An essential part of commercial landscaping in Chicago during the wintertime is snow removal. This is the time of year when a snowstorm can roll in and cover your property in the snow. We have spent countless blogs discussing the benefits of snow removal services, from mitigating risk to keeping high safety standards. With that being said, let us assume that you are a customer that uses our snow removal services, or a property manager who engages in snow and ice removal in some other way. One thing that is not typically thought of is the salt that is used to melt ice. This is the fault of nobody, but salt can actually be detrimental to certain parts of your landscaping. It is this blog that we will use to discuss how you can protect your landscaping from salt damage.

How To Protect Landscaping From Salt Damage

What Can Salt Damage?

The first thing we must talk about is which parts of the landscape are at risk. Some of the first things that come to mind are plants, pavers, furniture, and wood surfaces. When it comes to plant material, including flowers, trees, and shrubs, salt is toxic to their structure. It can dry out their roots and prevent the production of potassium. It can stain wood surfaces, which is also where the risk to patio furniture comes in. If your pavers have not been sealed recently, they can also seep between the cracks and cause discoloration and erosion to the durability of the hardscape. Now that you know what you are up against, we can work on prevention. 

Tall Edge on Pathways

When it comes to keeping salt away from plant material, this should not be too difficult given that salt is not being applied directly to the plants. However, the risk is when salt is applied to pathways or patios, the salt can seep over the edges into dedicated plant beds. This is where the salt can do the most damage to your most important landscape investments. The solution is to install edging around pathways that at least provide a few inches of wall between the pathway and the plants.

Sweep Away Excess Salt

Another quick tip to prevent the discoloration or erosion of your valuable hardscape is to take initiative and sweep away any excess salt as soon as the ice is melted. This both reduces the risk of salt discoloring pavers, but also the risk of it spilling over into the soil. If you are really concerned with your hardscape specifically, you can have it resealed which is recommended every few years regardless. If your hardscape is that old it might be time to look into it.

Utilize Gypsum Soil Conditioner

In the winter a good way to minimize the way salt negatively impacts soil is with soil conditioners. These will replace the broken-up sodium and chlorine molecules with calcium and sulfur, which will not prevent nutrient absorption like the latter two. This also reduces the impact of salt pulling valuable moisture from the soil and will help protect your landscaping from damage by salt.

Pezza Landscape, Inc. is a full-service landscaping company proudly serving the Chicagoland area and its surrounding suburbs. Give us a call at (630) 393-7373 or visit our website to get in touch.

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