Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Is Playground Mulch OK for gardening

Posted by roxpiper Zone 9 (My Page) on
Sun, May 13, 07 at 16:04

A friend of our was planning to install a playground and then changed his mind. He has a LOT of playground mulch ("engineered wood mulch") that he's willing to give away for free. We plan to use some of it for our son's playset, but is it OK to use the rest of it for our garden beds? Is there any reason not to?

Thanks,

roxanne


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Is Playground Mulch OK for gardening

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Sun, May 13, 07 at 18:13

The best reason not to use it on beds is it doesn't provide any nutrients to the soil.

I'd feel comfortable using it on non-growing areas, like pathways and such, but I prefer my mulch to break down and add good organic matter to the soil.


 o
RE: Is Playground Mulch OK for gardening

Any wood mulch product will eventually break down and can supply nutrients back to the soil - it just takes longer than most other types of organic mulches. Playground mulch is not all that different from using bark or wood chips as a mulch, although I would refrain from using it to mulch edible crops (glues and other additives may leach some potential toxins) and for shallow rooted plants like annual or perennials where there may be some nitrogen depletion at the soil surface, but it is fine to use around woody plants like trees and shrubs.


 o
RE: Is Playground Mulch OK for gardening

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, May 14, 07 at 6:21

My mistake. The first thing that leapt into my mind when I read "engineered wood mulch" was the crumb rubber being sold for playground cover.


 o
RE: Is Playground Mulch OK for gardening

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 14, 07 at 17:15

For the Camano garden we buy cedar play chips specifically for mulching all plants, including herbaceous ones. Like them much better than bark or other smelly, crust-forming moldy mulches.

For the other place we use free wood chips from an arborist. Not as clean and uniform as the purchased cedar play chips and very moldy (at first) but works great otherwise - except the time giant morning glory (Calystegia sepium) came with some.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bark Mulch


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here