Mulch is an important part of garden survival during drought. It naturally allows soil to retain moisture while keeping roots comfortable and adding nutrients to the soil. Right now, free mulch material is falling all over town – autumn leaves. To turn those brown leaves into mulch material your plants can use, simply chop them up. Rake a layer of leaves over your lawn (or other flat surface) and mow over the leaves a few times until the dried foliage is cut into dime-size pieces. Then use the mulch where needed.