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Q & A: How Can I Minimize Salt Damage to My Yard?
Q. Will the salt we've used during the winter have any damaging effect on out garden plants? If so what can we do to minimalize it?
A: Salt used to de-ice roads is mostly refined rock salt, which is 98.5 percent sodium chloride. Calcium chloride is less damaging to lawns and plants but is not used as often as refined rock salt because it is more expensive.
Much to many homeowners dismay, wind driven salt spray from road trucks can travel up to 150 feet. This salt can cause extreme damage and salt injury to plants as well as trees, especially pine spruce and fir.
To save plants from salt damage, it is necessary to grade walks and driveways so that they drain away from your plants. Rinse all plants exposed to salt with water in the spring.
Use pelletized gypsum soil condition to reverse salt damage on lawns. The gypsum, or calcium sulfate, replaces the salt with calcium and sulfur, which will help to heal the grass and encourage new growth. It is also useful in helping the soil retain water.