How can your residential landscape and garden beat the Central Florida heat? If you barely stay outside for more than a few minutes without breaking into a sweat, imagine how your plants feel. The summer heat can be brutally hot!

img_6368How can you protect your plants from the dog days of summer? Add a layer of mulch, preferably organic pine bark, chocolate mulch, cypress mulch, red mulch, river rock, marble chips, or granite.

Nutrient rich organic mulch will keep the roots cool, help retain moisture, reduces weeds which steals valuable nutrients and water from your desired plants, and slowly releases fertilizer to create a healthy environment for plants. Mulch also adds to the aesthetic look and feel of your landscape or garden. It’s a win-win situation and a great way to beat the heat.

Just apply two to three inches thick of mulch around shrubs, trees, and vegetables. Make sure you keep the mulch at least 4 to 6 inches away from the main stems from shrubs and the trunks of trees to avoid crown rot.

“And please, for the health of your trees, do not create “mulch volcanos.” To keep down weeds, some gardeners pile wood chips right up against the trunks of trees in a volcano shape. The wood chips may harbor fungi and bacteria that can attack the bark of your precious tree, eventually killing it in 6 to 10 years. Instead of a volcano, create a “doughnut.” Leave 3 or 4 inches of space between the tree and the mulch.” Providence Journal.

Be careful of purchase mulch in bags, many have been ‘color enhanced’ or made from construction waste. These tend to contain dyes and chemicals that you definitely do not want to have in your garden or landscape.  It will leave you wondering why your plants aren’t as vibrant as they should be and may leak potentially harmful chemicals in your vegetables.

There are many choices when it comes to mulch for your landscape. If you are doing a larger project, consider buying mulch in bulk, you can save a ton of time and money.

If you have any questions or need assistance finding the right mulch for your garden, contact Reliable Peat. We are conveniently located in Winter Garden and Lake County, providing quality mulch at an affordable price.

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