Monday, February 10, 2014

What will all this road salt do to our landscapes?

Think Spring, this weather can't last forever can it? 
With all the winter weather we have been enduring our plants are forced to endure even more.  With the frequent "1 inch blizzards" (as one person on facebook called them) comes the need for safety on the roads. To achieve safer roads we are forced to turn to sodium chloride or deicing salt to melt away the (what i am now referring to as the white plaque) snow.  However, with all its safety and melting abilities it also poses many problems for our landscapes and lawns.

The damage won't show up immediately but will come on gradually this spring as the plants begin to grow. Rather than me describe what might take place I am going to refer you to a really good Purdue University publication that even provides you with a list of plants that can tolerate high salt levels.  See Salt Damage in Landscape Plants for more detailed information.  Salt will do the greatest damage where it is being thrown as a spray by passing automobiles or when plants are in the direct runoff path as the melting "white plague" moves the salt into landscape beds etc.