Rubber Mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by 8rickyj, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. 8rickyj

    8rickyj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Has anyone used the recycled rubber mulch? What are the pros and cons?
  2. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Have never used it and will not use it unless its for a playground area.

    It has a strong odor especially when it gets warm outside. Imagine opeing your windows and ahhh, the fresh aroma of volatile organic rubber compounds come wafting in. Refreshing indeed!. I also don't know what heavy metals might leach out of it and into the soil. I believe rubber tires are relatively high in lithium, zinc and numerous other minerals and compounds that are very toxic to plants.

    Here is a good, objective article.
  3. tailboardtech

    tailboardtech LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    <---- search my name and you will find my thoughts on it
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    checked into it once, I think we could of bought gold cheaper.
  5. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 870

    Although, they have greatly improved to quality and other issues of rubber mulch ie, smaller grind size, better dye adhesion/less fading, being totally wire free, reducing the smell especially during the heat of the day. The smell is still an issue for most. It's expensive - $9-11.00 a 2cu/ft bag and does little for the health of the plants in improving soil structure. Also, it may heat the surrounding soil more than organic mulch.

    Besides, I can't say what toxic leachates may come form long term use of rubber mulch. Since its made from ground up tires, think about all the toxins/fluids deposited and over a roadway and picked up/spread by tires. That's why roadway runoff is the #1 source of non-point water pollution!

    Primary use would be for (public) playgrounds and pool side, where safety is the highest priority. They expect contact at a public playground to be far less than home use.

    Benefits of mulch 3 & 5 apply to Organic material based Mulch. Others points can become issues with the use of non Organic mulch such as rock.

    1) Mulches can prevent the loss of water from the soil by evaporation.
    2) Mulches suppress weed seed germination when the mulch material itself is weed-free and applied deeply enough thus reducing the use of herbicides/chemicals. 3) A more uniform soil temperature can be maintained by mulching. The mulch acts as an insulator that keeps the soil cool under intense sunlight and warm during cold weather.
    4) Most mulch, prevent crusting of the soil surface, thus improving water absorption and percolation into the soil, while at the same time, reducing erosion.
    5) Organic materials used as mulch can improve soil structure, condition and health. As mulch decays, the material becomes topsoil. Decaying mulch aids in the microbial activity which also may add nutrients to the soil, improving the soil quality.
    6) Mulches add to the beauty of the landscape by providing a cover of uniform color and an interesting surface texture.
    7) Mulched plants produce roots in and directly under the mulch that surrounds them. The plants produce these roots in addition to the roots in the soil. As a result, mulched plants have more roots than plants that are not mulched.
    8) Properly mulched plants tend to be less stressed and more vigorous when soil conditions are more consistent, making the plant more resistant to pest, pathogen and weed pressures.
  6. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 870

  7. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    another problem with it is keeping it clean. once you get any plant material in it and try to blow it out it is a pain in the a**. it doesn't hold together like regular mulch and you loose a lot of material in the process.:hammerhead:
  8. limaint

    limaint LawnSite Member
    from NY NY
    Messages: 98

    Think its very it was said before, gold may be cheaper.
  9. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 224

    also, it looks like crap
  10. Day off?

    Day off? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    It's great for playgrounds and walk ways. It's terrible for plants! It comes shredded or chunk. The shredded is impossible to keep clean.

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