Preventing Salt Injury on Lawns
If you utilize rock salt to melt ice during the winter, you should closely watch your lawn for any damage it may sustain from it. Salt damage is also known as salt injury. Even if you don’t utilize a lot of rock salt, plants and grass can still sustain damage from the salt that plows spread on the road. Ice melt, which is made from calcium chloride, is less damaging to grass but is a lot more expensive than rock salt. This is why municipalities often use rock salt as opposed to ice melt. Valley Green carries both rock salt and ice melt and the products to repair damaged lawns.
Salt injury most often occurs when the rock salt does not wash away after application. If there is no rain or moisture to wash the salt away after application, you will need to rinse it away with a hose or warm water. If salt is allowed to sit too long it can also prevent the lawn from absorbing phosphorus and potassium. Grading your lawn will also help in allowing rain and other moisture to wash the salt away.
Salt can also burn the grass and cause it to turn an ugly brown color. Salt also absorbs water which can cause your plant roots to become dehydrated as well. Once the salt has done its job and melted the ice, scrap the excess away with a shovel and properly dispose of it. If too much salt is absorbed into the soil, it can actually keep grass and plants from growing back.
There are some very easy ways to avoid salt injury on your lawn. One simple method is to place burlap sacks or a similar type of material on the areas where you feel the salt may spread. Another way to prevent salt injury is to use less of it. An easy way to use less salt is to combine it with a high-temperature ice melt that lessens the amount of salt needed but still melts the ice quickly and effectively.
If spring rolls around and you notice that you were unable to avoid salt injury, you have to act quickly to fix the damaged grass. Fortunately, salt injury is easy to recognize. The grass will be brown around the edge of the lawn closest to the road, driveway, or sidewalk. Pelletized Gypsum Conditioning can repair most of the damage salt causes. The Gypsum replaces salt with calcium and sulfur which heal the grass and promote new growth. It also helps the soil retain water. If the damage is too extensive, you might be better starting over and reseeding the damaged area.