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Ever wonder if rock salt will kill your grass? The chances of your lawn dying are much higher than you think.
Lawns carry lots of memories. That lawn you care for all summer might be where your kids hang out, or where you play fetch with your dog, or where your son took his first steps. You mow and water and fertilize your lawn all summer to keep it nice and healthy. But come wintertime, that routine is flipped on its backside because of the way you melt snow and ice.
During snowy months, many of you will opt for rock salt to melt snowy and icy driveways, walkways, and patios. But what you may not realize is that you are a grass murderer. Because of rock salt (sodium chloride), your grass is suffering from immense dehydration and toxification.
So to put it frankly: yes, rock salt can kill your grass. So unless you’re in the hay-making business, put down the rock salt, or you’ll have bundles of dried-out grass at your doorstep taunting you once springtime rolls around.
How does rock salt kill grass?
Think of grass the same way you would think of hair. It needs to be nicely hydrated, it needs the right nutrients, and it needs a trim every once and a while. What hair doesn’t need is a bombardment of salt every couple weeks.
So what is the problem with salt?
Ever eaten an entire bag of potato chips and woken up the next morning with swollen fingers? Even regular table salt can dehydrate you and cause inflammation. So just imagine how your grass feels once exposed to high quantities of sodium chloride, aka rock salt.
The dehydrating effect of rock salt will dehydrate ice just as easily as it will dehydrate your grass. When rock salt comes into contact with plants, it becomes brittle and begins to wilt and die off. Why would you want that after all the hard work you’ve put into creating your perfect landscape?
High soil toxicity
When large quantities of rock salt come into contact with soil, it can create a permanent toxic environment in which new plants and grasses will be unable to grow without becoming dehydrated and dying in their early stages.
Having high-saline soil won’t just kill off existing vegetation, it will make it extremely difficult to properly grow any vegetation in the future.
What can I use instead?
Instead of reaching for rock salt and leaving a grass crime scene behind as your lawn cries in agony, use something gentler and safer for vegetation. Calcium chloride ice melt pellets are much safer for vegetation and will not cause grass or plants to die. Magnesium chloride ice melt pellets are also a safer ice melting option because like calcium chloride, they will not kill off plants or cause toxicity in soil. Magnesium chloride is also a safer option for pet owners, as it won’t irritate paws or cause tummy aches in animals.