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Everyday I get lots of questions about mulch.....Keep in mind that mulch is met to help plants not hurt them. Here is a excellent bulletin on the facts about mulch!
Here are some important bullet points:
1. Use organic forms of mulch that have been composted and are not in bags.
2. Buy mulch that has C:N ratio 30:1
3. Finer grade mulch's mat on the landscape floor and become less desirable to plant health.
4. When mulching the total depth should be 2-4" of new and old accumulation.
5. NEVER pile mulch against plant stems, there should be at least 6-12" space of NO mulch.