Sodium chloride used for deicing may cause bare spots along sidewalks, driveways, and roads. Salts in dog urine can leave dead spots with greener grass around the edges. Even if the damage does not kill the vegetation it increases stress on plants, making them vulnerable to insects, diseases and weed competition. Salts can also prevent germination and damage seedlings.
Three cool-season grasses (perennial ryegrass, fine fescues, and tall fescue) are more tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass to salt damage. Minimize salt damage by addressing soil compaction and patch bare spots.
Minimize Salt Damage
- Do not plow or shovel salt-laden snow on grass.
- Apply only enough salt to do the job.
- Use calcium chloride-based deicing salts.
- Train dogs to go elsewhere or flush immediately.
- Flush salts from the soil if drainage is adequate-rain might do it or add water by hand