It looks like winter has finally arrived for good here in Michigan. That means the snow plows and salt trucks will be out in full force to make sure the roads are safe for drivers. But did you know the salt used to melt ice can also be a hazard to your plants?
You might not even realize it but when the snow plows come down your road they sling salt and snow several feet off the road. If you have any trees or shrubs that border the road they are in constant danger from salt leaching into the soil.
Yes, even the salt you put down on your driveways and walkways can also have a detrimental effect on neighboring plants and shrubs. So before you go slinging salt take some precautions to make sure your plants are protected.
Snow Plows and Salt
When the plows come down your road they fling snow far away from the road. If you have evergreens or shrubs they may get covered in salty snow or brine. This becomes worse as the snow melts and the roads turn muddy. Any car that passes by can splash salt on your trees.
While the ground is frozen you don’t have to worry but when the temperatures rise and the ground thaws the salt can soak into the ground and get into the roots of your trees.
Protect Your Plants
Putting down barriers around the trunks of your trees can prevent brine water from soaking into the ground. Usually made of plastic or burlap, they can be found at most hardware stores. Place firmly around the root zone and secure with rocks or stakes.
In the spring, remove the barriers and sweep/rake the area thoroughly just in case.
Dilute the Salt
If you fear that your efforts were not enough and salt may have gotten into the soil then bring out a hose and water the plants for a few hours. This will help wash away the salt that has seeped into the soil. This method should be repeated for a couple of days to be sure all the salt is gone.
Get a Head Start
When winter has released its grip on Michigan it’s time to start thinking about your lawn care schedule. Get a head start on your neighbors this year by getting quality lawn care from Custom Lawncare. Call and get an appointment scheduled at (800) 570-3313 or leave us a message on our website.