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road salt kills grass every year

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mowtownpm, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. mowtownpm

    mowtownpm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I have some accounts that are located right on a 4 lane road and every year the grass along the road is dead in the spring. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to why this is happening(I'm thinking it is the salt) and how to prevent this from occuring every year? Thanks
  2. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    It could be the salt. Also, the street absorbs all the H20 during the hot months along with compaction caused from cars.

  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,341

    It's the salt, most likely. It could also just be smothered by the sand, or some snow mold fungus forming under the melting snow. I would put money on the salt. The Romans did it to Carthage way back when. They burned their crops and then spread salt in their fields so that nothing would grow. Supposedly if you add a bunch of gypsum it will bind up with the salt and prevent the plant from sucking it up. Not sure if it actually works or not.
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Not only the salt but the edge of the road is probably under the plowed snow for long lengths of time and this will smother and kill the grass. The combination is hell on growing plants. Salt, no air, constant soaking during melts and etc. etc.

    You will often see hardscaping along high use roads for this very reason. Cut out the lawn and put in a nice rock garden. Other wise they can look forward to replacing the lawn each spring. Just sell them new grass every spring.
  5. Derek9D

    Derek9D LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    along the road u could put up that black silk screen fencing its like 2 feet high and just bang the wooden stakes in the ground so when the salt trucks go buy spreading the overshooting salt will hit the silkscreen and fall into the road not the grass so the salt wont burn it.
  6. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    you might also consider backing the grass away from the road and installing a different surface like gravel or perhaps a curb of a sort..
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    I have a lot of house on main roads that are like that also,or where the leaves sit before being picked up in the fall the grass will die.I will reseed it for the customer in the spring.Brings in some extra cash that way.
  8. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,005

    i would bet all the money in my savings accounts that its the salt....road grade salt is pure sodium chloride which if hell on grass...

    we have a do the snow and ice managment at the corporate HQ for a very large insurance company and to say the least we are required to salt on a Zero-tolerace policy (flurries, temp below 35, the smallest patch of ice requires a full app.). Everyone that works there carrys there insurance so if they slip and fall then the company pays the medical bills...and with the average slip and fall totallying around $35K these days it is a no brainer for them to cover there butt

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