When it comes to lawn care this time of year, remember that it’s plain and simple—salt kills grass! It doesn’t matter whether the salt comes on costal breezes, or from a bag used to melt snow and ice on the driveway and sidewalk; either way, you get the same results. No matter how carefully you apply deicing salts, it’s highly likely that some salt will spill onto the turf.
So what do you do? Now’s the time to liberally sprinkle gypsum in a 5-foot-wide band all over any grass that’s within spittin’ distance of where you’re even thinking about using salt. Then, overspray the gypsum with a simple solution made of 1 cup of dishwashing liquid, 1/2 cup of ammonia, and 1/2 cup of beer in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, applied to the point of run-off. Your soil and turf will then be in great shape to survive the winter.
And while you’re thinking about slippery surfaces, why not try some terrific natural alternatives to melting the ice? Clean cat litter and sand both provide traction on slippery surfaces, and they’re cheap, effective, and lawn-friendly. There’s also a whole slew of new ice melters that are salt-free. Some even contain fertilizers that provide nutrients to your lawn as they wash away the ice—so check ‘em out!