We need to buy recycled rubber!

Why we should buy recycled rubber products…

Come 2021, rubber tire usage is predicted to increase by approximately 60%. Add that projection to the current 200 million already lying around—with some 100,000 pieces being taken off automobiles on a daily basis and with only 35% of this getting recycled—and the number becomes even more staggering.

Now consider this: tires need decades to break down, and even then, they do not totally decompose. This, of course, poses numerous problems.

Problems such as:

Hazardous Emissions

Tire burning—a practice done in cement production, where at least 50% of recycled tires are used as replacement fuel—causes a 500% increase in dust particles and a tenfold increase in Sulphur dioxide. For environmental and health activists alike, these numbers ought to not be ignored.

Add up the toxins produced from tire decomposition alone, which have been found out to cause lead contamination in the soil, and the whole scenario of tires accumulating in vacant lots and whatnot becomes rather dreary.

Overcrowded Landfills

rubber tire pile

So far only 11 states have banned the dumping of tire waste in landfills. Rubber products still constitute at least 2% of total solid waste currently found in landfills at any given time. In 2007 alone, millions of tons of tires were dumped into already heavily clogged landfills. Space for other wastes is becoming more and more scarce.

Infestation

Tires discarded poorly can cause water/moisture accumulation. This, in turn, could lead to infestation: mosquitoes, rodents, and other kinds of pests. The presence of these pests, as warned by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could trigger vector-borne diseases—encephalitis being the most obvious.

Tires and rubber products in general are essential in this day and age; this statement cannot be refuted.

Another statement that cannot be refuted is this: indiscriminate tire accumulation is a problem that we all have to address. One way to do so is to patronize recycled rubber products. The dangers listed above should be enough of an argument for us consumers to do just that.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/environmental-impacts-throwing-away-tires-79649.html

http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/publications/Documents/Tires%5C43296029.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2002/may/15/environment.waste

 

How To Apply Mulch

landscape with rubbermulch

Whenever people talk about gardening basics, watering, fertilizing, and weeding instantly come to mind. Today, mulching has become an integral part of it. Its benefits go beyond prettifying a garden, because it offers significant reduction in weed presence, unparalleled moisture retention in soil, and keeping erosion at bay.

Of course, these benefits are present only if mulching is done right. If it’s your first time to mulch, here are some important steps to take.

First, choose the right mulch for your gardening needs. Some gardens need a lot of “movement”, as with vegetable patches and perennial plants. If the soil needs to be regularly composted, you will do best with organic mulches like grass, bark, and leaves. A semi-permanent gardening set-up can benefit from inorganic mulches like stone and shredded rubber.

It’s also a good idea to take weather conditions into consideration. For instance, windy days can blow away light pine needles, sawdust, and straw and make a mess instead of a neat garden.

Secondly, weed. Pull out all visible weeds, and take extra care not to scatter any spores from unwanted plants. Rake the area carefully, then spread a weed barrier over the soil to further prevent weeds from penetrating the mulch.

Next, calculate how much mulch you will need. You can avoid overspending or running out of mulch too soon. The appropriate mulch depth is at two inches, so if you’re mulching a six-feet by three-feet flower bed, you will need around three cubic feet of mulch.

Label newly-planted seeds. Use popsicle sticks with the names of the plants on them.This will keep your garden organized and easier to maintain should specific plants have special gardening needs. You would also want to avoid mulching over the seeds because they need space to grow.

watering plants

Then water all plants prior to mulching. All the plants, young or old, that you want to protect with mulch need to be watered before applying mulch on their bed. This is also the best time to add fertilizer.

Apply mulch carefully over the soil. Let the mulching begin! Take a trowel and carefully spread mulch in a two-inch depth over the weeded area. Take extra care not to pile up mulch at the base of plants because it can smother them. If mulching near fully grown trees, leave at least a diameter of three feet around the base mulch-free. If you want to smoothen out the mulch further, use a garden rake.

Now you have a garden that retains moisture and fertilizer in the soil and roots where it needs them most – and you won’t have to worry about replenishing mulch everyday!

