Rubber mulch is an alternative to regular pine mulch
Rubber mulch uses old and discarded tires. Some have worries about whether or not this is safe for plants, animals and people. After all, it is rubber, and old tires. How can this possibly be good for anyone?
While many people are all for rubber mulch because of the fact that it does not involve killing a single tree to make, others are concerned about its toxicity and flammability. Rubber mulch has never been known to be harmful to anyone.
Some studies have shown that rubber mulch can contain chemicals that will infect the water, and then end up hurting marine life. Some say that tiny amounts of zinc that are found in rubber will also get into the ground eventually. Depending on where you live, and whether or not your dirt needs zinc, this could be a bad or a good thing.
If you are not sure about rubber mulch, and it possibly being harmful to your plants and ground then it is best to just use it on playgrounds or to make trails or paths. It is safe to use on playgrounds as long as the kids are not eating it. The reason it is recommended in these places is because it does not wash away like sand or organic mulch does. It stays in place rain after rain, and you do not have to keep filling it in.
You can find rubber mulch sold everywhere. Try the garden section of your local home improvement store, and maybe even online. With all of the different brands of rubber mulch that are on the market, you may find that one brand is safer and more recommended than another. In the end, it is your decision which mulch you use and where you use it.
If you're considering using it in your landscaping and flower beds, try getting a kit and testing your soil for the zinc level first. If your soil seems to be low on zinc, the rubber mulch will probably do wonders for your plants and soil.
While the makers of rubber mulch claim that it is safe to use and better for the environment, this is something that you just really have to go with your gut on. No one has been able to prove that it is not safe. If you feel better about using mulch that is made out of rubber and old discarded tires, by all means use it.
My personal experience using rubber mulch has been really good. We've used it on several small landscaping projects. The newly planted shrubs and plants seemed to actually do better with it than some we had done at other sites where we had used real mulch.
I didn't do a soil test but soil ph could have had something to do with it.
I think rubber mulch use will continue to grow in the coming years. I know I like it and will keep using it on more and more upcoming landscaping projects in the coming months.