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December 04, 2012
Hold the Salt!
Hold the Salt!
Salt and margaritas are a match made in heaven, but salt and plants? That's a match made in ... well, you get the idea.

So before you sprinkle a de-icer on your sidewalk, check the package. If it contains salt, or sodium chloride, it could harm your plants as well as turf grass when it dissolves into the surrounding soil and is taken up by roots.

Luckily, there are garden-safe alternatives to salt, including coarse sand and salt-free de-icers made from calcium chloride or limestone and acetic acid. Some people even suggest using cat litter, though that seems like it could be messy and expensive.

You can find saltless de-icers at home centers or hardware stores. Or make your own, using a recipe from Gardens Alive.

If you're a stickler for salt, follow the Gardens Alive tips to minimize potential damage, and consider erecting burlap barriers or snow fencing to protect plants, particularly sensitive evergreens, from watery salt spray.

Discover   how to make your own salt-free de-icing mixture.
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