TikTok's Viral Rubber Mat Hack Is Far Less Messy Than Real Garden Mulch

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Summer is right around the corner, which means you've probably already started designing your home's landscaping for the season. And, of course, what's landscaping without mulch? It's a staple when it comes to decorating your yard, no matter where or how you use it. Besides improving your home's curb appeal, mulch actually helps prevent those pesky weeds from popping up all over your lawn. There's just one issue with using mulch ... the inevitable mess it makes all over your yard (not to mention the smell). 

Fortunately, thanks to TikTok user @creeksidenwi, we now know a way to add mulch to your yard that's way less messy than the real thing. Using a rubber mulch mat in place of real garden mulch is the answer to all your landscaping problems. It's essentially an all-purpose rubber mat similar to one you probably already have, but this one is designed so the rubber resembles mulch. It looks so realistic no one would ever know it's artificial. It totally removes the mess from the equation. It's such a genius idea; we wish we would have thought of it first!

The rubber mat hack

On top of reducing mess, using rubber mulch mats in place of real garden mulch saves you a ton of money. A typical bag of mulch will run you anywhere between $45 and $130 per cubic yard, which starts to add up. When it rains, it gets slimy and gross, and the wind blows it everywhere, making a huge mess. You have to purchase more every year, so it's an endless cycle of spending money on mulch. But with these mats, you can simply roll them up and put them away in storage once winter hits (or keep them up year-long if you live in warmer areas).

These mats aren't necessarily cheap, so you might have to spend a good chunk of cash up front, depending on the size of your space, but you only have to purchase them once. For instance, this option is listed on Amazon for $74, or this red option costs $83 from Home Depot. Mulch mats come in a variety of sizes, but if you can't find one with the exact measurements you need, rubber is actually super easy to cut. This means you can customize the mat to fit your space.

Other mulch alternatives

Before you start landscaping, it's worth noting the other mulch alternatives out there on the market. They aren't going to give you the same visual effect as mulch, but they definitely enhance your home's curb appeal regardless. These alternatives are equally as low-maintenance as the rubber mulch mats. For example, artificial rocks and pebbles are super popular in the landscaping community. They're aesthetically pleasing, come in a variety of colors, and you don't have to worry about finding them strewn all across your property. Once you've placed them where you want, that's where they'll stay.

The key takeaway here is that landscaping your yard doesn't have to be super messy or complicated. All it takes is searching for the right alternative to fit your personal style. While rocks and pebbles are great, rubber mulch mats are definitely our recommendation for landscaping for both your front and back yards. Now you can use all that time you'd be spending picking up mulch chips for doing something way more fun.