rubber mulch??

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by laxnlawn, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. laxnlawn

    laxnlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Has anyone done any installs with rubber mulch? I just did a small playground install with it but no beds. Would it work for beds? I see it as having the maintenance of rock but more appealing, and it wont mess up blades when the rocks fall out of beds, or really hurt when it kicks up when bed edging.
  2. Colaguy

    Colaguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I've seen it in small playgrounds and a few flower beds but here it seems to have lost its popularity. Prob due to cost as its very expensive. In the last twelve yrs, I've had one client tell me he wanted it in all his beds front and back. Once I explained how expensive it was, he declined.
  3. rootytalbot

    rootytalbot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    It stinks on hot days and is highly flammable. I always decline using it and try to talk folks out it. And the lasts a long time so you won't get to do mulch maintenance on that job for a while.

    I'm glad there are no smileys on the post (yet), but when replying I have to be distracted by them.
    Smileys don't appeal to me. Is it because I'm an adult?
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776


    Sorry, you were asking for it....

    As for rubber mulch in the landscape, it's useless from a biological standpoint. It doesn't break down into any sort of usable nutrients for the soil and on top of it, it creates a heat sink in the landscape and creates thermal pollution around the plants.

  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Exactly. Aside from a specific use like "safety" for a play surface, I see no redeeming qualities in it.

    It's like littering in my mind because it doesn't break down and it's unnatural.
  6. laxnlawn

    laxnlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    A. Wouldent it end up in a landfill anyway, also polluting the environment?
    B. rubber is porous, thus wouldn't the rubber just let rainwater sink into the soil below for the plants, and not get involved in the biological processes other than acting as a thermal barrier have a more optimal temperature of the soil below?
    C. The smell on hot days-- correct me if im wrong but I think you are referring to the black mulch with the nylon still in it that looks like crap, because of the heat it attracts. I'm talking about the dark red colored rubber mulch.
    As to the not adding nutrients to the soul, couldn't this be counteracted by the addition of more water to the plants.
    Plants surive with out organic mulch above them, don't they?

    Thanks for the informative responses, you guys know a heck of a lot more than I do, it sounds like a resounding no.
    I don't plan on doing this a lot, but I had an old lady who I do weekly mowing for ask me about doing her few beds with it. She has red right now and I think I put down maybe a half a yard in her beds this year so the loss of work would not be a huge issue if it was just that. Ill tell her that it shouldn't be done.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. laxnlawn

    laxnlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Also, you can take it out as you would normal mulch
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    That's part of my "issue" with the stuff. You shouldn't HAVE to remove mulch - it should break down over time.

    Also, red mulch of any type is nauseating to look at.
    May as well use blue, or yellow. Blech.

  9. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 41,983

    I did a hillside with it plantings to speak of, the homeowner didn't want to cut a steep bank anymore and didn't like how river gravel looked, so black rubber mulch was the answer. I would never use it around plants though
  10. lazor-cut

    lazor-cut LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wixom
    Messages: 315

    Hate it
    In landscape beds it rolls out every time it rains
    It never actually Mattes like Regular Mulch
    Requires more and more to be added in since it stays loose.
    Weeds grow straight through it like rocks.
    I've heard its bad because it gets so hot. Which isnt good for the plants obviously.

    Yeah it holds its color but it definitely has its cons

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