Your plants need organic material to thrive. That’s why gardeners use soil that has organic material added to it and not just dirt. One problem, though, is that the organic material in soil is quickly burned up leaving behind only dirt. How can organic material be replenished? In nature, soil is kept fertile by a top layer of organic material that slowly breaks down over time. As it breaks down, it sends much-needed nutrients to the plant roots below. This layer is continually replenished by falling leaves and other decaying matter. In addition to feeding plant roots, this layer of organic material also locks in moisture.
Fortunately, tree service wood chips can be used to replicate a natural layer of organic material on top of your soil. Tree services are constantly creating wood chips, and they consider them to be waste products, so they are cheap and easy to get. Because the Arizona desert is so hot and dry during the summer, a top-layer of mulch is essential. Adding a top-layer of wood chips to your roses, for example, can mean plentiful flowers all summer with very little water. The wood chips lock in moisture and they feed the plants. It’s a win-win.
Caution: Do not stir wood chips into your soil. Leave them on top and let them slowly compost into the soil. If you stir a large amount of wood chips into the soil, the composting process will tie up all of the soil’s nitrogen, leaving your plants deficient.