I am planting a small xeriscape section in a much larger garden. It is in a far corner so its basically independent. The question I have is what to mulch it with. Organic mulch would be too rich and I don't just want to leave the part as plain dirt but I am not sure to use rubber, gravel, sand, pebble, or something else. Any ideas please let me know!
Xeriscaping in NJ
I don't see why you couldn't use bark mulch, I grow a ton of drought tolerant plants that don't like rich soil and they do just fine with bark mulch--as with anything else you just need to make sure not to pile it right up around the base of the plant because that can cause fungal problems. But if you want something else, personally I'd go for gravel or pebbles. Sand won't make a very good mulch, and I prefer to use natural material vs something like rubber. Or if you can get something like pine straw in your area that would work too.
There are a number of orgainic mulches you can use. If you do its generally best to go with materials with a high Carbon to Nitrogen ratio. Bark, wood chips, etc. make good mulches.