Mulch does more than make your Central Florida home that beautiful finished look. Whether it is organic mulch, pine bark, chocolate mulch, cedar, red mulch, or stones, river rock, seminole chips, crushed concrete, cedar bark rock, marble, granite, there is something to make your landscaping feel special and unique.
Mulch insulates and protects the roots from Central Florida’s heat, keeps the soil moist so you don’t need to water as often, it also doesn’t give weeds a chance to sprout, and though organic mulch last a long time, when it breaks down, it makes the soil healthier by feeding microorganisms.
To take advantage of all of the benefits of mulch, the University of Florida Gardening Solutions offer these tips.
Maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer. 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 trees because mulch intercepts rain and irrigation meant for plants’ root systems.
Avoid “volcano mulching.” When mulch is piled against the base of a tree, it holds moisture, encouraging rot in the trunk. It also encourages roots to grow close to the trunk, which can kill the tree if roots grow around the trunk.
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 environment, a tree’s entire root system (which usually extends well beyond the drip line) would be naturally mulched.
Remove old mulch. Some mulches can become matted, preventing water and air from seeping through. Occasionally (every couple of years), you should remove mulch and soil that is against the trunk, together with any roots growing in the mulch. Remove old mulch before adding fresh mulch to the landscape.
It is important to consider where your mulch comes from, many bag mulches from hardware or home improvement stores often contain shredded construction debris, metals, and even toxic chemicals that can leach out into the drinking water.
Ensure you purchase your gardening material from a reputable landscaping supply company. Not only will you be able to save money by buying in bulk, you can be sure it will be clean and safe.