Winter Tip: Minimize Salt Damage to your Plants

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Most of Colorado is still going through sub-zero temps this week and with all the icemelt products that were put down to keep hardscapes like driveways and walkways safe, it’s important to note the one drawback caused by these icemelt products –  they can seriously harm our plant materials.

It’s safe to say that nearly all icemelt products are salt-based and these salts are damaging to plant life. What happens is the salt gets into the soil and builds up over time and this creates an ongoing issue. If your front entry sidewalk is receiving repeated applications of icemelt during the winter, it is highly likely that the salt will accumulate in th grass or flower bed areas next to the walk. And season after season of using icemelt will cause the salt levels to increase, which cause plants to get thirsty and dry out.

To minimize salt damage to your plants:

  • Use icemelt products sparingly. You will need it on walks to keep them safe but less may be enough, don’t go overboard.
  • As the ice is melting, don’t be too quick to sweep the puddles into the grass where your plants are, instead, let it evaporate. After the moisture evaporates, sweep up any product that remains and dispose of it.

If you need help caring for your Colorado landscape during the brutal winter months, contact Lifescape Associates.

Photo: Ann White via