The act of gardening is the ultimate in giving back to the environment, by working to enrich the earth. What better way to keep on giving than by using eco-friendly mulch? Mulching is a large part of gardening and landscaping, with many variations. A new and improved option is rubber mulch, manufactured by Rubberecycle.
A Newer and Smarter way to Mulch
Rubber mulch is made by shredding old and used tires that would otherwise take up valuable space in landfills. The scraps are then subject to an extremely powerful magnet that removes any metal that may have accidentally been mixed in. This act of recycling frees up lots of space in landfills, and gives old tires new life. There have been mixed reactions to this innovative new mulch. A study by Consumer Reports tests some of the basic properties of the synthetic tire mulch to see how it measures up to other more conventional mulches, such as wood chips.
In regards to weed control the two fared the same, with just a few weeds breaking through around the edges. Rubber is said to have superior staying power, requiring little maintenance and re-mulching. This was proved to be true as the wood mulch floated away when sprayed with a water hose, and blew away in the face of a leaf blower. The rubber remained in place in both situations. As to weathering, wood and rubber mulch were placed on a rooftop with parts of the mulch covered. The wood faded a little, while the rubber retained its color. Manufacturers claim that the coloring in rubber mulch never fades.
Sceptics of rubber mulch fear the possibility of chemicals from old tires leaching into the soil. These fears have been proved unfounded by numerous studies, and the rubber has been approved by the EPA. While Consumer Reports did find low levels of lead in the rubber mulch, it was comparable to the amount of lead found in soil around homes. There are also those who balk at the high price of rubber mulch. Experience by many users has shown that rubber garden mulch has an extremely long life span, and pays for itself within a few years, while also eliminating the labor of constant replenishing of the mulch.
Rubber Mulch – The Choice of Professionals
Many landscapers are fans of rubber mulch because of the fact that it comes in many colors, and need not be replenished annually. To stay safe, some of them use it by paths and for decorative use, rather than around plants. However, many gardeners use rubber mulch around plants, with satisfactory results. Those who shy away from using rubber around plants prefer the organic material that wood gives to the soil. Others say that the decomposing wood causes rot. When used around plants, rubber mulch should be used around mature plants that already have nutrient rich soil.
Research the Options – Is Rubber Mulch Right for You?
Before deciding to go green with rubber mulch, read up online about the specific plants in your garden, and how they react to rubber mulch. You will read mixed reviews; remember that many people are simply resistant to change. With time you’ll see more and more of rubber mulch in gardens, playground surfaces, and horse arenas. After all, it’s eco-friendly, helping us achieve a cleaner, greener planet.
Fay Rose is a freelance writer and mom who strives for a cleaner world for her children. She uses Playsafer rubber mulch in her playground and garden, and has only the best reviews.
- Another Study Confirms Safety of Using Recycled Rubber for Playgrounds and Athletic Fields (prweb.com)
- RubbeRecycle Donates Rubber Mulch for Playground to Honor Arbor Day (prweb.com)
- Mulching in a jungle (solvgreenteam.wordpress.com)