Mulching

A landscaping material that makes a lawn look good and is beneficial to plants? Mulch is any kind of material that is spread or layered over the surface of the soil. It generally consists of organic elements (leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, bark chips, peat moss, pine straw, field hay, etc.) but depending on the mulch type, it can include inorganic materials like rubber and plastic as well.

Mulching has various benefits:

  • Mulch prevents the bare part of the soil from receiving sunlight and thus reduces the germination of weeds.
  • Mulch also reduces evaporation and therefore helps the soil retain moisture.
  • Places that are hard to mow or shady places can be covered with a layer of mulch to give them a finished appearance.
  • Organic mulch decomposes with time and adds to the nutritional content of the soil.
  • Mulch helps regulate soil temperature – when temperatures are high, it helps keep the soil cool, and when temperatures are low, it helps retain the warmth of the soil.

At Down To Earth Landscape & Irrigation, we use premium-quality mulch to protect plants and add to the aesthetics of the landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

While mulching has a lot of benefits when used right, improperly applied mulch causes problems that can be expensive to fix. Keep in mind when mulching:

The recommended mulching depth for Florida soil is 2-3 inches.

  • Using the right balance of fine and coarse mulch is beneficial.
  • Avoid ‘volcano mulching’, a technique where mulch is piled against the tree’s trunk as this traps moisture and causes the trunk to rot.
  • Do not pile mulch too close to trees. Leave a radius of at least 12-18 inches around the tree to avoid root rot.
  • Do not pile mulch too close to shrubs as well.

Here are some commonly available mulches in Florida:

  • Pine straw: This comes from pine plantations. It is one of the least expensive mulches, but it prevents erosion when knitted and is durable.
  • Pine bark: It comes both in nugget and finely ground forms. It has been found to last for two years.
  • Hardwood mulch: This is produced from scrap lumber and recycled pallets. They are good for adding aesthetic value and settle faster than pine bark.
  • Cypress: Cypress mulch is obtained from shredded cypress trees. This type of mulch is effective for preventing weed growth.

Spring is the best time to apply mulch to landscapes in Florida. Once the ground has started to warm up after the cold winter months, break up any compacted old mulch and remove all the mulch that has settled too close to the plants. After that, spread a layer of fresh mulch over the old mulch. This should be done before the summer heat starts to settle in to prevent evaporation and allow the soil to retain moisture. Mulching in spring will also replenish the soil after the dormant winter months.

Other Maintenance Services

Leaf & Debris Removal

Aeration & Overseeding