Impact of Rubber Mulch

Asked February 23, 2016, 4:16 PM EST

Is it possible to safely use raised beds on land where ground up tire mulch has been used? It is where a playground has been in place for 6 - 10 years. We have read that tire mulch is toxic. Would the soil under the mulch be toxic after having been rained on, and is there any way to make it "safe" to grow vegetables? Would any type of barrier be adequate? Thank you for your help.

Camden County New Jersey

1 Response

Rubber mulch has heavy metals. Particles will enter the soil as mulch degrades. However, in order to know if this is actually a problem on your particular site, you need to do a soil test. Click on the Soil Test icon on our homepage and select a soil testing lab from the list/chart. The video explains how to gather the soil sample. There is other information on choosing a lab. There may not be problem levels of heavy metals, so start by getting this info.