For preventing water loss, helping buffer soil temperatures and suppressing weeds, mulch is one of the most important elements of any Florida landscape. The right mulch makes all the difference. With a variety of options available, however, it can be difficult to choose.
Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types for South Florida, and why you may want to consider one over another.
4 Top Mulch Options for South Florida
1. Pine bark. Shredded pine bark interlocks to avoid washing away and is ideal for gardens on a slope. Plus, it decomposes into the soil to enrich your garden’s health over time, and it is least likely to change color.
2. Pine straw. Pine needles hold in place well and are relatively slow to break down, making them ideal for slopes. Pine straw is great for use with acid-loving plants such as azaleas, conifers and blueberries.
3. Cypress. Shredded cypress mulch allows water to easily soak into roots but resists washing away from heavy rains. Cypress offers nutritional benefits to plants as it decomposes and retains color well.
4. Dyed mulch. Dyed mulches are one of the most popular and least expensive mulching options. Be aware that the color may fade, and dye from mulch can leach into plants’ roots. For organic vegetable gardens, stick with mulches that do not contain dye.
Tip: Pebbles or river rocks are great additions to any garden because they don’t break down and don’t need to be reapplied annually. However, they add no nutritional value to the soil.