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Florida Water StarSM Technical Manual

Landscape criteria

General practices for a Florida Water StarSM landscape design

Organic mulch

Pine bark mulch will help keep these newly planted shrubs moist in the dry season.

Pine bark mulch will help keep these newly planted shrubs moist in the dry season.

Background

When correctly applied, mulch can provide a number of benefits to increase the overall sustainability of landscapes. Four of the primary benefits from mulch are: (1) the prevention of water loss from the soil, through evaporation; (2) the suppression of weed growth; (3) the moderation of soil temperatures, and (4) the addition of organic nutrients to the soil.

A variety of mulch materials are used in Florida landscapes. The following are some types of organic mulch materials that meet Florida Water StarSM criteria:

  • Tree bark
  • Wood chips
  • Leaves
  • Pine needles
Requirements and certification

Organic mulch is used and applied to a depth of 2 inches to 4 inches leaving a 2-inch space around base of the plant.

Silver

Gold

Commercial/Institutional

Required

Required

NA

The Florida Water StarSM certifier must visually confirm mulch depth in several locations throughout the landscape.

Program tip

In many cases, mulch depth is compliant with this practice. However, it is common that mulch is piled against plant bases. In such a case, certifiers can recommend that the builder/builder’s representative remediate this problem during the inspection.

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
800-725-5922