Salt is always the biggest enemy of lawns! They cause the grass to turn brown, grow weakly, or even die. The good news is it’s easy to fix these consequences by following our guide.
In this article, our experts are going to share all the steps to repair salt-damaged lawn optimally and quickly.
How Salt Damages Your Lawn
The biggest damaging effect of salt is they suck up moisture and key nutrients from the soil so that plant roots can’t absorb them. As a result, the grass turns brown, and then dies because of dehydration and malnourishment.
On flowers, salt inhibits them from blooming or shedding new leaves.
Unfortunately, you might only realize the damaging effects of salt on your garden or lawn until spring comes and the snow starts melting.
That said, there are ways to repair it!
How To Repair Salt Damaged Lawn
Flush Out The Salt Damaged Areas
Use a garden sprinkler or hose to wash off the salt-damaged areas in your lawn since these nozzles don’t apply high water pressure or strong force to patches of weak turf.
Instead, they distribute water gently and naturally.
Soak these areas thoroughly to make sure to remove the salt of your grass. With severe salt-damaged areas, you might have to repeat this step several times.
Remember to let your turf dry out before starting to rake them.
Use a garden rake, fork, or grass stitcher tool to gently remove dead grass blades, which helps expose the underneath topsoil so that when you sow new grass seeds, they will be established faster.
Test The Soil Quality
This step makes sure that the soil is ready for new turf. You can send a soil sample from your lawn to a nearby soil testing lab for help or inspect it on your own, using a soil test kit.
This kit is easily bought at most plant stores or online.
If all of the indicators show that your soil is good, you’re really lucky. On the contrary, just start a proper plan to renovate it depending on the soil test results.
Use gypsum to fix your salt-damaged lawn. This substance is rich in calcium, which can replace salt residues in the soil in order to reduce the damaging effects.
For those who intend to try this solution, a tip is to add pelletized gypsum into your lawn spreader, then spread it twice on the sidewalks, driveways, and around street curbs.
Talking about the amendments to counteract the salt damage, we highly recommend finished, finely screened compost products made of 100% organic ingredients. They are safe, easy to use, and budget-friendly.
Another solution is using Primera sports field conditioner - a natural calcined clay chip used for decreasing salt damaging effects to plants while not ruining concrete.
It’s best to use on slick driveways and walkways.
Depending on the quality of your soil, add a compost layer on your lawn with the thickness ranging from ¼” to 1”.
This step plays a huge role in helping lawn seeding as well as enhancing the soil with life-affirming nutrients.
The best time to apply compost on your lawn is in spring after raking or mowing it for the first time. If you are new to this task, watch this tutorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtn0rUf9yl8
Sow Grass Seeds
Choose high-quality grass seeds to sow in the salt-damaged areas. You can choose a similar type of grass to the existing one on your lawn or the same-same one, depending on your preference and needs.
In our opinion, avoid those grass types that are sensitive to rock salt, such as Kentucky BlueGrass. Or, mix it with seeds of other grass types for a healthier turf later. For example, mix Kentucky BlueGrass with perennial fescues and ryes.
Fescue grass seeds might need around 10-14 days to pop up while rye grass are faster.
In small areas, spread the new grass seeds by hand.
In larger areas, use a mechanical seeder, lawn spreader, or garden fork.
Per square inch, apply around 14-16 grass seeds. Cover them with a thin topsoil layer (under ¼” thick). In terms of irrigation, make sure to water new seed beds properly every day to enhance germination.
Once their height is up to 2”, reduce gradually the watering frequency.
Avoid applying pesticides on these areas before laying down sods or planting new grass seeds because it might create a barrier that inhibits the germination or new grass growth.
How To Avoid Salt Damaging Effects
Prevention is better than cure. Here are some suggestions to prevent salt from damaging your lawn ever again:
- Use burlap wraps around your turf
- Not pile treated snow around the lawn
- Sweep and remove sand to keep drains clog-free as well as prevent accumulation in the lawn
- Plow and shovel the snow from your lawn after each storm (consider hiring a local landscaping company)
- Install a heated driveway or pathway
- Keep your turf hydrated before and during the dormant season
Do you find this post about how to repair salt-damaged lawn helpful to you? Have you started any step of this guide yet? We’d like to hear from you as much as possible.
Thanks for reading!