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What Kind of Mulch Works Best for Your Landscape?

When it comes to adding mulch to your Gainesville, FL landscape, you may already know that buying in bulk is best — but, you may not know what type of mulch will work best for your yard. Read on to learn more about the different types of mulch available and how to choose between them for optimal aesthetic and functional benefits.

The Benefits of Mulch

There is no doubt that your Florida landscape needs the MVP of horticulture — mulch. Not only does it provide aesthetic appeal for your yard, but it also has numerous other benefits, including the following:

Further, organic mulches like the kinds we offer at Gaston add nutrients to your soil as they decompose, increasing aeration and nutrition retention, improving its structure, and helping it drain more effectively.

Aesthetic Appeal of Mulch

Many areas of our lawns are too challenging to irrigate or mow, which is where mulch comes in. Mulch provides clear, defining lines between your grass and garden beds. It also contributes to your landscape’s overall appearance and subtly directs attention to your plants, trees, and shrubs.

Types of Mulch

So, you know you need mulch. But what kind of mulch will look and perform best in your yard? 

Generally speaking, larger mulch decomposes at a slower rate, meaning you may be able to wait a little longer between replenishment. For example, bark mulches tend to last longer than shredded wood. But, you can’t go wrong with any of the mulches we offer at GMAS, although some do better in certain placements than others.

Ground Mulch

Hardwood Mulch

Our Hardwood Mulch is an excellent option because it mimics the native ecosystem. If your soil is in need of rebalancing, consider hardwood mulch. As it breaks downn in the Florida’s typically acidic soil, this mulch options provides a nice alkaline balance. It is made from double ground hardwood tree debris, so, like all of our mulch options at Gaston Mulch and Soil, it is an environmentally friendly option.

Cypress Blend Mulch

Gaston Mulch and Soil Cypress Blend Mulch is a byproduct of local, sustainably-sourced cypress lumber manufacturing. One of the main benefits of our Cypress Blend Mulch is its longevity – cypress does not decompose as quickly as other mulches. If you’re looking for a mulch option that allows you to minimize maintenance, Gaston Cypress Blend Mulch may be best for you.

Dyed Pine Mulch

At Gaston Mulch and Soil, we offer different kinds of high-quality mulch for you to select from in the following colors to fit every style. This dyed shredded pine mulch creates a beautiful accent for your home or business, is naturally pest-resistant, and mats together to stay in place and shade out weeds.

Playground Chips

Wood chips are durable, perform well in high-traffic areas, and repel bug infestations. They also do well around trees and shrubs and in larger areas of your landscape.

Pine Bark Nugget Fines

Our fines are created from pine tree bark and processed to optimal thickness and size to help retain soil moisture. This mulch type works best in smaller flower or raised beds or container vegetable gardens.

Pine Bark Nuggets

Due to their large size, nuggets help water get to the soil better and hold their color longer. But at the same time, they need thicker layers and are more challenging to walk on. Due to its tendency to be washed away, they’re not the best option for slopes.

How To Choose the Right Mulch

Now that you know the benefits of mulch and the types of mulch available to you, you can begin choosing which mulch is best for you. The type of mulch and chips you use depend on where you’re planning to lay your mulch and what type of project you’re working on.

Areas That Flood

If your home sits in a heavy washout area, it’s important to pick a product that has more density. Products like pine bark nuggets and chips will float away if your area floods because there is more air between the pieces and they tend to be lighter.

Recommended Product: As an alternative, consider choosing something more dense like a shredded mulch, a dyed mulch, or hardwood variety. These pieces are heavier and tend not to float away in washout areas.

High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas like driveways and walking paths need a durable product that won’t break down quickly. Shredded mulch tends to break down fastest and will need to be replaced more often. Pick a product that will look good for the long run.

Recommended Product: Wood chip products are ideal for these projects because of their durability.

Fruit Plants

We often get asked what kind of mulch we would recommend around blueberry plants. These fruit plants require a soil pH of 4.0–5.5. Pine mulch makes the soil more acidic and is preferred by these plants. But mulch match varies by fruit. For example, hardwood mulch is preferred by fruit trees like figs because it makes the soil more alkaline as it breaks down.

To determine which mulch is best for your plant needs:

  1. Get a soil test to determine your current soil type.
  2. Find the recommended pH for your plants.
  3. Choose a mulch that matches your soil types with your plants’ recommended pH. (UF IFAS is a good resource for finding a specific fruit-mulch match.)

Regardless of mulch type, blueberries and other fruits (and vegetables) should be surrounded by natural products. We don’t recommend putting any dyed product around fruit — the more natural the better!

Recommended Product: Our fine mulch products are a really natural product that work great around fruits and vegetables. They’ll help insulate your plants and suppress weeds in your garden. 

Playgrounds

Whether you’re putting a swing set in your backyard or installing a playground in a park, it is important to consider the type of ground cover you’re putting down. Little kids love putting things in their mouths, so picking a product that will keep them happy and healthy is important. 

Recommended Product: Our IPEMA certified chips and mulch are specifically designed for playground areas. IPEMA certification means that our products are certified safe for any playground. Enjoy peace of mind about your child’s safety with our certified product.

Bug Problem

If you’re having trouble with bugs in your gardens and want to protect your plants with a natural barrier, mulch can help. The right mulch can also ward off termites and help protect the structural integrity of your home.

Recommended Product: Cypress mulch is a great option to ward off bugs. Cypress is naturally bug resistant by giving off an undetectable smell that is undesirable to pests.

Gaston Mulch Is Your Source for Quality Mulch

We’ve provided the best mulch around with unbeatable quality and service for 50 years. Even better, our mulch, chips, and soil are all the byproduct of tree debris obtained through Gaston Tree Debris and Recycling, creating greener processes.

When you need mulch for your landscape, trust Gaston Mulch and Soil. If you’re still unsure of the correct type of mulch for your project, we’re here for you with expert guidance and all the assistance you need to confidently choose what’s best for you. Browse our mulch options to select the type of mulch that best suits your next project.