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How Mulch Protects Your Soil From Winter Frost

You may be wondering if it’s necessary to mulch in the winter in North Florida. The short answer is yes — even Floridians are not immune from winter frost. Winter mulching is helpful in combatting soil from freezing. As seasoned experts in mulching, we take this preparation process seriously.

Gainesville averages 16 days of freezing temperatures every year. Any one of these days could damage your plants if not prepared for. The season to look out for is from December 1st to February 27th.

The Role of Mulch

Water expands when it freezes. This expansion, if not combatted, can uproot smaller, shallow-rooted plants as their roots freeze and expand toward the surface. Mulch accounts for this phenomenon by insulating soil from extreme temperature changes and acting as a weighted cover.

Another benefit of mulch is its ability to reduce soil moisture evaporation. The soil underneath appropriately laid mulch will not freeze, allowing plants to absorb moisture through their covered roots.

Plants Need Protection

Some plants need more support than others during cold months. The first step to enduring a frost is to ensure your plants are in stable conditions. Additionally, if you’ve adorned your garden with plants that fall under any of the following plant types, make sure they get the extra protection they need this winter season.


New plants are especially susceptible to frost-related damage, and perennials are no exception. Newly planted perennials have not had enough time to establish deep roots, run the risk of harmful uprooting, and necessitate appropriate ground cover.

Pro Tip: Give extra attention to tender perennials such as dahlias, gladioluses, and cannas.


Recently pruned and dehydrated shrubs need mulch to help with moisture retention. This also reduces competition for necessary nutrients found in the soil by killing off nearby, unwanted weeds.

Choosing Your Mulch

The ideal mulch for protection from frost is coarse and breathable. A three-inch layer should be ample protection for your soil. The mulch should also assist in water drainage and insulation. The following mulch types are recommended for winter protection.

Pine Bark Nuggets

We offer large, fine, and small pine bark nuggets. This type of mulch decomposes slowly, enriching the soil with organic material as it degrades. The larger the pine bark nugget, the longer it provides value to the soil.

Cypress Blend Mulch

A swamp favorite, our cypress blend mulch is sustainably sourced and a proven frost protector. Cypress mulch is known for its longevity. This type of tree often lives for 600 years  — surely this source can last through Florida winters.

Gaston Mulch Protects Your Soil in Every Season

If you need a hand ensuring your plants are safe this winter, contact the experts at Gaston Mulch and Soil. Our mulch is made of recycled trees, adding sustainably sourced nutrients to your soil while protecting it from harmful winter frost. We offer local delivery