigger they can (in some cases) choke out weed growth.
Last edited by john gault
on Sun May 21, 2017 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.