How to Make Rubber Mulch

Overview

Rubber mulch is the one of the newest products to come to the market and is used on playgrounds, gardens and landscaping. It's popularity comes from the need to save precious resources. It's other advantage is it's durability. Rubber mulch doesn't blow away as readily as organic mulch and is not biodegradable. Rubber mulch generally is made in factories with special machinery. Rubber mulch can be made at home with the proper equipment and patience.

Step 1

Collect worn out or used rubber tires from autos, trucks, bicycles, airplanes or motorcycles. Remove any steel belting from the tires with a chisel and pliers. Find tires without steel belting if possible to avoid what can be a long, arduous process.

Step 2

Grind up the tires with a heavy-duty shredder, carefully following the manufacturer's instructions. These types of shredders usually are available at rental centers, but be sure the shredder is powerful enough to accomplish the task of grinding rubber into mulch.

Step 3

Paint the shredded tires with a product suitable for rubber. These types of paint are available at most home improvement centers.

Step 4

Place the rubber pieces on a tarp and away from other objects. Spray a thin layer of paint over the chips. Let them dry and give them a second coat.

Step 5

Turn the rubber pieces with a rake and paint the other sides. Let the pieces dry. Repeat paiting until the shredded tires are completely covered and dry. The homemade rubber mulch is now ready to use.

Step 6

Spread the rubber mulch on your garden or landscaping ground at a thickness of 1 to 2 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear protective gloves when removing steel belting. Leave about 2 inches of rubber mulch around each plant to discourage pests. More that 2 inches of mulch could restrict water from getting to the plant roots, smothering them or causing them to grow too close to the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Old tires
  • Chisel
  • Pliers
  • Heavy-duty shredder
  • Tarp
  • Paint
  • Paint sprayer
  • Rake

References

  • Lowe's: Landscaping with Mulch
Keywords: rubber mulch, make rubber mulch, re-use tires