Damage to Home Lawns from Ice Melter

Sodium Chloride, or rock salt, is the most commonly used ice melter. Sodium chloride is the least expensive and widely available in granular form or brine solutions used by homeowners, professionals, municipalities, and transportation departments nationwide. Salt damage in turf will be found wherever snow, containing ice melter residual, is repeatedly thrown up over curbs or off driveways into turf areas and landscape beds. All grass varieties can be affected. Some, like buffalo grass, are particularly sensitive, while Stadium Special, Macho Mix, and Heat Wave tall fescue varieties are slightly more salt tolerant.

Reducing the Effects of Salt Damage on Grass

De-icing rock salt applied in late winter and early spring is certain to damage vegetation. There is less time for winter snow and precipitation to leach salt from the root zone before growth resumes in the spring. Reduce the side effects of salt damage by applying Grass Pad’s pelletized Lawn-Cal early in October or November before the ground freezes in December and again in early spring. The calcium in Lawn-Cal displaces salt residues, which helps to reduce the uptake of damaging salts through the plant’s root zone. For best results, use pelleted Lawn-Cal in your lawn spreader, making two passes (full open rate) around street curbs, driveways, sidewalks, or anywhere ice melter will be repeatedly used in winter.

Calcium is one of the most misunderstood nutrients. Calcium plays a significant role in plant physiology by strengthening the plant’s physical structure and helping with disease resistance. Grass Pad’s Lawn-Cal is all-natural and safe for kids and pets. 

See Related: How to Fix Salt-Damaged Soil with Lawn-Cal

Lawn Cal for Calcium for Salt Damage

Eco-Safe Alternative to Ice Melters

Primera Sports Field Conditioner is ideal for use as traction over icy and slick sidewalks and driveways. A natural calcine clay chip is superior to using sand and beneficial to the soil. Using Primera Sports Field Conditioner is another way to help reduce salt damage to plants and concrete. Primera Sports Field Conditioner will not harm concrete and beneficial to the soil.

See Related: Primera Sports Field Conditioner

Winter Lawn Repairs

Lawn edges around sidewalks and driveways may see damage from snow removal equipment. Chunks of grass have been stripped up by snow blades and shovels. Tire tracks have plowed up turf areas once hidden under the snow. Sod is the quick and easy fix and will repair the damage in an afternoon.

See Related: How to Buy Sod

Fix Bare Spots with Sod in the Winter

Grass seed first aid can also be used for patching and repair.  Fine bladed grass seed mixes like Estate MixStadium Special or Macho Mix will sprout and blend well.  Coarse bladed field grasses like annual rye or K-31 should be avoided no matter how appealing the picture on the bag.

See Related: Choosing the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn


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