Resources:

http://northcoastgardening.com/2009/06/organic-gardening-101-mulch/

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/mulch/how-to-mulch/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/lay-down-mulch-48172.html

 

Will Rubber Mulch Hurt Plants?

plants in mulch

Rubber mulch has been around long enough to become a mainstream option for gardens and landscaping, but people are still debating about whether or not it’s actually beneficial to plants. Before investing in it, it’s perfectly fine to ask yourself if it will hurt your plants or actually enhance your garden. Let’s look at some important points regarding rubber mulch.

Rubber mulch protects plants from insects and weeds

Wood attracts termites, and other organic matter such as sand, leaves, or grass clippings can easily become homes and food to insects and rodents. Because rubber mulch is synthetic, it is unattractive to pests. It also doesn’t offer anything for weeds to thrive on – they will dehydrate before they even have a chance to wreak havoc on your plants.

It insulates the soil and regulates plant temperature

Even in very cold weather, rubber mulch can help keep your plants snug and warm down to the roots. On the other hand, it also does a good job of protecting the soil and roots from too much heat in high temperature weather.  

It enhances the potency of fertilizers and water

Since it doesn’t absorb water or fertilizers the way organic mulches do, your plants and soil get full nutrients. The soil under the mulch doesn’t dry up but stays moist for your plants to thrive on.

It can help neutralize soil with high alkalinity

Alkali soil have low infiltration capacity so it needs zinc for plants to grow. Rubber mulch can offer a solution by way of its inherent zinc content which the soil can absorb in increments. This is especially beneficial to long-rooted plants, which can get both zinc and all the fertilizer they need.

No tree is killed to manufacture rubber mulch

It might sound trite, but the very purpose of shredded rubber infill is to recycle old tires and prevent overflowing landfills after all. Trees and plants don’t have to be sacrificed to become mulching material. Recycling is the heart of rubber mulch manufacturing – an environmentally conscious move that is hard to ignore even with all the controversies surrounding it.

The bottom line is, doing careful research can help you decide if rubber mulch is the best option for your garden. More studies are being done on it, so it’s wise to keep yourself updated on the latest findings.

 

Prepping Your Landscape Beds for Mulch Installation

Red Rubber Mulch in Landscape Bed

Colorfast-Won’t Float-Weed Resistant

Every day here in the nursery we are asked about proper mulching techniques. Whether you are using wood or rubber mulch here are some things to keep in mind this spring. By the way if you would to see what we do in the nursery check out our facebook page for some pretty plants.

Thick layers of wood mulch once rotten and matted will actually shed water away from your plants.  The negatives of “volcano mulching” around trees have been widely discussed but even a thick mat of rotten wood can harbor fungus and not be permeable for water to transfer.

Some varieties of trees do not like moisture held against the bark, this will cause the bark to fall off and expose the cambium layer.  This will expose the living cambium layer and promote fungus and insects eventually killing the tree.

You can install rubber mulch over wood mulch within reason.  If the wood mulch is nearly gone use what is left to level the landscape bed as this will help you put the rubber mulch down evenly and help you achieve the coverage rate listed on the bag.  Here at Everlast we state that you will get 7 to 7.5 square feet of coverage per bag with our landscape rubber mulch and that is a real world coverage.  Be aware that there are other brands that have stretched the coverage rate to “near perfect” installation practices and you will in reality need more than the calculator tells you.

Rubber mulch installed over wood mulch will work fine as long at the finished level of the mulch is not spilling out into your yard or sidewalk.  We recommend that the finished level of any mulch is one to two inches lower than the border.  This helps to keep mulch from migrating out of the bed via foot traffic, pet traffic, and weed eaters.

Top 5 Rubber Mulch Facts

Top 5 Rubber Mulch Facts

brown rubber mulch with stone and flowers.

