ˈməlch How to pronounce mulch (audio)
: a protective covering (as of sawdust, compost, or paper) spread or left on the ground to reduce evaporation, maintain even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds, enrich the soil, or keep fruit (such as strawberries) clean
mulch transitive verb

Examples of mulch in a Sentence

She spread some mulch around the plants.
Recent Examples on the Web At the end of the growing season, straw mulch helps improve your garden soil. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Sep. 2023 Wisconsin officials said the Door County Invasive Species Team received a report from a local resident that there may be jumping worms in a mulch pile at Sturgeon Bay's compost site. Li Cohen, CBS News, 10 July 2023 Water well, and then spread a 3-to-4-inch-deep mulch layer over a wide area around the tree. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 8 July 2023 The 2019 study examined how carbon dioxide and oxygen moved through various mulches in and out of the ground. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Just be sure to remove the mulch in the spring when the ground thaws. Katherine Owen, Southern Living, 24 Oct. 2023 Continue the mulch to cover the entire planting bed. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Oct. 2023 But keep the mulch away from the tree’s trunk to prevent both disease and damage from burrowing or nibbling animals. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 Clay soil below the surface mulch could be holding plant roots in a basin of water or alternatively keeping them away from the soil moisture and the symptoms would look the same. oregonlive, 17 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mulch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps irregular from English dialect melch soft, mild

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mulch was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near mulch

Cite this Entry

“Mulch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a covering (as of straw or sawdust) spread over the ground to protect the roots of plants from heat, cold, or evaporation, prevent soil loss, control weeds, enrich the soil, or keep fruit (as strawberries) clean


2 of 2 verb
: to cover with mulch

More from Merriam-Webster on mulch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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