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. mulch

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 least expensive way of returning nutrients to the soil. If you have more than you need, share with a neighbor!

Yard waste that is collected and ground for residents. Free mulch is often available from your utility company or at your local landfill. Contact your local utility company or landfill for more information.

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 & Neighborhoods Workbook Maximize Mulch section (pdf).


Bag labels often claim that cypress mulch has a natural resistance to pests. While this is true of old-growth cypress trees, it is not true of younger trees, which are 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 complement 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.