Once the plants are in the ground and watered, the next step is weed prevention and evaporation reduction. Mulching offers an organic solution to both challenges. Colorado's Front Range is very dry with minnimal humidity, little rain, and high water loss due to evaporation; on a hot summer day the ground will dry up and crack. By combining drip irrigation with a 3 - 4" layer of wood chip mulch we can cut water loss due to evaporation by as much as 50 percent! Along with reducing water loss, mulching helps minnimize weeds by covering the soil. The ground cover limits sunlight to weed sprouts allowing our vegetables a head start in growth until they can outcompete the weeds. This method does not elliminate weeds from our garden but it does help to slow them down so that we, the farmers, can better stay on top of the job that never ends - weeding - you can't kill a weed!