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Landscape Mulches Recycling Yard Waste and Fertilizing Appropriately By Adam Pitcher, Extension Hort Assistant, ; Tel.: 954-357-5283.

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Presentation on theme: "Landscape Mulches Recycling Yard Waste and Fertilizing Appropriately By Adam Pitcher, Extension Hort Assistant, ; Tel.: 954-357-5283."— Presentation transcript:

1 Landscape Mulches Recycling Yard Waste and Fertilizing Appropriately By Adam Pitcher, Extension Hort Assistant, ; Tel.: John J. Pipoly III, Ph.D., FLS, Extension Agent

2 Landscape Mulches

3 What is mulch? Mulch is a layer of material applied over otherwise bare soil. It is specifically used to perform the following services: to conserve moisture to improve the fertility and health of the soil to reduce weed growth to enhance the visual appeal of the area

4 Types of Mulch Organic materials bark, wood chips, leaves, pine needles, grass clippings Inorganic materials gravel, pebbles, rubber, or woven ground cloth NOT recommended; they do not add organic content to soil

5 Benefits of Organic Mulch Using mulch can: Improve soil Ease maintenance Improve plant performance Increase drought tolerance Suppress weeds

6 Melaleuca Mulch Harvested from invasive plant stands (YAY!) Retains color Slow decomposition Not attractive to termites Allelopathic properties

7 Eucalyptus Mulch Harvested from Florida plantations Good color retention May repel insects while fresh (~ 3-6 months) Allelopathic properties

8 Pine Bark/Needles Often a byproduct of the timber industry Readily available Helps lower pH/acidify soil Pine Bark will decompose slower=last longer Needles will decompose faster=more acid

9 Cypress Mulch Often harvested from wild Cypress stands Not recommended as origins may be difficult to determine Maintains color Slow decomposition May be eaten by termites

10 Dyed Mulch Typically made from recycled pallets Buy from a reputable source to ensure: Wood is not pressure treated Dyes are nontoxic, such as soybean- based inks

11 Rubber Mulch Made from recycled rubber/tires Unknown composition & effects Does not decompose Does not add organic matter to the soil!

12 Gravel, Pebbles, & Stones Available in a variety of colors/sizes Permanent; often alkaline Fireproof/insect-proof Lawn mowers can pick up and throw the stones! Reflect/absorb solar radiation, generating heat

13 How Much? Maintain 3-4 inches of mulch BUT… Allow 1-2 inches of space between mulch and plant base Constant contact with moisture on the plant can result in wood/root rot due to fungal and bacterial pathogens

14 Recycling Yard Waste

15 Recycled Yard Waste Did you know? Florida law prohibits disposal of yard waste in lined landfills! Retain the nutrients in your own landscape! Save money on fertilizer, mulch, and waste disposal

16 Grasscycling Grass clippings can be left on the lawn Saves money- This is equivalent to about one fertilizer application per year! Saves time Remove only 1/3 of the grass blade Grasscycling does not result in thatch build-up! Thatch is stem & root overgrowth caused by cutting too low and/or improper-watering.

17 Composting at Home Overview: 1) Choosing a Container 2) Assembling the Pile 3) Maintaining the Pile 4) Using Finished Compost

18 Compost Bins Purchase a compost bin or build your own. Consider: Appearance Size- at least 1 cubic yard Accessibility- to add materials and remove finished compost Ability to mix materials inside Pest access

19 A bin is not necessary, but useful for deterring pests and keeping the pile neat.

20 Compostable Materials Nitrogen-Rich Grass clippings Manure Vegetable & fruit food scraps Coffee grounds Carbon-Rich Shredded branches Uncolored Paper Pine needles Old Leaves

21 Materials to Avoid Do NOT add: Meat or dairy products Oils or mayonnaise Plants recently treated with herbicides/pesticides Seed-laden weeds Pressure treated wood

22 Provide Oxygen & Water Without oxygen & water, microbes become less active & less efficient Decomposition slows down May create bad odors Incorporate bulky materials like twigs & wood chips to provide air space Turn pile often to increase air exposure DO NOT ALLOW IT TO DRY OUT!

23 Using Compost Apply to plant beds as a soil amendment Use as mulch Blend with sand, peat, and perlite for a potting media Layer 1”-2” of compost underneath decorative mulch to save money and improve soil fertility.

24 Fertilize Appropriately

25 = 28 lbs of NUTRIENTS, 100 – 28 = 72 lbs of FILLER! N-P-K Nitrogen - Phosphorous - Potassium Guaranteed analysis = percent by weight For example… Net weight = 100 lbs bag of fertilizer Actual Nitrogen: 16% x 100 lbs = 16 lbs N Actual Phosphorous: 4% x 100 lbs = 4 lbs P Actual Potassium: 8% x 100 lbs = 8 lbs K Fertilizer Label

26 Rapid release is quickly dissolved and immediately available to plant for a short period of time. Slow release Nitrogen is slowly dissolved and is available over a much longer period of time. What Kinds are Available?

27 WEEKS Release Patterns of Fertilizers Soluble Controlled release Plants not getting needs met with controlled release (3-4 wks) Plant Needs Plants not getting needs met with soluble (9 wks)

28 Some Forms of Fertilizers are Available with Other Additives Systemic Pesticide Herbicides

29 Where to Place Fertilizer Too Close!

30 When Fertilizers Won’t Work Soil Compositio n Improper Watering pH too high Nematodes Root Problem s Fertilizer Placement

31 Oxygen Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium Calcium Iron Manganese Boron Copper Zinc Older leavesNewer leaves

32 Nitrogen – Uniform yellowing of older leaves

33 Potassium - Brown spots on older leaves

34 Iron/Manganese - Green veins, yellow in between veins of new leaves

35 Boron – Twisting and pleating of new leaves

36 Trunk Constriction on Palms

37 Healthy Palm Normal senescence

38 The following presentation was made possible through a grant from FL DEP and EPA. Special thanks to the following reviewers for their valued contributions: FL114 ELM Design Team and the FYN Subcommittee Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF Agriculture Education and Communication Department Environmental Horticulture Department Entomology and Nematology Department Soil and Water Sciences Department Florida Cooperative Extension Service in: Alachua, Broward, Clay, Hillsborough, Lake, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Sarasota, and Volusia Counties Florida Organics Recycling Center for Excellence The Center For Wetlands, UF United States Department of Agriculture FL Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences: Division of Plant Industry Thanks for your attention!

39 UF-IFAS Broward County Extension Education Section Parks and Recreation Division A SERVICE OF THE BROWARD COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS “Pursuant to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (As Amended) this University of Florida Affirmative Action Plan ensures equal employment opportunity and advancement opportunity to all individuals. The University does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, disability, family care status, protected veterans status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.” Broward county programs are open to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. Disabled individuals are requested to notify program two days prior to program an auxiliary aids or assistance is required. Disabled parking space and wheelchair ramp are available. Note: Adapted from FFL presentation by Rebecca McNair


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