Rubber mulch question

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MeanDean
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Rubber mulch question

Post by MeanDean » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:02 am

Not sure if this is related to our rubber mulch or not but everything we plant in our flower beds die besides a few shrubs and our Japanese maple.

We've planted numerous annuals and perennials and they all seem to die within a few weeks.

They get plenty of water, mixture of native clay soil, with a potting soil/compost mix, and still don't survive.

We recently purchased some Carex Everest pictured below that looked great when they were first planted and now they're turning brown. I thought about digging them up and repotting just to save them.

The rubber mulch we have is supposed to be free of chemicals but some say rubber still releases stuff into the soil and I believe it also gets hotter than regular mulch but I don't know why nothing will grow in our beds with the exception of a few shrubs.

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Last edited by MeanDean on Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by stotea » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:25 am

Seems odd. Can you try relocating some plants to where there's no mulch, maybe even to a planter?

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OnyxsLawn
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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by OnyxsLawn » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:02 am

Rubber mulch doesn't help hold moisture or cool the roots of new plants like wood mulch. I would do an experiment by getting two cheap flowers and planting them side by side one surrounded by rubber mulch and one with a cheap bag of mulch. for $10 you should be able to answer the question if it's the mulch or not. Past that I would do a soil test of the beds to make sure you aren't deficient on any nutrients. What is "plenty of water"?

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by MeanDean » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:27 am

OnyxsLawn wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:02 am
Rubber mulch doesn't help hold moisture or cool the roots of new plants like wood mulch. I would do an experiment by getting two cheap flowers and planting them side by side one surrounded by rubber mulch and one with a cheap bag of mulch. for $10 you should be able to answer the question if it's the mulch or not. Past that I would do a soil test of the beds to make sure you aren't deficient on any nutrients. What is "plenty of water"?
I thought about doing a soil test of that area to see what's going on. I just sent one off for my lawn but not the flowerbeds specifically.

Plenty of water means I water every other day or every 2 days if it hasn't rained or rain in the forecast.

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by TN Hawkeye » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:47 am

MeanDean wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:27 am
OnyxsLawn wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:02 am
Rubber mulch doesn't help hold moisture or cool the roots of new plants like wood mulch. I would do an experiment by getting two cheap flowers and planting them side by side one surrounded by rubber mulch and one with a cheap bag of mulch. for $10 you should be able to answer the question if it's the mulch or not. Past that I would do a soil test of the beds to make sure you aren't deficient on any nutrients. What is "plenty of water"?
I thought about doing a soil test of that area to see what's going on. I just sent one off for my lawn but not the flowerbeds specifically.

Plenty of water means I water every other day or every 2 days if it hasn't rained or rain in the forecast.
I can confirm that the rubber mulch gets hotter. When we applied 4” of rubber mulch around our kids swing set the immediately began wearing shoes while playing. I don’t know about down 4” but the surface was noticeably hotter than the wood mulch in the next planter. Maybe the radiant heat is frying the plants from the ground up?
I may not have the best lawn and I may not have a clue what I’m doing but that’s pretty much all I have to say.

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Mightyquinn
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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by Mightyquinn » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:20 pm

I've had rubber mulch in my beds for a few years now and I haven't noticed any negative effects from it. I really enjoy it since I don't have to "re-mulch" the beds every year.

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by MeanDean » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:21 am

Mightyquinn wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:20 pm
I've had rubber mulch in my beds for a few years now and I haven't noticed any negative effects from it. I really enjoy it since I don't have to "re-mulch" the beds every year.
What type of plants do you have in your beds? Could be coincidental but it seems my shrubs and other small trees where the foliage is higher above the ground do fine but any low ground cover plants appear to be getting burned.

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Mightyquinn
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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by Mightyquinn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am

I have a little bit of both of bushes and ground cover and they both seem to do fine. I do have an occasional new plant die but I think it’s more on me then the environment.

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by MeanDean » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:12 am

Mightyquinn wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:11 am
I have a little bit of both of bushes and ground cover and they both seem to do fine. I do have an occasional new plant die but I think it’s more on me then the environment.
So far everything I've planted took a turn for the worst besides a few shrubs and a Japanese Maple.

All the flowers/ground coverings were planted in a mix of native clay soil, mushroom compost, and potting soil. I'm going to pull up the Carex Everest before they die completely. I do have a local Clemson Extension office that will do soil samples for $6. I just submitted one for my lawn but didn't do the flowerbeds. Not sure how much it would vary from the rest of the lawn but if it's worth testing separately I certainly can.

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Re: Rubber mulch question

Post by Suburban Jungle Life » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:18 am

Is it possible that new rubber mulch is releasing chemicals for a while before it stops?

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