View Full Version : Road Salt & Lawns/Shrubs

01-31-2011, 04:33 PM
Road salt gets applied to roads, but much of it eventually gets mixed with the slow and plowed onto the sidewalks and beyond. Same goes for salt applied to walkways that eventually gets shoveled or melted onto the lawn. Question is what's the impact of this on the lawns and shrubs?

Harmonious Discord
01-31-2011, 04:37 PM
It kills or stunts them. Our grass near the highway was killed last year from the salt. I've seen large evergreens with all the needles dead on the roadside from the salt. The less salt they are exposed to the better off they are. They only need and do well with trace amounts of salts.

01-31-2011, 04:47 PM
you might move salted snow away from shrubs, spread it around (not onto other's or government property). clean it to the ground in the root zone around shrubs. after the thaw use a lot of water on areas that salted snow was placed or left in.

01-31-2011, 04:49 PM
You don't get standing visible salt. The salt gets melted into the snow and slush, and presumably gets absorbed into the ground eventually.

Tastes of Chocolate
02-01-2011, 05:10 PM
We live on a 4 lane wide road, and there is a 4' wide strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. We haven't yet found anything that thrives in that section of lawn. Between the salt and the sand, all we get is straggly grass and a lot of dandilions.

02-03-2011, 01:10 PM
Question then is whether there is something you can put down as an antidote?

Alpha Twit
02-04-2011, 09:11 AM
Question then is whether there is something you can put down as an antidote?

Water, lots and lots of water followed by a good fertilizer. Alternatively, in my yard, the previous owner put down a concrete sidewalk right next to the curb. As the snow/salt mix melted, it would drain back into the gutter. Either that or it was blown back into the street by his snowblower.

Cat Whisperer
02-04-2011, 04:03 PM
There are some plants that are more salt tolerant than others (the first example that comes to mind is sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}, a hardy shrub). As a homeowner, you have to be careful where you put snow, too - like not taking the snow from right near the road and shovelling it onto your plants. Hosing off your lawn and plants after the big melt in spring is a good idea too, if for no other reason than it makes them look so much better.