We haven’t had any big snow or ice storms yet, but they will happen this winter, and you need to be careful when using salt to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear. Patrick O’Malley, a horticulture specialist with the Johnson County Extension office, says the salt can harm your lawn and plants. He says it probably wouldn’t kill the plants outright but it does prevent them from taking in water in the spring. He says the safest thing to do is to buy ice-melts that aren’t sodium-chloride. He says things like calcium chloride can be found at any hardware store, and they don’t do nearly as much damage as regular salt. If you are going to use regular salt he recommends mixing it with sand so you don’t have to use as much. He also recommends flushing the soil around your plants with water in the spring to clear out any salt that may be in the soil.

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