How to Landscape With Rubber Mulch


One of the obvious benefits of recycling materials that have been filling our landfills is the myriad of creative uses that are being generated for trash. Rubber tires have been a challenge to use since the rubber has been vulcanized and is very slow to decompose. Grinding the tires into crumbs and using them for mulch is one of the innovative use for the old tires. You can purchase this rubber mulch for use in your yard for these applications.

Step 1

Apply rubber mulch under your permanent shrubs. The mulch will conserve moisture from evaporating into the air and will provide warmth to the soil by absorbing the sun's rays. The rubber will not decompose like wood chips which provide an acid environment for the shrubs. If your shrubs need the acid, you will need to add fertilizers to compensate for the lack.

Step 2

Fill in pathways around your home with the rubber mulch. It is comfortable to walk on since it retains its rubbery texture. It will suppress weeds if it is applied thick enough (4 or more inches). It tends to break down much slower than the typical wood chips so you will not have to re-apply it as often.

Step 3

Cover your driveway with the chipped rubber mulch. It does not float like wood mulch and therefore will not wash away with heavy rains. It is a great sound absorber and will last for several years.

Step 4

Pile the area under your child's swing set with the rubber mulch. It acts not only as a weed barrier and erosion inhibitor, but also as a shock absorber, reducing their risk of injury from falling.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake


  • Environmental Protection Agency: Ground Rubber Applications
  • Kentucky Government: Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Keywords: rubber crumb, mulch recycled, landscaping

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.