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Rubber Mulch vs. Wood Mulch: Pros and Cons

By taufiqhaque

Landscaping has been a progressive area, with several techniques and methods to make it appear better and durable. Mulching is one method that strengthens your garden beds through rubber or wood mulch and makes them aesthetically pleasing.  Moreover, it improves the overall health of your garden by taking out any weed growth, stabilizing the soil temperature, and conserving any soil moisture. Mulches come in two categories- rubber vs. wood mulch. To know details about these types, keep reading!

Rubber Mulch in Tiny Homes

Mulch is made of organic materials most of the time- like wood or barks. Apart from that, recycled rubber is also used to make the mulch for your garden. The repurposed rubber provides mats to all kinds of playground surfaces for your garden; it ensures all the tiny details are fulfilled. 

Using rubber mulch gives you a smooth finish and satisfaction from your garden bed- the perfect addition to your tiny home. If you’re wondering how much is rubber mulch, you need to be aware that it is pricier than the other options in the market. Due to the repurposing, the prices tend to be higher than thural elements; it increases your tiny home in value. 

Wood Mulch in Tiny Homes

Wood mulch is a more naturally occurring product. Most of the mulch you shall come across while surfing for your garden beds for your tiny homes shall be made of wood. They are easily available and a cheaper option as well. The wood mulch provides necessary support to your garden bed and does not hamper the overall soil composition either- leaving your tiny home safe and protected.

Rubber Mulch: Pros and Cons

To understand the rubber mulch vs. wood mulch approach, it’s essential to get to know the pros and cons of each one first. Only then can you choose between rubber vs. wood mulch, according to your preferences as well.

Pros

No water absorption

First off, rubber mulch does not absorb water. This prevents any water from being soaked into your garden beds and hampering the composition. A waterproof or water-resistant mulch shall last longer as it will be dry and stay strong for a longer period.

Fungus inhibition

The next takeaway of rubber vs. wood mulch is that rubber mulch restrains any fungal growth. This ensures that your garden bed is in good health and no contamination is making its way through the mulch. 

Furthermore, the rubber mulch inhibits mold growth; due to not absorbing water, the chances of mold growth are reduced. With no fungus and mold growth, your garden shall be perfect to last for long without maintenance- with proper health, too!

Insulation

Rubber mulch serves as an excellent insulator for your soil. In the hot weather, the harsh sun rays and humidity will eventually get to your soil and affect it- not in a positive way. The heat and harshness will make your garden bed wither away faster due to excessive dryness. 

As a major point of the rubber mulch vs. wood mulch battle, rubber mulch provides insulation to your soil against the heat. This protects your soil and ensures no dryness occurs. Soil health is vital for your garden bed.

Appearance

Rubber mulch gives you an aesthetic outcome; it serves you the garden bed of your dreams. Whichever design you prefer, it can be carried out through rubber mulch. Moreover, it lasts longer than the other mulches; you don’t need to worry about it withering away.

Cons

Non-biodegradable

Rubber is not biodegradable. It doesn’t decompose back into the soil; this makes the process not environment-friendly at all. With non-biodegradable components, you shall leave residue after everything else has withered away and decomposed. You’ll need to get rid of the mulches separately.

No soil enrichment

Even though rubber mulches prevent weed growth, they do not provide any nutrition to the soil. It is an unnatural compound with no natural ingredients; no soil enrichment is done.

Hazardous

Rubber mulches might be hazardous to use in garden beds. They have a risk of exploding if ignited; burning rubber is never a good sign.

Hard to remove 

Once it has been settled into the base, you cannot move a rubber mulch. You either place it correctly in the first go; it cannot be replaced or corrected. Moreover, the non-biodegradable feature makes it tough to get rid of.

Soil contamination

Since the repurposed rubber is made of tires, it might not be processed well. How much is rubber mulch determined by the entire process dedicated to recycling them- if the process is faulty, the soil health may be jeopardized. 

Wood Mulch: Pros and Cons

On the showdown of rubber mulch vs. wood mulch, let’s discuss the pros and cons that come with wood mulch- a more natural method.

Pros

Biodegradable

Wood is biodegradable. This makes it environment friendly as it shall decompose back into the soil, unlike rubber mulches.

Low energy consumption

In rubber vs. wood mulch, wood mulches have the upper hand of eco-friendliness. Wood mulches use less energy and leave a lower carbon footprint.

Non-toxic

The natural elements used in the overall process of wood mulch are non-toxic; vegetable-based dyes are used instead of dyes, including corroding materials.

Cons

Quick degrading

The biodegradation happens quite fast; meaning, your garden bed shall not last that long. It needs replacement and maintenance in regular intervals- something you could have avoided in rubber mulches.

Removal of nitrogen nutrients

Out of the rubber vs. wood mulch, the main drawback of wood is that it extracts nitrogen nutrients during its decomposition. This leaves the soil in lower health; you need to ensure the soil health since wood mulch degrades fast.

Bottom Line

In the rubber mulch vs. wood mulch, each category has its own set of pros and cons. The choice depends on your preference and priorities- if you’re more inclined towards how much is rubber mulch or wood mulch- the price matters to you. In other cases, the quality and appearance might matter- whichever it is, make sure you pick the one that appeals the best to your satisfaction!

You can also read: Is it cheaper to build or buy a tiny house?

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