MemberJune 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm
I mulch everything in my urban lot with rice straw. It makes a major difference in soil moisture retention, though I can not quantify it for you in a meaningful way. I do believe there is more plant damage from chewing insects harbored in the mulch and question if I can simply build better soil health to avoid that, or if it is really inevitable.
In my Elderberry plot this season, I decided not to till and instead used cardboard and wood chip sheet mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture between rows. It is doing the job so far, but again, no proper data available on water saved. Also, whether it will continue to suppress weeds to any meaningful degree with the next rain season remains to be seen.