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Is this a good time to mulch?

Is this a good time to mulch? Yes, it is always beneficial to have some mulch on gardens, and even around trees. But the mulch needs stay at least 12-18″ from tree trunks to keep them healthy, and about that far from house foundations, to keep subterranean termites from finding a nice moist place to construct a mud tube.

What kind of mulch is best? Well that depends on personal preferences. Here are some suggestions:

  • Melaleuca mulch, which is made from an invasive tree, is a good choice.
  • Pine straw, pine bark, and mixed hardwood mulches are also used, along with cypress mulch. However, the University does not recommend using cypress mulch, due to the resulting destruction of our native forests. Unlike the other mulches, this type is not always a by-product of the forest industry, but trees are often cut solely for mulch.
  • Utility mulch, made from trees getting in the way of power lines, can be used also, but could come with some weed seeds mixed in.
  • Any natural mulch, as opposed to rubber mulch, will improve the soil as it decomposes, an added benefit. And of course mulch will insulate roots from cold and heat to some degree, and help retain moisture. So why not go for it now?

The Master Gardeners are available in the Plant Clinic to answer questions about your Garden!

If you have always wanted to learn more about your own gardening problems, the Plant Clinic is the perfect place to visit. Master Gardeners are ready to help you with research base information. In addition to the UF publications, there is a whole library of books just sitting there waiting to be used.
We have two plant clinics, one in Osceola Heritage Park and one in Poinciana. The Plant Clinic in Osceola Heritage Park is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 3pm and is located at 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee FL 34744, you can call to speak with a Master Gardeners Volunteer 321-697-3000 or email them at osceolamg@ifas.ufl.edu. And if you are in the Poinciana area, we have another Plant Clinic at the Mary Jane Aquatic Center located 625 Country Club Drive, Poinciana, Florida 34759. Mater Gardeners Volunteers are available only on Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.

Sandy Switek, Master Gardener & Eva Pabon, Master Gardener Coordinator

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