Naked beds don't work. The soil dries out too quickly, root systems suffer heat and cold, weeds come up everywhere, rain washes earth away, beneficial soil microorganisms suffer, drip tubing shows, mud sticks to your boots . . . I could go on and on. In nature, organic material rains down from plants constantly, creating mulch and returning valuable nutrients to the soil. The sustainable landscaper mimics this elegant system by practicing chop and drop pruning (refer to Chapter 20) and by spreading some form of organic mulch on the surface of the soil. For more on mulching, see Chapter 16.
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