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Tracy, for mulching acid-loving plants I'd probably choose a composted bark product rather than a normal peat-free potting compost. I believe this will help lower the soil pH and make it slightly more acid .... perfect for camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, pieris, magnolias, heathers, gaultheria, and many others.
Try searchin "back to eden" on youtube.
That should resolve your dry soil issue, just remember, its a mulch, do not digg it in.
Hope that helps