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Landscape experts warn against popular garden product that might be killing your lawn: 'It'll actually burn up your outdoor plants'

"You don't want to fill your yard with plastic."

"You don't want to fill your yard with plastic."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A landscaping shortcut that has recently grown in popularity is actually more dangerous than you'd expect.

TikToker Summit Lawns (@summitlawns) explained in a 40-second video that while rubber mulch is being used to facilitate landscaping processes, the material is "killing your lawn, and your other plants, too." Rubber mulch absorbs heat and not only makes it unpleasant to use your garden but also leaves the area susceptible to fires.

@summitlawns This is KILLING Your Lawn! ❌ #lawn #Lawncare #lawncaretips #viral #fyp #foryou ♬ Yasashi - CXSPER

"People use rubber mulch because you only have to apply it once, and that's nice, but real mulch is always better," the TikToker said. "Synthetic rubber mulch gets really hot in the summer, and it'll actually burn up your outdoor plants."

Synthetic mulch can cause long-term environmental harm, as plastic breaks down into microplastics. The material has none of the benefits that come with using natural mulch, Summit Lawns noted.

"If any of that rubber mulch gets kicked onto your lawn, it's gonna stay there forever. It's synthetic — it won't break down," he said. "If real mulch gets on your lawn, it'll just biodegrade. It'll go away all by itself and nourish your lawn. It provides key nutrients like nitrogen and potassium. Rubber mulch just won't do that."

People often turn to synthetic mulch as a way to control weed growth, but there are more effective ways to achieve the same goal.

Rewilding your lawn with native plants can help save money and time on lawn maintenance and create a healthier ecosystem for pollinators. Natural lawns like buffalo grass are also more beneficial for the environment and help reduce the need for water and pesticides.

Also, alternatives to mulch such as wood chips or autumn leaves can provide nutrients to your soil and help maintain a healthy yard. But if mulch is your preference, it's best to stick with the natural product and not the synthetic version, because the extra work will be worth it.

🗣️ Which of these benefits is your biggest motivation in gardening?

🔘 Getting outside more 🌱

🔘 Growing healthy food 🥕

🔘 Making my yard beautiful 🏡

🔘 I don't garden 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

"The downside to natural mulch is you do need to reapply pretty much yearly, but that's more of a feature than a bug," Summit Lawns said. "You want your mulch to biodegrade, you want it to feed the soil, and you don't want to fill your yard with plastic."

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