Grow Into a Healthy Mulching Routine This Spring
Mulch is arguably the most versatile tool in your landscape care arsenal – it allows you to get a lot of bang for your buck to keep your lawn looking its best. As such, it is something you do not want to go without. Although it may be tempting to just start spreading mulch in your yard as soon as the temperature begins rising above 60℉, it is important to recognize the best time to apply mulch so you can ensure your yard reaps the maximum benefits.
Spring Is Ideal
In addition to its many other benefits, mulch gives your landscape a clean, renewed appearance with fresh color and vibrancy. So, when is the ideal time to lay new mulch or refresh existing mulch? In North Central Florida, mulch application is generally best done during mid-to-late spring. If done earlier than this in the season, it can entrap the cold moisture and delay plant growth. Further, laying mulch later in the season allows the soil to warm from the winter weather, making it a more hospitable host for growth. It can better fortify the soil’s nutrients and retain moisture, which is especially important during Florida’s long, hot, dry summer.
Best Practices for Laying Mulch
Now that you know the best time to apply mulch, you may be wondering about the best practices for applying and maintaining your new mulch. Following these steps may seem time-consuming at first glance, but a little extra care will ensure that your mulch does its job for your yard.
Early spring is the perfect time to clean out dead or dying plants and get your yard ready for your new mulch. That is because, during the fall and winter months, trees and bushes drop debris like seeds, leaves, and twigs into your yard. Before you can start laying down your new mulch, it is best to clean these up and trim away where needed.
Treat the Soil
After trimming away dead limbs and debris, rake to get rid of the resulting debris and organic matter and to get your mulch beds ready. Then, you can use a tiller or cultivator to turn the soil over to aerate and give the ground the moisture it needs. Going a step further and smoothing out the soil helps your mulch look more even after application. Finally, manually remove any visible weeds and apply an effective weed repellent to where your mulch will be to help prevent invasive growth.
Lay the Mulch
When you are ready to apply your mulch, use our handy calculator to figure out how much you may need. When it comes time to lay it in your yard, remember that an ideal depth for your mulch is 2-4 inches. Piling it any thicker may make it too hard for new growth seedlings to grow through the mulch. When mulching around trees, apply mulch away from the tree trunks to avoid wood rot. Instead, use the mulch to cover the tree’s underground root system.
Once you have applied your mulch, keep it looking its best through regular maintenance. Check it routinely to make sure it is not too compacted and loosen as needed. If you find that your mulch has matted down and forms an impenetrable barrier for any growth underneath, it is a good idea to remove it little by little not to shock your plants and protect them from any late-season cold snaps.
Replenishment is typically recommended once per year. But, you may need to do it more often If you have used organic mulch, as organic mulch decays and breaks down over time.
Gaston Mulch Is Your Healthy Landscape Partner
There is no doubt that mulch is a necessity for your North Central Florida landscape. And one of the best ways to make sure your mulch gives your trees and plants the maximum nutrients and benefits they need is to use the best mulch possible. At Gaston Mulch and Soil, we use mulch generated from Gaston’s Tree Debris Recycling, completing a cycle of greener, sustainably-minded processes. Contact us today to learn more about how our premium mulch can help you bring out the beauty of your yard.