Salt and different forms of snow melting material containing Sodium Chloride (NaCl) are often used to melt snow and ice on walkways in Calgary. In order to minimize salt damage to your lawn in Calgary you should be award of the affect salt can have on your sod and lawn.
Lawns do not need much salt to grow
Although salt is one component that helps Lawns and grass do not need much salt to grow in fact, they need very little. The amount of salt put on walkways and the spillover onto lawns is much more salt than is healthy for sod. In order to help your lawn stay healthy it is vital to limit the amount of salt that is absorbed by your lawn.
Sod sucks up salt like a sponge
In the spring time when the snow and ice has melted and during the chinook melting your lawn begins to suck up anything that is mixed in with the water. This includes all the salt you have poured on onto your walkway and shovelled onto your lawn during winter. Excess salt is not at all healthy for and plants and that includes sod. The salt will quickly choke off your lawn from absorbing other nutrients. It is very common to notice salt damage around Calgary. A salt damaged lawn will typically look brownish and the grass blades themselves will be mushy and sickly looking. In most cases, this unhealthy or dead sod will need to be removed and replaced with new sod.
Shovel often and use barriers
To minimize salt damage to your lawn in Calgary it is best to shovel as often as possible to keep the snow from turning to ice. The more you shovel and the more snow free you keep your walkways the less salt you will need. You could also choose to use snow barriers around the perimeters of your lawn or garden beds. These barriers include retaining walls, paver edging or concrete curb edging.
Try using alternatives to salt to keep your walkways slip free
There are some great alternatives to salt to keep your walkways slip free. A product called Lavagrip is a great alternative. It is literally crushed lava that creates a very grip walking surface. The lava rock will not cause any damage to your plantings or to your lawn. You will also find that you need much less lava rock than you will salt. Lavagrip is environmentally safe and it is a similar price to salt. Lavagrip will not melt ice or snow but it will provide a safe walking environment by creating excellent grip.