Let Mother Nature do the maintenance
Maintaining a two-inch mulch layer will benefit a landscape by suppressing weed growth, thereby reducing maintenance needs. It will also help to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature, which will conserve water. Mulching also provides a sustainable way to dispose of plant trimmings and leaves.
Leaving fallen leaves on the ground as mulch will provide the benefits of weed suppression and water conservation. When compared to traditional wood chip mulch, leaves will breakdown more quickly and replenish organic material. Another benefit is the elimination of the work of raking leaves and the trouble of having them hauled offsite.