Ice melt use threatens your yard

1 month 2 days 7 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:01:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
By: Claire Bradshaw, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Too much rock salt on your driveway might hurt your yard in the spring. 

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, deicers can damage plants causing them to grow deformed or die off. 

MDC wants people to remember the environment when winter preparations come. Some ways to prevent harm from dangerous melts like common table salt, calcium chloride, ammonium nitrate and urea are removing ice by shoveling, using salt in moderation or create drainage channels around plants.

MDC spokesperson Robert Hemmelgarn said less is more.

"If you don't have to use it don't. If you do have to use it, use it sparingly and time it accordingly so it doesn't get washed away."

Hemmelgarn said sand can provide the same traction as melt and is more natural when washed away.

"Remember that anything you apply to your walkway, your driveway, your road is going to end up in yards, gardens and streams."

Applying gypsum to soil can correct or prevent the effects of salt in your yard. Gypsum is naturally occurring so it won't pollute the soil.

"So in conjunction with other stresses that these plants and animals may face, you know, [salt] could be the tipping point that kind of pushes them over the edge," Hemmelgarn said."

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