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Protect Your Garden: Understanding The Dangers Of Rock Salt

Ice Melt Without Rock Salt

Rock salt is a popular de-icing agent used in winter months to keep sidewalks and roads free from ice and snow. However, many gardeners are not aware of the damage it can cause to their gardens. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of rock salt to your garden and how you can protect it.

MINNEAPOLIS – Monday marks the vernal equinox, and along with it, the beginning of spring. Yet as the Twin Cities wraps up its coldest St. Patrick’s Day weekend since 1993, it doesn’t quite feel like spring.

The numbers and statistics only reinforce that feeling.

This week, the Twin Cities will crack the Top 10 of longest periods with more than 1 inch of snow on the ground.

As of Sunday, there had been an inch or more of snow for 111 consecutive days — since Nov. 28 of this past year.

The all-time record, set in 1965, is 136 consecutive days. When the snow finally melted that year, the Twin Cities saw its worst floods in recorded history.

For anyone who enjoys the cold, March has been a perfect month. As of March 19, the temperature has yet to crack 50 degrees. If that persists for the rest of the month, it would be the first March without 50-degree temperatures since 2001.

If the Twin Cities pick up another .1″ of snow, they’ll move from No. 8 to No. 7 in the all-time yearly snowfall records.  


How Rock Salt Affects Your Garden

Salt Draws The Moisture Out Of Plants

Anyone who lives alongside the roads knows how damaging rock salt can be for their plants. The salt draws moisture from the grass and makes it go brown. This occurs when the passing cars spray the salt on the stems and buds of deciduous woody plants and branches, buds, leaves, and needles of evergreen plants. This results in burns on buds and other parts of the plant. Also, it exposes the tender tissues, desiccates the bud scales, and causes many other problems in plants. This, in turn, leaves the plant unprotected, drying out all the parts of the plant. When it happens, the plant becomes weak in fighting the cold and often gets killed because of dry and cold wind. 

Gets Dissolved In The Runoff Water

Plants are also affected by salt mixed in the runoff water. In the runoff water, sodium and chloride get separated, which can lessen other mineral nutrients present in the soil. Now the plants absorb sodium and chloride instead of the other essential nutrients. 

Causes Root Dehydration

Rock salt can damage the plant when salt-laden snow is plowed or shoveled into gardens. Salts in the soil absorb the water, and this means less amount of water is available for the plant, and hence it starts to cause dehydration in the roots. 

Protecting Your Garden From Rock Salt

To protect your garden from rock salt, there are several measures you can take. One of the most effective ways is to use alternative de-icing agents that are less harmful to plants and the environment, such as calcium magnesium acetate or potassium chloride.

Another option is to create physical barriers between your garden and areas where rock salt is being used. This can be done by placing burlap or other materials around the perimeter of your garden. Finally, you can also rinse your plants and soil with fresh water in the spring to help flush out any salt residue.

Why Choose Safe Paw Over Rock Salt?

Safe Paw has been a trusted brand for the past 20 years, with zero negative side effects on pets and plants. Unlike traditional rock salt, Safe Paw is a pet-friendly and eco-friendly ice melt product that will not harm your furry friends or the environment. In contrast, rock salt can dehydrate pets and even cause serious health issues. Plus, rock salt can damage plants and contaminate soil, which can lead to poor growth and yield.


Rock salt is a popular de-icing agent, but it can have a negative impact on your garden. By understanding the dangers of rock salt and taking the necessary precautions, you can protect your garden and ensure it stays healthy and safe.