Artificial mulch

yomamanem(7B Georgia)November 24, 2005

I have a problem area where I would like to use artificial mulch such as the product made from shredded tires. I have found a local store that carries it (or rather, orders it). It looks pretty much like pine bark mulch. Anyway, I was very disappointed at the prohibitively high price. I naively thought that since there are billions of old tires that need recycling that it would be cheap. Of course, the artificial pine straw is very expensive also. So much for that.

Has anyone used any of these products?

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I personally have little interest in artificials, as I like the soil conditioned by organic materials.

I admit though, that I have seen the chopped up tires used a site in Kissimee, FL. Nice looking and the plants' roots seem to move through the soil and mulch and anchor themselves very well. It appears to not need replenishment as it does not biodegrade.

I don't know where you could go nearby to view this; I was at Tropical Palms Resorts - Campers and Cabañas.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 6:57PM
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travelergt4(z7 GA)

fake pine straw to me seems insane - when the leaves fall, you can't pull out the leaves without removing some of your straw with it, and at the cost of the fake stuff, why? The fake mulch though, for playgrounds and walking paths, seems like it might work well. however, to me the plastic free garden is always cooler and more natural.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 1:40PM
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I agree. I've also seen shredded roof shingles in (where else) Florida. Think it's better for playgrounds. When I go to plant something in a mulched area then some of the pinestraw winds up in the planting hole. I don't think you want synthetic mulch to accidently get into the planting hole.

The recycled tires used are not automotive tires, they are forklift tires which don't have steel belts. I know there's lots of fork lifts out there but whether they are recycled or not... who knows. Especially since they much smaller and fit in dumpsters easily.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:44PM
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yomamanem(7B Georgia)

Thanks for the interesting information. I have recently seen some artificial pine straw used in commercial areas and it really does look like pine straw. Someone said it was made from recycled plastic bags. It looks nice, but I agree that leaves get in it and that is a problem. The mulch is really good for playgrounds and paths. My problem area is in a secluded alcove where I have 4 air conditioner units. I don't need any soil or real mulch because it is a potential water problem for the house at a low spot.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 6:16PM
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goingsouth(z7 GA)

I have no opinion on the artificial mulch....but if you are looking for something to cover a low area around those AC units how about some nice pebbles or rock? No water problem and could be made to look nice.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:04PM
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yomamanem(7B Georgia)

Pebbles....most excellent idea, and at a reasonable cost.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:13PM
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I think pinestraw near the A/C units is a bad idea for another reason. One time I saw where there was pinestraw piled up all around those things at an apartment complex and it caught on fire. I don't know how it happened and no one else seemed to know either. Luckily a bunch of people were standing around and noticed it and put it out or else it would have become a major fire.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 10:09AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I'm a pea gravel-aholic. I also like the colored round stones you can find by the bag. They actually had some with a purplish tint. I love 'em!
Much nicer than plastic mulch!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:04PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Another unpleasant characteristic of the recycled tire mulch is the smell. On hot days it can be overpowering. For small areas this wouldn't be such an issue, but what a catastrophe for playgrounds, parking lots, picnic grounds, parks, etc.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 10:31AM
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pam_3(GA 7b)

My almost 2 year old and his buddies LOVE to play with the mulch (wood chips) at the playground. It's almost as fun as the slide! A lot of the smaller kids will put it in their mouths. I'm not sure I want my kid chewing on an old tire.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 12:18PM
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I purchased Textraw artificial pine straw for my home with high hopes. It discolored and Textraw is not honoring their warranty. I've gotten shifted from one person to another (on the third one now) and it has been months. They've acknowledged that I have a legitimate claim and have not come forth to replace the product.

AVOID Textraw at all costs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:09PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Yom, I have a similar spot in the back, full shade, very wet, where my AC units are. It used to be swampy and weedy. After we had our yard graded and buried the drains from the inside AC units, we put landscape fabric down around the AC units and then put pond pebbles around them. It allows any moisture through, but prevents that muddy weedy condition. I would recommend putting some kind of edging around to keep the pebbles in place.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:25AM
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