Safe Ice Melt For Plants
Its that time of year that so many dread. Especially so many gardeners. The cold, icy and snow filled season that’s a drag for many gardeners. One question that I come across frequently is “What is a safe ice melt for plants?” There are several tips that can help protect your dormant friends, let’s go over them.
Keep all ice melting chemicals away from plants. Even if you don’t put them directly on your plants the run off from water from melting ice can impact them more than you may think. A good idea is to make a little channel or moat filled with gravel to catch runoff water before it gets to you plants. One thing to keep in mind when shoveling snow or pushing slush – keep it off of your lawn and plants. Don’t throw shovel loads of snow onto your lawn or flower beds or you’ll have problems in the spring.
Less is Better
People always seem to have a natural instinct to use to much of most everything. More is not better. Next time apply much less than what you’re use to. I think you’ll be surprised of the outcome. Once your first application is totally melted or gone than add a second or final coat of ice melt. Always remove snow before applying to get the most out of your ice melt. It will use all it’s melting ability on the snow, before it gets down to the ice.
If you apply a small amount as soon as it start to snow, it’s a good way to prevent the snow from sticking or freezing to the surface. When you apply your next application much less will be needed and will be more beneficial.
All products have certain temperatures they work best in. Rock Salt will melt ice down to 15 degrees F while Calcium Chloride will work great down to 5 degrees F. If you have temps below 5 degrees and you didn’t pre-apply, don’t even bother, just wait until it warms up.
For some more tips of melting ice and snow removal check out this article.
So What is Best for Melting Ice?
Salt is the most damaging ice melter while being the least inexpensive. Potassium, calcium and magnesium chloride are the safest, least corrosive and the most expensive. Cost may balance out though because less is required.
In colder temperature areas calcium chloride is probably the best product to use. Reason being it’s the most effective in low temps and while also being a nutrient that plants can handle in larger amounts.
The safest thing to do to protect plants from chemicals is don’t use them, just chip the ice away. In reality that isn’t always possible and it takes a lot of work. Just remember less is better and keep any ice melt in excess off of plants and you should be one step ahead. Check out more articles on gardening and lawn care here.