Many Central Florida homeowners don’t give much thought to the mulch they use for their garden and landscape projects. But before you head out to the big box store to pick up a couple of bags of mulch, take these few helpful tips into consideration.

There is no disputing, mulch has many benefits. Mulch insulates and protects the plant’s roots from the heat and cold. You won’t have to water as often because mulch keeps the moisture in the soil from evaporating. Keeps weeds from sprouting. Organic mulch breaks down and feeds the soil, supplying vital nutrients to plants.

Here are a few things to think about before your next mulch purchase

peat2Consider where you purchase the mulch. Many commercial mulches, several sold at big box stores, can contain shredded construction debris, metals, toxic chemicals, and other waste you definitely don’t want on your property. Reputable mulch and soil supply companies are the best way to go. They will have clean and safe products.

Should you purchase your mulch by bag or bulk?  The average bag of mulch contains 2 or 3 cubic feet. Mulch by bulk is purchased by cubic yard, a cubic yard is 27 cubic feet. Bagged mulch tends to be much more expensive than bulk. So, if you have a good size landscape or garden project, you can save quite a bit buying in bulk. Don’t worry, you can have it delivered.

Before you go shopping, figure out how much mulch you will need. Buying too much mulch is a waste of money, buying too little is just a pain in the neck! A good rule of thumb, use about 2 inches deep for perennial beds and 3 to 4 inches for around trees and shrubs. One cubic foot usually covers 4 square feet 3 inches deep, while 1 cubic yard covers around 100 square feet at 3 inches deep.  It may be easier to use this helpful mulch calculator from Saving Water Partnership. 

Choose a mulch that best works for your project.  There are many different types of mulch on the market today.  Feel free to stop by Reliable Peat’s Ocoee or Winter Garden locations, and check out several different types of mulch before you choose.  Our skilled staff will walk you through and can help you decide based on your needs.

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