As pretty as snowfall is during the holidays, that snow often melts during the day, forming slippery slush and hardening into ice when the temperature drops again. The ice and slush can pose a serious risk to friends, family, guests, or customers coming onto your property.
To melt the ice and improve traction, many homeowners and business owners use salt during the winter. However, the special kind of salt you use on your driveways, walkways, and patios during the winter can actually harm your grass. Discover how to protect your lawn from salt damage while still ensuring that your outdoor space is safe to navigate.
Shovel Right Away After Snowfall
When you shovel your driveway or path promptly, the snow doesn't have as much time to turn into ice or slush. Use a sturdy snow shovel with a sharp edge to scrape away any residual sludge or slabs of ice. Clearing away all that snow and residue with your shovel means you won't have to use as much salt to ensure safety. Less salt means less potential damage to your lawn.
Follow the Direction on the Salt Bag
On the bag of salt you've purchased, there should be a set of instructions for its use. Many suppliers include information about the "spreading rate," or the amount of salt you should sprinkle over a defined area. Following those manufacturer recommendations will save you money, as you'll be able to make your supply last longer. Plus, you won't be guilty of oversalting, which can lead to buildup of excess salt along the edges of your yard.
Try an Alternative De-Icing Agent
While salt is an effective de-icer, it isn't the only substance you can use to improve safety and traction on outdoor paved surfaces. Try alternating your use of salt with other materials, like sand or kitty litter. By switching up your methods every so often, you'll reduce the quantity of harsh salt that leaches into your turf.
Cover Grass and Plants
If you find yourself salting frequently along a specific pathway, you may want to cover any plants or grass that directly borders that area. Use plastic or burlap to create a physical barrier between the salt and the plants. That way, they won't get those hazardous sprinklings of salt. There's still the possibility of the salt getting into the soil and affecting the plants, but with a cover in place, the damage should be minimized.
You can purchase bags of salt online at Kurtz Bros., Inc. We have a special winter melt, an HotRock EcoGuard version that is less corrosive, and our powerful HotRock StormGuard Max product. We also provide rock salt and calcium chloride pellets. And for local customers, we offer our "Super Sack" deal, where you buy a reusable sack that you can bring in and refill with salt again and again—and we have pickup or delivery options available! Call anytime and our lawn care experts will be happy to answer all your questions.