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.
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.