is the time of year you should be mulching your planting beds, ready
for the Growing Season which starts in April. Applying mulch, or
substitutes, is a very labor-intensive exercise, so you should take
advantage of the lower rates offered during the winter.
should you mulch? The main reasons
are to control weed growth, and to conserve water. Weeds need light
to grow, and three or four inches of mulch will provide an effective
barrier, whilst not inhibiting the growth of already established
plants. The mulch also provides a barrier to the heat from the sun,
thereby reducing loss of moisture from evaporation.
benefits of mulch include its visual attractiveness, particularly
the colored cypress varieties, and a reduction of soil erosion.
Cypress mulch also has the benefit of a certain amount of natural
insect repellent, and the property of actually enriching the soil
when it eventually decomposes.
people favor pine bark instead of cypress mulch, but you need to
be careful where you put it, because it will float away if you get
heavy rain. It is also more prone to harboring insects.
to natural cypress or pine bark include lava rock, decorative rock,
and rubber. The rubber mulch is made from old tires, which are chopped
up and painted in a variety of colors. Rubber and rocks are much
more expensive than natural mulches, but have the advantage of being
semi-permanent, and therefore not requiring annual topping up. Rubber
mulch is particularly suited to children's play areas, whilst various
types of rocks can provide a pleasing appearance in certain formal
areas. I would not recommend putting rocks in areas with high sun
exposure, however, as they will get very hot may damage plant roots.
The excess heat may also cause evaporation and insect problems.
types of mulches and substitutes are available from our company...
Florida Environmental Care!