Playground Mulch Offers a Softer Surface

Playground with Mulch

Playground Mulch Offers a Softer Surface

Playgrounds are a lot of fun – that is until a child takes a tumble off a swing set or a slide. But when a playground is covered in soft mulch, falls are more likely to be a minor inconvenience, rather than a painful reminder of the power of gravity.

Unlike traditional landscaping mulch, which has larger, irregular-shaped wood chips, the wood chips in playground mulch are 1 inch or smaller, resulting in a soft, uniform texture.

Easy maintenance

Playground mulch is easy to maintain – just rake it periodically, or fluff it with a pitchfork, to help it maintain its springiness. When applied in a layer about three inches thick, this all-natural playground covering will impede weed growth, making the play area even easier to maintain.

Rubber playground mulch

The equally forgiving rubber playground mulch is another affordable way to create a soft surface in play spaces. It won’t degrade in the way natural wood mulch will over time, and its color is resistant to fading.

Rubber mulch is made from recycled tires (with the supporting steel removed). It may be superior in cushioning falls and in preventing weed growth, because it doesn’t hold water and give seeds a place to take root like natural wood mulch does.

Which is best?

Rubber mulch and natural wood mulch are both good choices for playgrounds, and picking one or the other is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the look and feel of natural mulch, while others prefer the durability and color options available with rubber mulch.

Some playgrounds are built on grass, and initially, grass may provide a soft surface that cushions falls. But grass wears away under repeated foot traffic, leaving dirt patches that harden and become muddy when rain falls. Either wood or rubber mulch would be a better alternative to grass on playgrounds.

Playground mulch is an affordable, easy-to-maintain option for improving the appearance and safety of outdoor play spaces. It also takes relatively little effort to install. Whether you’re using a few bags of mulch in a backyard play area, or a truckload of mulch on a public playground, you can easily spread wood or rubber mulch with a rake, then lightly water it to achieve a consistent top layer.



two people shopping for plants

Residential Rubber Mulch: Reduce Landscaping Cost and Maintenance

Rubber mulch is a preferred buffer for playgrounds, sports fields, military training fields and equestrian areas because it is a soft, springy surface–kinder for children, athletes and any situation that invites falls and injuries. The material also holds great benefit for residential lawns, giving homeowners a means to reduce the cost and amount of yard work. How and why should you consider rubber mulch in your yard? Read on.  

The material is straightforward: rubber mulch is made from recycled tires that might otherwise sit in a landfill. In your yard, however, the mulch is productive:

Resists insects, including termites. The last thing a homeowner needs are pests. Wood mulch invites termites and carpenter ants, which can be enormously destructive to the structure of a home. Rubber mulch, however, is a deterrent and can form a protective buffer, making it an ideal to use in flower beds surrounding the house.

Reduces maintenance and stays color true. Wood mulch generally needs to be replaced annually, because the color fades and organic material breaks down. Rubber mulch, however, can last for 10 years or more, retaining its vibrant color and functionality.

Stays put and lets rain drain. After a rainstorm or windy weather, you may have to clean up wood mulch and restore it to various beds. But rubber mulch stays put. It’s heavier, and it doesn’t absorb water the way wood mulch does. Water and fertilizer are able to drain into plants and soil more efficiently, which allows you to get greater results from lesser effort.   

Prevents new weeds. If weeds are already rooted, rubber mulch won’t necessarily stop growth.  You’ll likely have to weed these by hand. But rubber is much more effective at blocking airborne seeds from reaching the soil and germinating. This can be a boon for preventing stubborn weeds from taking root and developing.

Odor-free. Don’t let tire material fool you: rubber mulch is fairly odorless when it’s been laid down, and for homeowners who are plagued with the smell of decomposing wood, the rubber alternative is a godsend.

Gives plants breathing room. Wood mulch can clump and suffocate plants, but rubber doesn’t have the same qualities. It spreads and stays evenly distributed, so your plants have more space and opportunity to breathe.

Want to give rubber mulch a try? We’d be happy to talk you through questions and color options, including our most popular: red, brown and uncolored. Contact us today!