How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?

Last update: 2021-07-25

For safety, many people tend to use ice melt products on their walkways, driveways, and paths to their landscapes during the winter. But this accidentally harms the plants, grasses, and flowers underneath the snow layers.

If you don’t want them to die, here is how to avoid ice melt damage to your lawn and garden. Take a look!

How Ice Melt Damages Your Lawn And Garden

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?

To inhibit ice formation during the winter, rock salt and ice melt products are the two most popular solutions.

But don’t you know that they can damage your plants, grasses, and flowers?

Rock salt and ice melt products contain lots of urea, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride.

After melting the ice, they will be in contact with the ground and suck up moisture and vital magnesium in the soil. Plants, because of that, can’t get enough water and nutrients to grow. Not to say that ice melt products contain toxins.

Once released, they will be separated from the salt, then be dissolved by water and absorb into the soil. If your plant roots get in these toxins, they can’t produce chlorophyll or convert sunlight into energy.

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?You’ll see the consequences of ice melt products on your lawn and garden after the warm spring comes – they turn brown and look like dying.

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn

Use Alternatives To Melt The Ice


If your house isn’t affected severely by snow, but just some certain spots, such as walkway and driveway. Use sand instead of ice melt products to defrost icy areas.

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?They are cheap, easy to find, and eco-friendly.

The most important thing is that sand creates good traction on ice, keeping you from slippage when walking on it. Additionally, when it’s sunny, sand absorbs the heat and makes the ice melt really fast.

Cat Litter

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?Again, this method is suitable for spotty icy areas.

Just like sand, cat litter gives a good grip on a slippery, icy walkway, which is safer to walk through.

The only drawback is if your cat litter products contain a huge amount of clay, you might have extra work to do after the ice leaves.


How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?

After testing fertilizers on some small icy spots, we realized that they did melt the ice, making the surface less slippery.

In a nutshell, this solution does work and if your garden or lawn is slightly affected by snow, try it.

Remember to apply just a small amount because too thick fertilizer layers on the topsoil might inhibit the plant growth, not to say that it might cause your grasses to die or poison animals if they eat it.

Does Vinegar Or Cabbage Juice Melt The Ice?

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?During our tests, we also tried these two liquid solutions.

When applied on specific snowy spots, they did very little to nothing to the ice, if not saying that these fluids made the surface more slippery.

So, we don’t highly recommend trying any of them to melt the ice around your house.

Place Temporary Silt Or Snow Fencing Along With The Garden And Lawn

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?

If your lawn or garden is near the street, building temporary silt or snow fencing is the best way to protect these landscapes from the ice melt spread on the street.

Use plastic sheeting to cover them and secure them with rocks, landscape staples, or any heavy objects you have at hand.

Reduce Damages Of Ice Melt Products

It’s hard to stop using ice melt products or rock salt, especially when the winter weather in your living area is heavily snowy.

However, you can wash away the salt that stays in your soil.

Don’t wait until Mother Nature produces some rain to wash them off. You can flush the salt away by watering the damaged zones or soak them every day whenever the weather turns warmer – usually in the morning.

How To Avoid Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn & Garden?

Water 2 or 3 times in these areas to remove completely the salt.

When the spring comes, melting ice helps wash more salt away from your lawn, and the turf will look green again in 6-8 weeks.

Extra Actions To Reduce Ice Melt Damage To Your Lawn And Garden

To offer the maximum protection to your landscapes, here are some other tips:

  • To avoid re-applying, shovel snow, and ice as soon as possible to keep the surface open
  • Prevent ice by putting the ice melt product down before the precipitation
  • Rock salt only works down to 15 degrees, so, during extreme cold, don’t use it. Instead, try calcium magnesium acetate, calcium chloride, or other deicing agents
  • Avoid applying too much salt.
  • Always follow label directions


We have just walked you through all the sections of this article. Hopefully, through our guide, you’ll get a better idea of how to avoid ice melt damage to your lawn and garden. Thanks a lot for reading and don’t forget to follow our blog to get more informative, helpful articles.

Harry Ramos
Harry Ramos

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