Do you suspect salt damage on your lawn? As winter arrives, so does snow, sleet, and “wintry mix”. To keep our roadways safe, municipalities spread their ice melt mixtures of salt and the like over roadways. Property owners also use these materials to melt frozen precipitation on walkways and stairs. You should always try to use care when applying these materials, so not to apply significantly in areas where plants and grass is located. Too much salt can “burn” or damage these areas, even to the point of no return. What is true for ice melt salt materials is, in principle, the same reason a lawn can be burned by over-application of fertilizer, since the majority of those materials contain salts.
The reason excessive salt damages plants is because it draws moisture out of the cells in the plants. In other words, it sucks the life out of them. Without water, plant tissues die. If there is enough salt present in the soil, from a spill or over-application, grass areas or even landscape plants will be terminally damaged. If the amount isn’t that severe, areas can be watered abundantly to push the salt down through the soil, and then re-planted/re-seeded. However, in most cases, it’s necessary to remove some topsoil and re-plant these areas.
As a lawn care company we get lots of questions about salt burn on lawns in the spring. Property owners are frustrated when some areas near roads and pavement don’t seem to be springing back to life. The trick is to catch this as early as possible in the spring and repair the areas as necessary. To properly assess your options for salt damage on your lawn, consult with one of our Lawn Care Experts.