  1. Everlast Rubber Mulch does not float.  Our tire rubber mulch has a specific gravity greater than 1 so it is heavier than water!
  2. Everlast Rubber Mulch weighs approximately 26 pounds per cubic foot.  Our “value sized” bags of rubber mulch at 1.15 cubic feet weigh approximately 30 lbs. vs a .8 cubic foot bag (30% smaller) weighing less.
  3. 23 bags of Everlast make 1 cubic yard vs 34 bags of .8 cubic foot bags equal a cubic yard (27 cubic feet).
  4. Everlast holds water.  Let’s say a pile of rubber mulch gets wet via a heavy rain. The rubber in the middle of the pile will be wet no matter how much time goes by or sun shines on it.  The water is trapped due to condensation.  Rubber mulch has a high R value and the center of the pile stays too cool to evaporate-too cool!
  5. Everlast rubber mulch nugget pieces do not hold water individually.  Therefore the top layer of the mulch stays dry and acts as a weed barrier.  Weed seed that falls into the bed simply dehydrates before germinating.  With Everlast you can save your money and not buy weed block.

Why Rubber Mulch is Colorfast

Red Wood Mulch After  Rain

Wood Mulch After a Rain

One of the best characteristics of rubber mulch for landscapes and playgrounds is the way it is colored.  Various companies use different methods but the general concept is the same.

Mulch colorant 101……

Wood mulch is colored using a colorant that is more like a stain than a coating.  Wood mulch absorbs colorant based on how dry it is, how open the cells are, how much colorant is applied, and how long it is allowed to soak.

Wood mulch can only hold it’s color as long as the wood fiber is there to hold it.  In other words, as the wood mulch continues to decay, the color leaves with the wood fiber that falls away.

Everlast rubber playground mulch is coated with a colorant that includes a binder.  Since rubber will not absorb anything due to it’s closed cell nature, a binder must be used to adhere the pigment to the particle.  Everlast Kids Rubber Mulch utilizes automotive grade pigments with a world class binder to coat the rubber particles.  The color will last as long as the binder adheres to the rubber mulch and our products last up to 15 years in most weather conditions.  Everlast Rubber Mulch has been used from middle eastern desert environments to near tundra conditions and our products perform year after year.

Rubber Mulch doesn’t float either making sure your money stays put…..

Red Rubber Mulch in Landscape Bed

Colorfast-Won’t Float-Weed Resistant

Here in our nursery I like to say “at the bottom of every wood mulch pile is a coupon to come back and get more”.  If you are tired of mulching take a look at our products and find out why we are the “nearly world famous” rubber mulch.

Rubber Mulch-Heavy Rains-Reduce the Chances of Fungus

This time of year we are asked daily if “rubber mulch will float”.  One of the original reasons we started with rubber products here in our nursery was the fact that it does not float.  Rubber is heavier than water and with all of the rain we have had lately I suspect our wood mulch sales will increase significantly by summer’s end due to the material wash out and color fade typical in wood mulch.  This also applies to wood mulch used in playgrounds.  Spring wood mulch is starting to weather and will need to be freshened up for the fall…..keep an eye out for fungus.  Artillery fungus is another issue see post here.

Summer is a great time to install Everlast Rubber Mulch.  By removing years of decaying wood mulch from your landscape beds you can reduce the threat of fungus which will be very prominent especially in the South Eastern U.S. this summer.  Removing mulch fungus starts with removing organic wood mulch.  Rubber Mulch doesn’t hold any water and allows proper soil aeration greatly reducing the fungal threat in your landscape.  Installing rubber mulch now will guarantee that your fall and winter beds will look fantastic for visiting relatives during the holidays.

You can finally throw the coupon away-you know the coupon at the bottom of every wood mulch pile-“See you again!”

Rubber Mulch and Water Retention

landscape rubber mulch saves waterAsk any gardener or landscaper for mulch recommendations and you will certainly get an answer with some conviction and seldom will opinions match.  There are some universal truths to mulching though and general observation can tell us one universal truth.

Wood mulch that is applied year after year becomes rotten underneath and matted on top.  This leads to water shedding; water is directed away from the root zone and aeration of the root zone is greatly impacted.  Water simply can not penetrate a thick layer of matted wood mulch and therefore this is certainly a bad mulch practice.

