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Mulching refers to organic or inorganic material that can be used in your garden or landscape in areas that are hard to maintain or prone to erosion.

Mulching has many benefits:

  • reduces water loss due to evaporation
  • prevents run-off and erosion
  • reduces weeds
  • moderates the soil temperature

How to get mulch

Recycle your yard trimmings
Grass clippings, leaves/pine needles, and tree trimmings can all be chopped up and reused rather than thrown away. This free mulch is the most environmentally sound and lest expensive way of return nutrients to the soil. If you have more than you need, share with a neighbor!

Yard waste that is collected, grinded and mulched for residents.
Free mulch is available at:
Leveda Brown Environmental Park
5115 NE 63rd Ave.
(352) 334-0176

Please call to confirm that mulch is available for pick-up

Purchase bagged mulch
Mulch can be purchased at most home improvement stores and nurseries. To determine how many bags you may need, consult the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Workbook Maximize Mulch section.

The harvesting of these trees for mulch degrades cypress wetlands. Despite bag labels, while old growth cypress trees develop natural resistance to pests, this resistance is not formed in younger trees, the trees more commonly shredded for mulch.

How to use mulch

Mulching is one of the easiest steps in maintaining your garden or landscape as well as provide an element of color and texture to compliment your plantings.

  • Add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around plants and trees. Be sure to keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of the plants and tree trunks to prevent rotting
  • Replenish the mulch once or twice a year to maintain the 2-3 inch depth.
  • Beware mulching the trimmings from invasive-exotic species because it may spread the seeds.
  • Never throw excess clippings or mulch down the storm drain. This can facilitate the migration of plant species and clog drains.
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Copyright © 2004 UF/IFAS Extension and Mark Hostetler
Content written by Elizabeth Swiman and Mark Hostetler
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611