Mulch madness! It’s time to get out and mulch your garden, flower beds, and landscape trees and shrubs. 

Mulching this time of year adds valuable nutrients into the soil, helps suppress weeds, conserves moisture in the soil (which means you won’t have to water as much), regulates soil temperature (your plants will be ready for the scorching hot summer), and makes your landscape look amazing! 

The University of Florida Gardening Solutions warns us to mulch wisely with these easy tips:

Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer around established trees, shrubs, and bedding plants. Coarse materials, such as pine nuggets, may be applied to a depth of 4 inches, but don’t allow mulch to accumulate to a greater depth.

Adding more mulch can harm plants because mulch intercepts rain and irrigation meant for plants’ root systems.

1 cubic yard of mulch will cover 324 square feet of ground at 1 inch deep. Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ recommends mulching to a depth of 3 inches. To find out how much mulch you need to cover an area, you’ll need to figure out the square footage of the area. Do this by multiplying the length (L) of the planting bed by the width (W). Then multiply your square footage (L x W) by 3 (the number of inches of mulch). Finally divide that answer by 324 (the amount of mulch needed to cover 1 cubic yard). This answer will tell you how many cubic yards of mulch you need to cover your area.

Cubic yards of mulch needed =

[(L x W) x 3] / 324

Avoid “volcano mulching.” When mulch is piled against the base of a tree, it holds moisture, encouraging rot in the trunk. Mulch piled against the trunks of young trees may also create a habitat for rodents that chew the tender bark, and can ultimately kill the trees.

Mulch to the drip line or beyond. The mulched area around the tree should be at least 8 feet in diameter. Remember that in a forest a tree’s entire root system (which usually extends well beyond the drip line) would naturally be mulched by fallen leaves.

Rake old mulch. Some mulches can become matted, preventing water and air from seeping through. Rake mulch to refresh its appearance and benefit plantings.

When using rock mulch, a little goes a long way. Rock mulch should be used minimally in the landscape and reserved for use for example on pathways, in dry creek beds, or under downspouts.

If you have any questions about mulch or soil, don’t hesitate to contact Reliable Peat. With over 30 years of experience helping our customers in Central Florida. We focus on only the highest quality ingredients at the best price to give our customers exactly what they are looking for. Our emphasis is to have the highest level of service in the industry and a personal touch with every customer.