Garden Tip: Melt ice with plant-friendly products
Submitted January 12, 2012 6:08PM
Updated: February 16, 2012 8:08AM
Keeping paths, steps and porches free of ice is an important safety measure, but not all ice-melting products are plant friendly.
Rock salt, or sodium chloride. is the most common product. It is extremely harmful to plant material and can impact your soil health. Look for products made with calcium, magnesium or potassium chloride, which are still effective but much more plant friendly.
Less is always more, so only use deicing chemicals in small areas. Apply the product before snow and ice accumulates, so it is more effective and you use less.
You can add extra traction and extend the product by mixing it with sand.
Try to avoid piling salt-laden snow around trees or shrubs. If it can’t be avoided, make sure to thoroughly water the area in the spring to wash the product out of the soil and the root zones.
Garden Tip is courtesy of Heather Prince, The Growing Place, 630-355-4000,