Recycled tire mulch can be a good alternative to other forms of garden mulch.
Mulch is commonly used in gardens to help to reduce weeds and to preserve the water in the soil. There are many forms of garden mulch - some of the most common mulches used in gardens are mulches made from chipped wood and bark, small stones or gravel and lava. These each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Wood mulch, for instance, looks attractive and is an environmentally friendly form of mulch, however it will decompose and can blow away on blustery days. Gravel and stones can be used to create precise designs, however the pieces can also sink into the soil. One of the common complaints with most types of mulch is that it needs replacing or replenishing on a regular basis.
About Recycled Tire Mulch
One interesting alternative to traditional mulch is rubber chips which are made from recycled tires. These rubber chips can be used in the same way as traditional mulches and can also be used as a safe surface in play areas. Recycled tire mulch has many benefits, including:
- Environmentally friendly - because recycled tire mulch is made from worn out tires, this process saves tires from entering the waste system.
- Does not blow away - recycled tire mulch is relatively heavy and will stay put after it has been laid. This makes it ideal for formal garden landscape designs.
- Insulation - the rubber helps to keep the frost from the soil in the winter and to protect the soil from extreme heat in the summer, while allowing rainwater to seep through to the soil.
- Color - many recycled tire chips are available in a range of colors which allows striking landscape designs to be planned.
- Long lasting - tire chips are long lasting and rarely require replenishing.
Pros and Cons of Using Tire Chips as Mulch
While there are undoubted benefits of using tire mulch in the garden, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. One of these is the very nature of the product. The fact that tire chips will not decompose and will last a lifetime, means that consideration needs to be given to disposing of them if and when they are no longer required. Another issue that should be considered is whether there is any danger of chemicals from the tires leaching into the soil. While companies who manufacture and sell recycled tire mulch state it is non-toxic, some environmentalist groups such as EHHI have expressed concerns about its use.
Other Ways to Recycle Tires in Your Garden
As well as using recycled tires in your garden as mulch, there are other ways that tires can be used. Tires can be stacked up on top of each other and used as plant pots. This is also a great way to grow potatoes in a small area. Stacking the tires on top of each other gives plenty of space for the potatoes to grow and means that they can be grown in even a small back yard. Tires can also be used to make compost bins and this is a great way to make a compost bin at home. The rubber insulates the compost and keeps it at a relatively constant temperature which is necessary to produce good quality compost.
Mulch from recycled tires is a good way to reuse worn out and unwanted tires. As well as being useful in the garden it can be a safe, as well as environmentally friendly, option for children's play areas.