If your garden uses a large amount of Mulch around trees and near vegetables you probably have thought about having a bulk delivery of Mulch to reduce costs and to ease with the install but there are some things you should know before you jump right in and cover your garden with mulch.
In our gardens there are two primary areas: The vegetable garden and the rest of the yard.
Vegetable gardens must have extreme care when introducing any product and that can be the fertilizers we use or something like mulch. You never want to use a pressure treated product around a vegetable garden because the process uses chemicals that will leach into your food. The same is true for the dyes used to treat any type of mulch. Although it might be deemed nontoxic ingesting any of this stuff really isn’t in your best interest. All types of chemicals and metal oxides are used to treat mulch and although there are some controls on the production of bulk mulch this might not always be true. I have seen bulk black mulch change the color of plants in my general yard but I never use it in my vegetable garden.
Another problem with using mulch in vegetable gardens is the natural chemicals found in the wood. Most often you are talking about pine mulch however some wood like Walnut wood have chemicals and properties that are herbicidal in nature. You never know if a walnut tree or even one infested in poison ivy or poison oak has been ground up in to the mulch you are applying.
The use of mulch should be limited to areas that you can’t maintain because of their location or planting type. I use mulch around smaller trees to form a ring where my riding mower can reach. This reduces the time needed to maintain the yard but it also gives the roots of the tree a buffer until they are large enough that I can get under them easily.
Use of Mulch in a vegetable garden is not something I suggest no matter if you are purchasing the mulch or preparing it with your own chipper. The reason is the mulch material will hold water and naturally grow mold and fungus which can be a problem for your plants. Even worse would be prepared mulch that has chemicals applied.
For Vegetable gardens you can use biodegradable material like newspapers if you want or you can use heavy mil plastic that won’t break down. Normally you will need to change your plastic a few times a season and make sure you pull out any torn pieces.
Mulch is a great product but you should limit its use to areas you just can’t maintain. Garden beds with lots of flowers where removing weeds could harm flowers or areas you just can’t reach with a string trimmer or lawn mower.
I would never suggest that anyone use reclaimed tires anywhere in their yard. This is like introducing a mini landfill in your yard. The only exception might be around a above ground pool where lots of moisture would break down wood mulch and the rubber might do ok in that limited area if you maintain it correctly and don’t let it spread.