Dangers of Salt

Dangers of Salt

Posted by Jonathan Manning, CLT - B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University in Snow Shoveling

Dangers of Salt

By:Jonathan Manning, CLT
A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC
Denver, CO

Most people do not consider the impact of using snow and ice removal materials. The makeup of the materials are mainly salts, besides the inert ingredients (clay in slicer, sand with the Sand/salt mix, etc.). These salts (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, & magnesium chloride) which lower the temperature at which ice melts are extremely toxic to your lawn and garden.

Most people have heard about how the Romans dealt with Carthage, the fields were plowed through with salt to utterly destroy them. Well in the same situation we are salting our fields when shoveling snow, if we do not consider where we are storing our snow and ice. The snow and ice which are mixed with salts can cause the same effect.

You may wonder, “How are we destroying our gardens?” To attempt to make this clearer, let me explain. Salts are very attracted to water (hydrophyllic or water loving). Think of how meat used to be stored. The outside was salted to pull water out of the meat. The same is true with soil, the salts we place in our gardens will pull the water out of the soil or at least make it unavailable for plant use. This is because the water has a higher affinity to the salt molecule.

So be careful how much salt (ice melt, slicer and sand & salt) you put down and where you store your snow & ice. Try to push the snow of your main walks, where you have placed lots of ice melt, into the streets or into a rock area which is not utilized for plant growth. Limit the amount of Snow & Ice Removal materials you put down to only what you need for peoples safety. Just as with a lot of things in life, “A little goes a long way..”

28 Jan 2009 no comments

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