Rubber Mulch vs Rock: Key Differences, which is better?

There are some major differences between rubber mulch and rock mulch.

Essentially, you want to use a landscape Loc (Rock bond) to get the most out of your mulch.

In terms of composition, rubber is much less beneficial for the soil as a nutrient contributor, and rock is more beneficial to the ecosystem.

Both products offer great texture, but they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Read on to find out which material is right for your garden or landscape.

You may be surprised to learn that rocks are often the better choice for landscaping.

Rubber Mulch (an Overview)

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Plow & Hearth 55632 Recycled Rubber Permanent Garden Mulch Border

  • Easy to use
  • Recycled, shredded rubber tires
  • Weed blocker
  • Allows air/water through
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Rubber mulch is not as mobile as other mulching materials, and it doesn’t absorb water and nutrients like organic mulches.

It also doesn’t provide any nutrients to the soil, unlike rocks. Rocks are also not a source of nutrients for the soil, but they are great insulators and can help plants thrive in harsh climates.

But there are some drawbacks to rubber mulch. Consider the pros and cons of each before making the final decision.

Rock Mulch is Heavier

Inorganic mulches are best for garden beds, and there are a few benefits to both types. Rock mulch is heavier than most mulches, and it won’t float in a heavy rain. However, there are certain benefits to using rock in your garden.

One of these is that it’s made from decorative gravel or rocks. In addition, rock is very lightweight, so it’s easier to carry than rubber.

Rubber mulch is also more expensive, and it has to be recycled. It contains toxins and metals that are toxic to plants.

Rock mulch has no toxic chemicals, and can be applied to a wide variety of plants. It’s less durable, but it can last for a long time.

The biggest difference between rubber mulch and rock mulch is the way it looks. And both are great for your garden! Make sure you pick the right one for your space.

Controlling Weeds

Rubber mulch is more effective at controlling weeds. While it does not prevent weeds, it can help control them. If you’re using rock mulch, you’ll need to weed the area yourself, and this isn’t always possible.

If you choose rock, you’ll need to weed it with a rake. If you’re concerned about ants, wood is a better choice.

Rubber vs. Rock: Which is more eco-friendly?

Rock mulch is more environmentally friendly and environmentally-friendly. Since it doesn’t decompose, it’s a better choice for gardens. Both materials are useful for landscaping and preventing erosion.

In contrast, rubber mulch is light and doesn’t decompose quickly. While it doesn’t move as easily, it’s also biodegradable, but it loses its color after prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Furthermore, it’s not a great option for areas where wildfires are prevalent. It’s not a good choice for structures, as they can be easily burned by fire.

Rubber vs. Rock Mulch: Preparation for Use

Unlike rock, rubber mulch requires little prep work. You can simply apply it on top of landscape fabric and apply weed killer.

It’s best to spread a layer of rock mulch two to three inches thick to avoid weed seeds. You can also lay rubber mulch on top of wood mulch to keep weeds from penetrating the soil.

Both options can work wonders for the environment.

The key to choosing the right type of rock mulch for your garden is to find out what’s right for your needs and budget.

Rubber vs. Rock mulch: Which is more expensive?

The main difference between rubber mulch and rock is in cost. A rubber mulch is a cheap and readily available option, but rocks are heavy and do not absorb water well.

Besides, rocks are also harder on plants and do not provide the nutrients that the soil needs. Neither is ideal for a garden.

A rock-mulch-like layer can be very effective in high-traffic areas, but its appearance can be more aesthetically appealing.


Despite the fact that rubber mulch is less costly, it can be toxic to plants.

It must be recycled, which makes it more expensive. And, it must be processed.

But it’s worth considering when considering mulch for your garden. The best mulch for your plants depends on the type of soil.


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