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How Will Rubber Mulch Affect My Weed Growth?

March 10, 2016



Rubber Mulch's Affect on Weeds 


One of the best traits of rubber mulch for garden or landscaping use is it can inhibit the growth of weeds. It offers unique anti-weed properties which most organic mulches can’t.

This doesn’t mean that you can give up weeding your garden manually, though. Preparing your yard or garden for colder seasons or new plants necessitates pulling out weeds and disposing of them by hand before applying rubber mulch.

A sufficient layer of rubber mulch will smother weed germination

Many might argue that any kind of mulch, when applied liberally, will do this very thing anyway. The difference with rubber mulch is that, with its almost-uniform size and sufficient weight, applying and spreading it all over soil becomes easier. An evenly-spread layer of rubber mulch will block out any light to suppress weed germination, even during winter when you don’t have the luxury of checking your plants constantly. Add a weed fabric into the mix, and you can rest easy about weeds taking over your garden.

Also note that playgrounds, athletic fields, and horse arenas covered by rubber mulch are weed-free precisely because they are applied in even layers to discourage weed growth.

Rubber mulch won’t sink to the ground or float away

Why does this matter for weeds? Because there won’t be any gaps for weed spores to land on in the soil. Even in an area that’s always wet or windy, rubber mulch likely won't get dislodged.

In the event that a breeze carries and spreads spores onto your garden, you won’t have to worry about them getting beyond your rubber mulch barrier and down to your precious plants. Again, for added peace of mind, you may want to consider applying a weed-blocking fabric before applying rubber mulch.

Artillery fungi won’t grow on rubber

artillary fungus

Artillery fungi come in the form of small black spots that you might find on your garden or patio furniture, and any object in close proximity to your plants and garden soil. They are enemies of landscapes and gardens because artillery fungi can shoot their spores up to ten feet high (even higher in windy conditions). The odds of your plants not getting affected by this wood-decaying fungus is next to none. If you’ve been using organic mulch that decays and rots with moisture and other elements, the likelihood of getting artillery fungi into your garden and plants has just gotten even higher.

The great news about rubber mulch? Artillery fungus won’t grow on it. Even if it lands on your rubber mulch barrier, the spores will be hard-pressed to get through and affect your soil and roots.