Didn’t have enough time to finish all your outdoor projects this year? It always seems as if there’s never enough hours of daylight in a northeast season to get all your outdoor projects finished. So if your rubber mulch project got pushed to the back of the list there’s good news, you still have time. Even though fall is just starting to settle in rubber mulch is available year round as opposed to wood mulch and can be put down even in colder weather.
Heres some basic landscaping tips to get you on your way.
First start by removing all the existing surfacing materials such as sod, wood chips or gravel from the area, this is key. Also remove any root, small stones, or vegetation. Next installation of a contractor’s grade geotextile landscape fabric barrier under the area is recommended to prevent the growth of weeds and reduce maintenance. Be sure to overlap all seams a minimum of 3 inches. Slit fabric to fit around any landscaping or equipment uprights. And unlike plastic sheeting, a fabric barrier will allow rain water to drain away quickly but still provide a sufficient barrier between the soil & the rubber. After preparing the area, rake the rubber mulch into place. Install rubber mulch to the proper depth, mounding in the high traffic areas to allow for displacement. Hand rake to a smooth, finished surface, and if your using the rubber much for a playground area be sure to install rubber wear mats in excessive traffic locations such as slide exits, under swings and sliding poles. Ongoing maintenance is limited to raking material back into place around high traffic areas to maintain a uniform depth.
Lastly if your planning a playground area, please check out the National Program for Playground Safety website, http://www.playgroundsafety.org a resource for information on playground safety, planning playgrounds, fall surfacing guidelines, and more. Another source for information is the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, Pub. No. 325, available online at http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/325.pdf