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I have a nice large cedar/redwood playground set that is approximately 30' long by about 20' feet wide that right now just rests on the grass and I have to cut around and trim up all year long. (kind of a pain) --- Was thinking about boxing it in with some kind of frame and filling it up with some ground cover. Didn't know if any of you have personally experience with this and could recommend some insight/tips? Layout options, surface options? rubberized mulch? cypress mulch? --- Cost is a factor and I don't want to spend like mega $$$ on this project...

why the project?
make it look cleaner/nicer and cut down on the grass maintenance in the future. Plus the materials may be easier for young kids to play/fall onto? ---- If it too expensive, I may just leave the grass alone for a while and deal with the trim work. :D

Thanks for any/all pics and info!
Andy
 

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Best ground cover for a playground area is general wood chips/bark mulch. That way, if a child were to fall, the fall would be cushioned somewhat. Do yourself a favor before you put the mulch or chips down, put a weed barrier in place. That will put an end to any trimming except around whatever barrier you choose. Best trim barrier are pressure treated landscaping timbers 8"x8".

Sounds like a nice setup. We are getting a similar one for next spring.
 

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The recommendation from my handbook on my playset which is similiar is a 6 inch deep base of mulch ontop of 2 to 4 inches of sand ontop of the ground. Use fine mulch since large bark mulch is too entising to throw at each other.

Make sure you have enough room around the edge... 6 feet minimum. I broke the rules on mine on one side, but on the sides where it matters I kept that rule in place. If you followed that rule, you are talking about boxing in with a size of 26 X 36... thats a crap load of mulch... mine is 24 X 24. The three yards I had put in it was not enough. I really needed double that. I am going to top it off in the spring.

Probably should avoid the "free" mulch since it is not treated and generally is really dead and infected trees.

Think about what you would want to fall on if you fell from the ladder or a swing and that should give you some ideas.

Oh and the pebble rock stuff. It's dirtier than heck. The playground at my little'ist kids school has that. It ruins clothes and shoes. It's soft, fun to play in with buckets and shovels, but it just transfer's dirt like a magnet to the point it stops washing out of shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep --- I have a feeling that it is going to be a "crap load" of mulch no matter how I slice it. :D ----- I think it will add a lot to the area and the playground and make the property look that much cleaner and nicer. So, let me work up some numbers and see what I may be looking at.... Definately going to go the truck delivery method and not the 1000 bags from Lowe's into my pickup method! :D --- Wonder how much mulch is by the yard?

Andy
 

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Oh, one more important thing. Remember that you are putting the playset on the mulch. You should think about what happens when the mulch breaks down. Think about what happens to the posts on the ground... they lower. When they lower, you will have an uneven playset which can be really bad especially if you have a swing.

Think about footers that the playset can sit on. Look at using a small sono-tube so the footer is out of the ground, then back fill your choice of topping (mulch) for your base and enough to bury the footer an inch or two. You should probably even connect the posts of the playset to the footer. Sounds crazy, but in the bigger picture, it kind of makes sense.
 

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Also, look into sawmills in your local area that do their own post and beam milling. They often sell the byproduct of their process, fine bark mulch by the trailer load. I had 30+ yards delivered this summer for our mulch beds.

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The mulch in both those areas is over 3" deep.
 

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The cost of the truckloads was only $220 with delivery and I'm pretty sure that they were actually closer to 35 cu. yds.
 

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I'd check with a sawmill if you have one close. I sold sawdust for $.10 a bushel to the cattle auction houses. I think around here you could get a big dump truck load for $25.
 
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