Varieties of Florida Mulch – Which is Best for Your Landscape?

Florida homeowners take great pride in their homes, landscapes and property curb appeal. Many choose mulch to fill in beds, utilizing a wide variety of choices to create different aesthetics.

Varieties of Florida Mulch

Wood and bark mulches are the most popular for landscaping, as they decompose faster, providing nutrients to the soil. From these varieties, homeowners generally choose mulch based upon the color and texture. Note: Wood and bark mulches are not recommended for use in vegetable or flower gardens; rather they are most effective in plant and tree beds.

  • Pine Bark Mulch: As the name indicates, pine bark mulch is comprised of shredded pine trees and pine tree logs. This lightweight mulch product is available colors include golden brown, red, and natural brown. The attributes of pine bark mulch allow it to maintain moisture around plants well, as long as it is applied to be at least a few inches deep.
  • Cypress Mulch: This organic mulch material helps the soil in your beds to retain moisture, keep the soil from getting too warm, and to insulate plant roots during colder winter months. Cypress mulch will prevent the growth of weeds and provide the finishing touch you want for your landscape design. Cypress mulch is a consumer favorite, outselling other types of mulches used in Florida landscaping.
  • Red Mulch: One of the most affordable options, red mulch is comprised of hardwood forest scraps or small tree stems, It may also be manufactured from recycled, shredded waste wood. Homeowners love the bright red color, unfortunately, it does tend to fade quickly when exposed to Florida’s strong sunlight and heavy rains.
  • Eucalyptus Mulch: This variety of mulch provides an organic ground cover which naturally repels insects. Its fibrous properties assist in preventing the mulch from floating.
  • Cedar Mulch: Cedar mulch is a stringy shredded wood with a golden brown color that looks attractive around plants and lasts longer than hardwood mulches. Cedar contains natural oils which are pleasantly aromatic for humans but also deter some pests and insects. The lighter color of this mulch also keeps shallow roots from overheating in the Florida heat.

Why is Mulch Useful?

There are many instances in which mulch is beneficial to your landscaping efforts.

  • Mulch prevents loss of water from the soil by evaporation.
  • When applied correctly, mulch can minimize weed growth and prevent weed germination.
  • Mulch helps to keep the soil cooler in the summer and prevent frost in the winter.
  • Mulch assists in preventing erosion of the soil and can keep soil-based diseases from reaching your plants.
  • Organic mulch becomes topsoil as it decays, adding nutrients and improving it for your plants and trees.
  • Mulch facilitates absorption and movement of water into the soil, and prevent soil compaction by encouraging earthworms and microorganisms.
  • Plants surrounded by mulch produce more roots than non-mulched plants.A Beautiful Alternative: If you are considering another organic ground cover, don’t forget to check out Big Earth Landscape Supply’s inventory of beautiful gravel, stone, and rock. Our team of experts will be happy to advise you as to the benefits of these natural alternatives.Big Earth Landscape Supply is Tampa Bay’s leading provider of mulch, soil, gravel and more. Whether you are designing a garden, fertilizing your grass, or adding architectural interest – you will find everything you need at one of our 4 area locations.