A home for sale "as is" often means repairs will be necessary. Don't write these properties off, the work may not be as bad as you expect, especially if you are the handy type. But approach them carefully, and get a thorough home inspection.
A good mulch prevents water loss, helps control weeds, and can enhance the flower bed appearance. Grass clippings can be used but they deteriorate quickly and have to be replenished often. When lawns don’t grow, clippings will be in short supply. Avoid bright colored mulches such as marble chips as they may attract more attention than the flowers. A neutral colored mulch is best. Because annuals are replanted every year, select mulches that decay when worked into the soil. Permanent mulches, such as bark or stone, interfere with replanting.