It can be difficult to protect plants during the dry season here in Central Florida. The best investment you can make for your landscape and garden is mulch.
Quality bark mulch acts as covering for the soil, reducing evaporation and retaining moisture. While protecting the root system by insulating the soil, making the soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It also suppresses weed growth and discourages pests.
Bark mulch also breaks down over time adding rich nutrients into the soil to help keep plants and trees happy and healthy.
When is the dry season?
For Central Florida, late February through March might be the time period that most closely resembles typical Spring weather in the higher latitudes. Large swings in temperatures often occur along with occasional severe weather episodes, but rainfall is usually infrequent. April is often the driest month of the year as fronts become weaker and yield less rainfall, yet manage to pass through the area and reinforce the dry and stable air mass.
Temperatures warm through May with average maximum readings reaching the upper 80s by the end of the month. Rainfall frequency increases compared to April, with the most notable increase usually beginning late in the month. weather.gov
How much mulch will you need?
Typically, you want a good layer of mulch, about 3 inches deep. Maybe a little more if the area receives a lot of sun, weeds tend to be more aggressive in these sections.
Calculating how much mulch you will need can be a little tricky. You can use the instructions below or just call Reliable Peat for assistance.
First, measure the width and length of the area you want mulched in feet, then multiply them together to find the area in square feet.
Second, calculate how deep you want the mulch. Then multiply the area of square feet by the depth in inches. For example, if the square footage is 500 and you want it 3 inches deep, 500 x 3 = 1500
Third, divide the answer by 324 (since a single cubic yard of mulch will cover 324 square feet of ground that is one inch deep). Then round to the nearest whole number, 1500 / 324 = 5 cubic yards of mulch. You can also visit the mulch calculator at Stop Waste. It may also depend on what type of mulch you purchase.