As we near the brink of fall in the High Country of North Carolina, we are beginning to feel the effects of shorter days and cooler mornings and evenings. The leaves have begun to change colors and fall to the ground. Intense yardwork and preparation for the spring are at the forefront of your mind. However, winter is not lingering too far behind. Winter brings along its own set of demons. Through winter you have to deal with preventing salt damage to your lawn.
Find information on how to save your lawn here.
How do I know what salt damage looks like?
While we all enjoy the safety salted roads, that same salt keeping us safe is wreaking havoc on our lawns. As the snow begins to melt you may notice brown strips of grass along the edges of your lawn. The chemicals in the salt break down the ice and snow, but also dry out the roots of your grass thus producing patches of dead grass. Luckily, grasses in the High Country of North Carolina is typically strong enough to rebound, but there are times when this is not the case. If your turf is not cared for in the proper way, you may need to contact Mountaineer Maintenance to help repair the damage.
How do I protect my lawn?
Taking a few additional steps when preparing your lawn in the fall can save you a lot of heartache in the spring.
- Use a salt alternative – Due to the effects of salt on your lawn homeowners have gotten quite creative with ways to keep their yards healthy. These include kitty litter, sand, coffee grounds, vinegar, and alfalfa meal.
- Burlap sacks – Covering the edges of your lawn with a burlap sack or landscape fabric can assist in preventing salt from coming in contact with your grass.
- Don’t over salt – Homeowners have the tendency to use too much salt on their porches and driveways thus leading to more runoff than necessary. Take caution and use only the amount necessary to make a safe passageway.
- Get creative with your borders – In addition to assisting with your curb appeal, hardscaping could save the edges of your lawn from damage by covering them up.
How do I choose the right salt?
In the world of salt, not all salts are created equally. Bargain salt could possibly be made with abrasive chemicals that could lead to a chemical buildup in your soil and have a damaging effect on concrete and hard surfaces. The more you pay for salt deicing the less corrosive. Below is a quick explanation of your options.
- Magnesium Chloride – The price point on magnesium chloride may be slightly off-putting, but it is worth it. The salt has the tendency to be gentle enough to not damage most plants and/or flowers.
- Sodium Chloride (also known as rock salt) – This is the cheapest option, but also the harshest on your lawn and concrete.
- Potassium Chloride – This is another semi-expensive salt, but be aware it could lead to a damaging buildup of salt over time.
- Calcium Chloride – While not as cheap or damaging to your lawn as rock salt, this salt could lead to damage of your concrete or asphalt.
How do I repair salt damage?
It is best to deal with salt damage as soon as possible. You can begin by rinsing your landscape to remove the salt. Make sure to wait until the temperatures are above zero so you do not cause the need for more salt.
If the damage has been done, you can purchase a soil conditioner to repair the damage caused by the salt drying out your lawn. As soon as the ground thaws enough, spend a little extra time raking up the dead grass.
When to call a landscaper near you!
Anyone living in Watauga or Avery County of North Carolina is well aware of the harsh winters that come along with living in such a beautiful location. Residents are also knowledgeable that salt can cause detrimental damage to landscapes by drawing moisture out from the grass, thus causing it to turn brown. Mountaineer Maintenance is here to help your lawn keep stay green and lush year-round. Our experts are here to help improve your grass and prevent any issues you may experience from the harsh winters in the mountains of North Carolina. Contact us today!