As the winter rolls on and the cold weather sets in, people using salt to deice damage become a regular sight. Salting may be great for preventing ice from forming on roads or driveways, but you should make sure none of that salt then makes its way onto your lawn.
This is because that same salt that works wonders on the sidewalk can cause lasting damage if enough of it gets on your lawn.
We like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to lawn care, so here’s some of the ways salt can cause damage to your lawn:
Inhibiting grass growth
The effect of salt damage on a lawn presents itself similarly to a long period of drought.
If too much salt gets in your soil, it can build up around grass roots, clogging them and blocking them from accessing nutrients and moisture. So no matter how much moisture has built up in your soil, grass and plants won’t be able to absorb any of it.
Drying out your soil
Have you ever noticed that you start to get really thirsty if you eat a lot of salty food? This is because too much salt can have a dehydrating effect, and it does the same thing to the soil in your lawn.
The more salt that works its way into your soil, the more moisture that is then drained from the soil. This in turn means that any plants or grass growing in the soil will become dehydrated and could possibly go on to die. This means that your lawn could be too damaged, and your soil too dry to resume growth once the warmer weather arrives.
Preventing or fixing salt damage
To stop salt from damaging your lawn, a good first step is to try and limit use of salt to begin with. Although you can’t stop municipal services from gritting roads, where possible on your private property, plough or shovel away snow rather than using ice.
Additionally, when you do use salt, mix it up with sand, which doesn’t melt ice but makes your pathways easier to walk on without potentially harming your lawn.
If your lawn regularly suffers from ice damage during winter, or you live somewhere where a lot of salt always reaches your lawn when your roads are de-iced, consider blocking off your lawn to protect it. Erecting a fence or netting around your lawn during winter can help stop any salt from being able to reach your lawn at all.
Use pelletized gypsum, also known as calcium sulphate, which works as a soil conditioner by neutralising the damaging effects of salt in your lawn’s soil. This helps to promote grass growth and helps the soil retain moisture once again.
To help reduce the levels of salt present in your soil further, simply soak the entirety of your lawn with water, repeating the process each day over the course of a few days. This allows the salt to run off, returning your soil to normal and allowing your lawn the ability to drink.