How much time do you want to spend weeding? If you love to weed as I do, you don’t need to mulch. However, mulching will save 80% of weeding time, so most people are happier with a mulched garden. Use a fairly thin layer (2-3 inches) and put a thinner layer on in subsequent years. Mulching also conserves water. Make sure the soil is moist before mulching because the mulch sometimes inhibits moisture from getting to the roots.