Road salt is a life saver in areas that experience the effects of harsh winter weather. It keeps the streets much safer for drivers, prevents you from slipping on the sidewalk, and helps reduce those massive post-storm snow piles to a manageable size.
Unfortunately, salt is not as convenient for your landscape as it is for your winter commute. Luckily, if you know what damage to expect and how to prevent it, you can keep winter salt from harming your gorgeous landscape!
How can salt damage my landscape?
When soil absorbs saltwater from melted snow and ice deposited by a shovel, plow, or spray from passing cars, the roots of your plants become dehydrated and developing buds, leaves, and flowers can suffer from salt burns. The chloride from the salt is then transported to other parts of the plant and interferes with chlorophyll production and photosynthesis, preventing optimal growth come spring.
Concrete, stone, and paved features of your property may look solid, but they’re actually very porous. As salt melts and attracts more water, excess water is absorbed by the cracks and small openings in your hardscapes. The damage occurs when this absorbed water refreezes and expands within the concrete, widening cracks and crevices and threatening the integrity of your hardscape.
How can I prevent salt damage to my landscape?
Fortunately for homeowners, there are a few measures you can take to minimize the havoc winter salt can wreak on your landscape:
- Use alternative melting agents free of sodium (calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, or even sand)
- Target specific areas and apply salt carefully when you de-ice
- Add organic matter to soil to improve drainage
- Install physical barriers to protect plants (burlap coverings, for example)
- Choose salt-tolerant plants when designing your landscape
VistaPro Landscape & Design is dedicated to helping you design, install, and maintain the yard of your dreams year-round. Our experts can help you choose the best landscaping strategy and hardscape features for your climate, as well as provide the grounds management services you need to keep your property in the best possible condition for every season.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get started on a customized plan for your yard!