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Does winter salt burn grass

Does salt used for melting ice and snow burn grass?? :confused: I have a commercial account which I sub contracted out the winter maintenance. The grass areas along the sidewalks are burnt looking. Talked to my sub contracter and he's never had problems and talked to other snow contracters and same thing no problems with salt burning grass. One thing I do know is that the sod when it was put down was put down on very poor soil with gravel included. Lifted some sod today and bingo lots of stone. Sod was put down last Aug 06 .......but looked good until now....spring time. Just trying to figure out what the cause is. The good thing so far is that the customer has said nothing about the burnt patches. How should I handle this.


LawnSite Member
Being you are from the north...
I used to work for the highway system here in northern Pa. During the near future, take a look at the roadside grass as it starts growing in the spring. You will always see the grass along the roads a lot higher than any grass that is away from the roads. Why...? the salt. Salt is actually a mineral. Now, too much salt, and you might see some burn, but I doubt it.
Now, other chemicals might be a different story - like calcium or magnesium.

My opinion, is that salt will not burn grass.


LawnSite Silver Member
S.E. Michigan
Yes ,excessive salt will burn the grass. The salt most likely to cause the damage is NaCl, ordinary rock salt. I've dealt with salt issues such as this quite extensively. The solution to your problem is to remove the dead grass along with several inches of soil and replace it. Next winter, switch to a more plant freindly de-icer such as KCl or MgCl.