Is the intense heat making your Central Florida landscape and garden looking a little under the weather? Take care of your plants while making your yard look amazing with mulch.
Mulch insulates and protects the plant’s roots from heat, keeping the soil moist so you don’t need to water as often, it also doesn’t give weeds a chance to sprout, and when mulch breaks down, it adds vital nutrients into the soil.
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.