We know that rubber mulch is much safer than wood mulch on the playground but who comes out on top when the two are used in a landscaping application?
This depends on the types of benefits you are looking for. Rubber mulch provides excellent drainage for the soil and supplies great insulation against harsh weather. It also allows a higher degree of heat to be maintained in the soil as well as maintaining its moisture levels. Wood mulch, however, can starve plants. Wood chip mulch provides long term benefits to soil as it breaks down, however it is high in carbon which seeks out nitrogen to help it break down into soil. In doing so, it effectively steals the food from the plants it’s meant to protect.”
Most people mulch their landscapes for aesthetics – they like the new color – so we may have another issue to discuss. Wood mulch fades – the glowing hues of red and brown when you open the bag quickly become shades of dull unattractive brown.
A treated piece of wood mulch can take more than 4 years to decompose and become part of the soil. During this time, if you use wood mulch, you have added an additional four layers of mulch to the layer that is decomposing. Each layer is fighting for nitrogen to help break it down. When it comes to who wins the fight between plants and mulch in terms of nitrogen, mulch wins.
If you go with the colored wood mulch you will need to remove it each year as eventually it will get too deep and begin to damage plants and trees. But if you remove it each year, there is no chance of seeing any benefit to the soil as you never give it the opportunity to break down.
A final point to note. Much of the country is in a drought mode and water does not have a never ending source – rubber mulch absorbs no water unlike wood mulch. Using rubber mulch you will use up to 30% less water on your landscaping.
Make the switch to 100% recycled rubber mulch and don’t worry about mulching for the next decade. Life is too short – enjoy your yard and spend less time working in it!
If you would like more information on the benefits of rubber mulch please click here and we will follow up with you to answer any questions that you may have.