Rubber mulch vs. wood mulch

The choice between using rubber mulch or wood mulch in your garden is not an easy decision. Different mulches benefit your soil in different ways and present unique challenges, including possible toxicity, infestation, and the overall cost in terms of labor and out-of-pocket expenses.


Contrary to popular belief, both wood chip mulch and tire mulch can leach toxins into your soil.Wood mulch products often use stained woods, old pallets that have been milled, and other woods that were used in industrial capacities. These woods can contain arsenic and creosote, among other by-products. Unfortunately, due to the reclaimed and used nature of most mulch material, the only way to ensure that your wood mulch is immune to such problems is to use mulch made from tree bark that has not been treated or used for another. purpose.Rubber mulch for landscaping is made up of shredded tires that have gone out of service. While rubber can only spill zinc on the ground below, the real danger comes from all the other chemicals that come along during the ride. If you consider this material to be from used tires, it means that any chemicals that those tires have come in contact with could be transferred to your yard.



When it comes to bug infestation, rubber padding wins the game. Rubber mulch does not attract termites because it is not made of the kind of organic material that they like to travel and settle through. Pests are attracted to wet, rotten wood in wood mulch. Termites not only use wood mulch for travel, but also for biting.


If you are concerned about a mold infestation, the rubber mulch reappears on top. Rubber tire cushioning reduces mold and weed growth by dehydrating most weed seeds and spores before they can reach the ground.Wood mulch, on the other hand, can allow termite infestation and fungal growth. In addition to this, wood mulch can breed “artillery” fungi that can stain nearby cars and homes with fungal spores that, once dried, remain forever.

Unique benefits

This depends on the types of benefits you are looking for. The rubber mulch provides excellent drainage for the soil and provides excellent insulation against harsh weather. It allows us to maintain a higher degree of heat in the soil and better maintains humidity levels.While mulch with wood chips can provide long-term benefits for the soil as it breaks down over time, it is also rich in carbon. Carbon will seek nitrogen to help it break down in the soil. Nitrogen is a highly beneficial component. In the right circumstances, wood mulch can actually steal nutritious nitrogen from the plants it is meant to protect.

General cost comparison

If you go shopping for either option, wood padding is much cheaper on store shelves compared to rubber padding. However, since rubber padding lasts longer and requires no annual reshipment or repurchase, its relatively high cost per bag is ultimately outweighed by its longevity. Wood mulch fades require repurchase every one to two years and can cause termite problems, which can increase labor and out-of-pocket costs.


While the wood vs. Rubber endures because these two varieties of mulch are so common, other options are available, such as gravel or rock mulch, grass clippings, straw mulch, and many others.

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