For people interested in exterior landscaping, applying colorful rubber mulch to decorate the top layer of the garden is no strange sight. However, not many homeowners are aware of the multiple benefits that a rubber mulch can provide besides its beauty-making capacity.
Why use rubber mulch at all? Is it capable of nurturing the plants? Or can it be used as a playground for children?
The answers to these questions lie in the article below. Keep reading to find out what they are!
Why Use Rubber Mulch? (3 Main Reasons)
Rubber mulch provides both the landscape and your plantations with multiple benefits in protection, cost-effectiveness, and healthy nurturing.
Using rubber mulch means the surface of your garden is well protected against external factors. Insects, fungi, or weeds are less likely to hover around, creating a favorable environment for whatever outdoor activities you are planning on.
Furthermore, rubber mulch does not require excessive investments in the first place and can last for years, with low maintenance required and virtually no replacement needed.
Last but not least, as much rubber is 100% water-resistant, it allows moisture and nutrients of all forms to directly penetrate the soil instead of getting caught in the covering.
The texture of rubber mulch leaves room for insulation, so you expect a moderate temperature throughout the seasons. No more worries about the plants getting scorching hot in the summer or freezing in the winter!
What Is A Rubber Mulch?
Rubber mulch is a type of protective wrapping placed on top of an extended area. The idea behind using rubber mulch is that it can be both better-looking and beneficial for landscaping. A standard rubber mulch usually comes from recycled rubber, especially used tires.
Although the product does come with its demerits alongside the amazing advantages, rubber mulch has proven to be a cost-saving, highly effective household material that can be found virtually in any home.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Rubber Mulch?
Instead of creating more plastic and further threatening the already vulnerable ecosystem, rubber mulch makes use of old or defective tires that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill.
Each tire is removed from the metal frame and thoroughly washed to get rid of any toxic residue. From there, shredding machines will tear the tire into smaller pieces, varying anywhere from 10mm to 32mm depending on the usage.
From the material to the manufacturing process, rubber mulch does not give out any harmful substances. On the contrary, it even turns useless rubber into highly consumable products.
As rubber does not decompose, rubber mulch can be used for years before it eventually decreases in quality. With proper maintenance, rubber mulch can stay in its peak performance for a lifetime.
Rubber is naturally insulating, so rest assured that your soil and anything you plant on it will be shielded from the heat and other harsh weather conditions. Under extreme temperature, rubber can still fend off the hotness to keep the land below cool and well ventilated.
Rubber is not an organic substance, so insects have no desire to crawl over and build up their nests. If termites and ants constantly nibble over your plants and tamper with the soil texture, using rubber mulch can effectively drive them off.
Anti-weed and antifungal
Thanks to its waterproofness, rubber mulch is a sterile environment that nurtures no living organisms, including weeds and fungi. As a result, attacks from these unwelcome guests will no longer bother the well-being of your garden.
Rubber is relatively heavy, making it a suitable choice for an outdoor mulch. It does not displace or scatter around like organic mulch, keeping your original landscape design intact.
Furthermore, if rainfall happens, high-quality rubber will not float off and tend to stick together in place. And not even wind can blow these powerful bits away!
For something that spends all of its time being out in the open, you need to look for a firm resistance, which rubber mulch never fails to offer.
Long gone are the days when rubber mulch only comes in a dull, gray color. Now, companies on the market do not shy away from producing colorful, titillating rubber mulch that sure improves the facade of any home project.
Whether you want to distinguish certain bushes from others, or you need to build a small playground where kids can wander around, rubber mulch can suffice.
Good for gardening
Rubber mulch does not have any pores for absorption. Thus, when placed on top of the soil, it will not consume the water and nutrients reserved for tree planting. Anything your plants need to grow properly can pass through the rubber pieces and penetrate the roots effortlessly.
Rubber mulch is high in durability and density, which means owners can leave it out for a long time without much problem. In addition, it does not call for frequent cleaning or replacement, so the effort required is minimal.
To begin with, rubber mulch is relatively cheap to purchase. It usually does not cost more than $20 to cover an area of a yard. What is more, thanks to its extended lifespan, you do not have to buy new rubber mulch and end up saving lots of money in the long run.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Rubber Mulch?
Possible soil contamination
In an ideal situation, all the metal wires in the tires are properly removed before the tires get shredded. However, cheaply made rubber mulch can still consist of metal components, which potentially harm the plants.
Other research also points out the poorly processed rubber tends to have a high level of zinc. While zinc deficiency can prevent plants from staying healthy, too much of it may ruin the plantation.
Synthetic look and feel
Rubber mulch does not exude a naturally earthy vibe that some homeowners look for. From afar, a yard layered with rubber may be visually pleasing. But at a closer look, many people dislike its appearance. That is not to mention, upon direct contact, rubber mulch feels alien to the skin and is far different from wood mulch.
If you accidentally ignite a rubber mulch, the fire will spread out quickly and burn much hotter than other materials. The smell that ensues is not only toxic to inhale but also appalling. Therefore, those living in high fire risk neighborhoods should stay away from this specific item.
No soil enrichment
Some people turn to mulch as a way to gradually provide their land with decomposition. In the case of rubber mulch, this requirement is out of the question. Rubber does not biodegrade, and it certainly cannot offer what your soil needs to remain fertile.
Hard to remove
Once settled on the land, rubber mulch can stick deep to the surface. If you want to remove them and make room for another type of mulch, the process is both time-consuming and difficult.
After reading this article, hopefully, the question as to why use rubber mulch will no longer boggle you. If you find these guidelines helpful, do not hesitate to send them to fellow homeowners!