University of Florida

Mulch Madness

What is mulch? Mulch is a product used to cover the soil. It is often composed of tree bark, needles, wood, leaves, or grass. Sometimes mulch is made from gravel or pebbles or other inorganic materials such as recycled tires. Spreading mulch over planting beds helps conserve water and provides a beautiful uniform texture and color. Mulch is an essential component of any Florida-Friendly Landscape.

Why Use Mulch?

Mulch not only beautifies a garden, it benefits your plants and soil. Mulch protects plants’ roots from extremes of heat and cold, by creating a buffer between the soil and the air. It keeps soil moist longer after irrigation, giving roots extra time to soak up the water. This saves you water and money.

In areas of deep shade, where turf and ornamentals won't thrive, consider mulch as a Florida-Friendly alternative to leaving the ground bare. Mulch can also be used as an attractive groundcover where it's difficult to mow or irrigate. And mulch doesn't just help your plants: it can add nutrients to the soil as its organic components decompose, increasing soil's fertility and improving its aeration, structure, and drainage. Mulch can even help reduce erosion and protect plants from certain diseases.

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