What Is Playground Mulch?

Rubber mulch is often manufactured from recycled tires.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 April 2014
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Playground mulch is a type of mulch designed to be used on playgrounds and yards in which children are likely to play. It is made using small pieces of rubber, sometimes recycled from old tires and similar sources, and is designed to allow children to avoid injury more easily due to the soft texture and bounciness of the mulch. This type of mulch is fairly affordable, resilient, and can be found in a wide array of bright colors to complement just about any kind of yard, park, or playground. Playground mulch can also be used in gardens, flowerbeds, and around trees in a way similar to other types of mulch.

Sometimes called rubber mulch, playground mulch is made out of small pieces of rubber, usually in chunks or circles. The rubber is typically cleaned and made in a way that is in accordance with child safety standards, though it should not be eaten. This means that smaller children should be watched when playing in an area covered with playground mulch. It is sold in bags and can be used to cover ground areas of any size.


As long as enough of the playground mulch is used to create a sturdy but soft surface for children to play in, the mulch will provide a fairly safe environment for kids. Children falling on the playground mulch are less likely to be injured than children falling on concrete or even grass and dirt. The rubber will absorb much of the impact of a fall, and it can be easier for kids to run and play on. This type of mulch is also typically designed to ensure quick water drainage, allowing children to play on it after only a short time following heavy rain, without creating a slippery surface.

Playground mulch can be found in a wide variety of colors, though red, black, green, and blue may be the most common. An area of mulch can be contained using rubber curbs around the mulch, keeping the mulch from spreading too much while still providing a safe, protective area for play. Playground mulch can also be used around plants such as bushes and trees much like other types of mulch. The rubber will allow moisture to pass and reach the ground to ensure the plants remain properly watered, while preventing weeds from being able to pass through. This mulch can also help keep root systems and plant bases warm, though other sources of nutrients may be needed as well.


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