Rubber Mulch vs. Organic Mulch

Mulch is an essential component in every yard and garden. It helps retain moisture in the soil, prevents weed growth, and regulates soil temperature, among other things. There are numerous mulch options available, ranging from rubber to organic mulch. When deciding which type to use in your garden, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. To help you make the best choice for your yard, we have compared rubber mulch and organic mulch, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to learn which mulch will do the most for your landscape!

What Is Rubber Mulch?

rubber mulch up close

Rubber mulch is a type of inorganic mulch made from recycled tires or other recycled rubbers. It is produced in a black color due to the color of the recycled materials, but it is often dyed in a variety of other colors for different aesthetics. The shredded tires (or rubber from other sources) are processed and dyed before being used as mulch. One of the biggest advantages of rubber mulch is that it lasts longer than organic mulch, up to ten years or more. This is because, unlike organic mulch types, rubber mulch does not decompose. Once you put the rubber mulch into place, it will continue to make your yard beautiful and unique for years to come, and you don’t have to worry about much of the maintenance and replacement efforts that come with organic mulch.

Though rubber mulch is a great option for a unique and long-lasting landscape, there are several drawbacks to consider. It can leach chemicals into the soil, posing a risk to plants and animals. This is especially true if it’s not installed correctly, or if the type of rubber mulch you get is overly processed with chemicals and dyes. Rubber mulch is also non-porous; thus, it doesn’t allow water or air to pass through. If your main concern as a gardener is being as green and eco-friendly as possible, rubber mulch may not be the best option. However, there is no denying the appeal of rubber mulch’s aesthetics, and there are still many benefits it can provide to your yard.

Benefits Of Rubber Mulch

red rubber mulch

Rubber mulch actually provides some of the same primary functions as organic mulch. If weed control is your top priority when it comes to mulch installation, rubber mulches can help! Just like organic mulch, rubber mulches block out sunlight and suffocate weeds that may be trying to emerge in your gardens. Rubber mulches also have the important benefit of not attracting pests! As organic mulch decomposes and even rots, they tend to attract all sorts of unwanted pests. Rubber mulch, on the other hand, will repel water and fungal diseases, meaning a pest-free and weed-free yard that looks great! Below are some of the most desirable benefits of rubber mulch:

  • More options/colors
  • Less maintenance
  • Long-lasting
  • Insulates soil
  • Prevents weeds
  • Does not attract pests

What Is Organic Mulch?


Organic mulch is made from natural materials, the most popular of which is wood chips. It is an excellent way of recycling organic matter while also nourishing the soil. Premium, organic mulch is typically made from hardwood and/or bark shavings from trees. Though these materials will need to be replaced as they decompose, they provide your yard with the invaluable benefit of actually improving soil quality. Rubber mulches do protect the soil from certain things, but they do nothing to actively improve the quality of the soil. Organic mulch is simply the best option for anyone looking to improve the health of their yard through mulching.

Organic mulch will need to be replaced every year or two due to its propensity for decomposing. Though it is cheaper to purchase than rubber mulch, the frequent replacements needed will make organic mulch a bit more expensive in the long run. As a lawn care company, of course, we must stress that the price of replacing mulch is nothing compared to the price of an undernourished yard. Rubber mulch can not provide the same type of protection and improvements to your soil that organic mulch provides, which can easily lead to damaged gardens and lawns that will require very costly repairs!

Benefits Of Organic Mulch

As premium wood/organic mulches decompose, they release nutrients into the soil below. Organic mulch encourages soil microbes to break down the nutrients, improving the soil’s texture and fertility. It also controls soil erosion, especially in sloping areas, and reduces compaction, which is essential for plant growth. If you are looking for the best mulch option for the sustained health of your yard, keep the main benefits of organic mulch in mind:

  • Weed control
  • Disease control
  • Crusting prevention
  • Erosion protection
  • Temperature regulation 
  • Moisture retention

More Inorganic Mulch Types

Besides rubber mulch, various other inorganic mulches can be used in gardens that do not decompose. Some examples include rock, plastic, gravel, landscape fabric, and more. These mulches have their advantages, such as durability and the ability to control soil erosion, and all inorganic mulches will last longer than organic mulches. However, these options have fewer benefits than organic mulches in terms of nurturing the soil and supporting plant growth. Homeowners enjoy the variety of styles they get from inorganic mulches, but there is no substitute for the real thing!

More Organic Mulch Types

Organic Mulch

Apart from wood chips, there are numerous other types of organic mulches that gardeners can utilize, which include straw, grass clippings, leaves, compost, and others. All of these various forms of organic mulch decompose over time, contributing to soil health by enhancing its structure, improving its fertility, and increasing its moisture retention capacity. While they may not last as long as their inorganic counterparts, organic mulches offer the significant advantage of improving the soil and promoting plant growth. These mulches add a natural aesthetic to any landscape, and their benefits to soil and plants frequently make them the mulch of choice for many gardeners.

Choose Premium Organic Mulch For A Better Yard

Premium Mulch Installation

Though both rubber and other inorganic mulches have their distinctive benefits, particularly in terms of durability and aesthetic appeal, organic mulches reign superior for natural yard health. Premium wood chips are the best option, and they do more than just protect the soil from the elements; they actively contribute to the betterment of soil quality, enriching it with essential nutrients and fostering an ecosystem conducive to robust plant growth. For those prioritizing the vitality and longevity of their garden, premium organic wood chip mulch is the only choice. Contact Tuxedo Yard Care today to start decorating and protecting your soil in northern Utah! 

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