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Heather's Helpful Hint

Ice and Snow Removal
January 20, 2011

The weather this past week has certainly taken our eyes off of anything garden related. You may however want to think about your lawn and garden while you are busy taking care of snow and ice.

Rock salt is the cheapest ice melter and works very well, but there can be a cost to your lawn and to garden plantings because of the damage done. Sodium chloride easily dissolves snow and ice but may leach into areas close to where you have applied the product. Damage may also occur when a snow plow throws salty snow and slush onto your lawn and planting beds close to the roadside.

Most plants are able to tolerate a small amount of extra sodium so occasional salt may be acceptable, but there are some effective alternatives to just ignoring the ice and falling on your rear end. Sand or cinders will stop slipping and sliding. Just be sure to remove your shoes or boots before entering your home. Lawn fertilizers have been shown to be effective in melting ice and snow but may be expensive and if used in high concentration can burn an area in your lawn and garden. Some newer ice melting products contain calcium magnesium acetate which is much safer for grass and shrubs.

Finally, a long handled flat bladed shovel and some elbow grease could be the most effective way to eliminate ice and snow from those areas of concern. Whatever you do, be careful out there and when the weather allows please come and visit at Waterloo Gardens.

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