Most mulches come down to one of two types - organic and inorganic. Organic mulches are made from biodegradable 'leftovers' such as wood chips and straw while inorganic mulches are made from plastics or gravel. Organic mulches are meant more to encourage and protect plant growth, where inorganic mulches are more for decoration.
If you choose to go with an organic mulch, you will see results pretty quickly. Organic mulches not only keeps soil from compacting, it can help with water retention, slow down the growth of weeds, increases healthy microbacterial growth, maintains the temperature of your soil, and slowly and steadily releases nutrients into the soil for your plants. There are amazing benefits to using organic mulches for your garden or landscaping needs.
Perhaps it should go without saying that mulches can reduce the need for chemical interventions in your garden. If your plants and soil are healthy, you'll find that you don't need to rush out every day to spray your plants with pesticides or 'feed' them chemical fertilizers. This can be a huge relief to most gardeners, whether your focus is more on saving on time or on gardening more organically/naturally.
Mulches are a great way to spice up your garden or landscaping projects whether you're wanting to improve overall health or just add a little pop of color here and there. They can be very beneficial and are relatively easy to set up. You don't have to be an expert to use and enjoy mulches in your garden.