Protecting Turf from Winter Salt Damage
During winter months, the use of de-icing salts along sidewalks and driveways is common. De-icing salts, also known as sodium chloride, melt snow and ice on roads, but the salt often finds its way into the soil on adjacent turf. With too much salt in the soil, turf can struggle to grow.
Excess amounts of salt in turf can lead to many issues, like root shortening and thin turf. One of the most harmful effects of salt is its ability to “wick” water out of fine root hairs through osmotic salt potential. Water inside the root moves outward into the saltier soil solution in an attempt to equalize the salt concentration on each side of the root hair membrane. This dehydrates the root, causing it to die.
The damage done to turf by sodium chloride may take many seasons to recover. Seeding lines are very evident when salt has injured turf, and the turf may look patchy and thin. To offset the damage of de-icing salt, implementing a program to protect and provide proper nutrition to turf can save a tremendous amount of time and effort in the future. Application before ground freeze and dormancy is recommended to assure that turf is protected during winter. To alleviate salt damage, Hydra-Hume® helps prevent nutrient tie-up by improving nutrient availability, while improving soil structure and aggregation to allow for better water movement. The precision blend of plant extracts in Renova® improves root recovery and vigor to strengthen turf and improve salt tolerance. Soaker® Plus works as a preventative and a curative on drying soils. This preventative program approach provides turf with proper nutrition and protection to combat the damage caused by de-icing salts before the snow and ice arrives. For more information about protecting your turf, contact your local Helena representative or visit helenaprofessional.com.