Rubber mulch never mats or rots and is always permeable.  Therefore, all water runs straight through with no water shed.  Rubber also holds moisture in the ground.  If we have a semi load of rubber mulch that is soaking wet and leave it on a concrete pad in the hot Florida sun the material will never dry out.  The water will remain trapped in the rubber because rubber is an insulator.  The top is warm and the middle is cool so the water doesn’t escape.

Years ago we were presented with an opportunity in Dubai.  No matter what the customer tried they could not hold moisture in the ground until they top dressed with Everlast Rubber Mulch.  The rubber mulch allowed all of the irrigation to flow through to the plants and held the water in the ground.  The soil temperature was only 2 degrees warmer than the wood much beds due to the insulative nature of rubber mulch.

This is exactly why rubber mulch acts as weed barrier.  The rubber stays dry so weed seed dehydrates before it reaches the soil.  It is just that simple!

For more information on our landscape rubber mulch and playground rubber mulch please visit our websites Everlast Rubber Mulch or Playground Rubber Mulch.

Gardening and Rubber Mulch for Mental Health?

I just read a great article in American Nurseryman magazine by the editor Sally Benson who was paraphrasing a radio program she heard recently.  The discussion revolved around the fact that our daily lives are immersed in rigid geometric shapes….from the TV, cellphone, computer screen, rooms in our homes, offices, SUV’s, etc.  Seems like everything around us is just another box.

stress relief through gardening

Stress Relief

I believe that second only to pets, gardening can provide a fantastic outlet and stress reliever for those of us living in a busy and urgent world.  Every morning I look forward to checking on my gardenia’s progress from the day before.  My home landscape is covered with blooming beauties and of course a few different colors of my “Nearly World Famous” Everlast Rubber Mulch.

I love to landscape due to the fact that my mind relaxes while I check on the progress of all my favorite plants and I am constantly expanding my plant varieties.  I thoroughly enjoy mixing colors and creating refreshing contrasts to my world which is full of black bordered monitors and sterile websites and data streams.

I am extremely busy but still make time for my landscape in part because I don’t have to spend my time weeding my beds….I am lucky because I get to focus on the fun side of gardening-the sensory experience that doesn’t involve sweat!

Do yourself a favor and take a good look at our low maintenance rubber mulch products….the dividends can be life changing.

Control Weeds for a Low Maintenance Garden This Spring

One of the best reasons to consider rubber mulch is the fact that it acts as a weed barrier. Every day in our nursery someone comes by frustrated with weeds in their landscape or turf and they are looking for solutions.  Everlast will help prevent new weeds from appearing but existing weeds and weed seed do need to be dealt with properly for best results.

There are many forms of weed killer.  Weeds that have already sprouted need to be treated with a post-emergent product.  Weeds that have yet to sprout need to be handled with pre-emergent weed killer. Chemistry varies between products but Roundup or equivalents seem to be the go to product for many homeowners looking to kill existing weeds; but they are often frustrated by poor results.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient and you can think of it as suntan lotion for green leaves. It prevents the plant from utilizing the sunlight.  It is imperative that this type of product be applied when the plant is growing because that when it needs the most energy.  Applying weed killer too early in the season will not yield the best results.  Persistent tougher weeds may need to be coated more than once and I recommend 7 to 10 days between applications.  Some products contain a small percentage of diquat which is my favorite.

Yesterday a young lady came in complaining of dollar weed that seemed to be unaffected by the products she was using.  I have had great success using Roundup Quick Pro that contains just under 3% diquat.  I re-apply once the dollar weed starts to yellow and have had good luck keeping it under control.  When the dollar weed is in my turf I have to be very careful applying the product as it is non selective meaning it will affect nearly all varieties of plants not just the dollar weed.  My turf suffers a bit if I am not too careful but the results are worth it to me as the dollar weed gets the worst of it.

A quick note on Everlast and weed control with rubber mulch.  Our products stay dry.  Weed seed that blows into the beds gets trapped in the rubber which is why we recommend a 2″ depth.  All the water runs through the mulch since it never mats like rotten wood mulch.  We don’t recommend a weed fabric so organic material is never trapped in the mulch-weed seed won’t find any moisture above grade.  It is just that simple.