Mulching Tips

How To Mulch

Mulch is used for appearance, moisture retention, weed control, and in keeping soil temperatures warm in the winter, cool in the summer. Mulching is helpful to keep erosion from occurring in landscapes. It is placed around bedding plants, trees, and shrubs. Listed is information on the proper way of how to mulch.

Mulch Types

There are different types of mulch to choose from which are sold at garden centers by the bag. Types that are usually available are cedar or cypress mulch. Both are considered to be a higher grade. Nurseries offer loose wood mulch in large quantities, which can be delivered ( Be prepared for a pile dumped on your property ).

Some counties offer free mulch to be picked up that is usually a lower grade, although can be sufficient. A pickup truck will be needed to transport it to your location. Contact your local extension service for information on free mulch.

Tips And Information For Mulching

Proper mulching is important for the health of plants, trees, and shrubs. Follow these helpful tips to assure it is done correctly. Also listed is some information on mulch.

1) Applying the amount of mulch is determined by the texture and it’s density. Spread fine mulch two to three inches deep after settling to avoid suffocating the roots of plants. It is not necessary to apply excessive amounts when mulching. Plus using too much mulch is just a waste of money.

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2) Mulch composed of shredded or small leaves such as oak leaves should not be spread exceeding a depth of two inches. The leaves become compacted together which restricts water and air to the root system. DO NOT pile too high.

3) DO NOT pile mulch close to or against the base of any tree or shrub. This can cause ” ROOT – ROT ” from lack of air circulation and too much moisture retention. Leave space around the base and trunk when mulching.

4) DO NOT place mulch above the lower stems of shrubs burying them causing them to rot. This will promote a disease known as ” STEM – ROT “.

5) DO NOT put mulch up against or too close to the trunk of citrus trees. Place around at the end of where the canopy extends to or do not mulch at all, for it really is not necessary for mulching citrus trees.

6) Mulch in larger pieces last longer and is better for weed control. Fine mulch adds nutrients to the soil faster by breaking down quicker.

7) Professional landscapers mostly use a mulch containing both fine and coarse wood mulch.

8) Organic mulch does not need to be replaced more often and less is required as the plants or shrubs mature.

9) AVOID piling mulch up against walls of buildings when mulching in order to keep from attracting termites. Place it at least two feet away from your home.

10) DO NOT leave old mulch in your landscape for a long time. Clean it out and replace it with fresh brand new, to avoid fungus problems to your plants, and shrubs.

11) It is  NOT recommended to use a ” RED – DYED ” mulch which can create a chemical un – balance in the soil. This can be harmful to the health of plants, trees, and shrubs.

12) I don’t prefer to use pine bark nuggets for they attract the nesting of carpenter ants which will eventually wind up in your home, especially if placed too close to it.

Following the information on mulching listed above, will help you achieve the successful garden and landscape wanted by everyone. Proper usage of mulch is an important part of landscaping. I hope these tips and advice will be helpful for you.

Author, Kurt Kmetz

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Kurt Kmetz
Kurt Kmetz
Kurt Kmetz is founder and editor of Florida Landscaping Today and a Florida Lawn and Ornamental Specialist with over fifteen years experience in Florida landscaping.


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