The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

January 29, 2014

Be careful with de-icers

Chemicals can harm plants

RICHMOND — When snow and ice occur, one of the first things we do (other than making sure we have plenty of milk and bread) is to begin applying de-icers to our sidewalks and steps.

What you may not know is that the salt in de-icing materials may be harmful to your landscape. The salt can seriously injure or kill plants growing next to these paved areas. Grass leaves, crowns, and roots are especially susceptible, as well as trees and shrubs.

The chemicals in de-icing agents may also build up in the soils. A soil with high salt content may damage a plant’s root system, leading to symptoms of leaf scorch, stunted growth, and lack of vigor.

If you are worried about harming your plants, use a de-icer that contains calcium magnesium acetate or calcium chloride, instead of sodium chloride. Other materials, such as sand, sawdust or kitty litter can also be used to gain traction on the ice and snow.

Another option is to mix a de-icing agent with one of these alternative materials. Some recommend using granular fertilizer to combat ice. Fertilizers may be less damaging than sodium chloride, but you need to remember that their overuse also can be harmful to plants or cause extremely rapid growth in the spring.

If your street is often salted and plowed in the winter, salt damage may be unavoidable. If this is the case, it may be in your best interest to invest in plants that can tolerate salt accumulation.

These trees and shrubs have shown resistance to de-icing salts: white ash, honeylocust, black locust, eastern red cedar, Colorado spruce, Austrian pine, Pfitzer juniper, mock orange, fragrant and staghorn sumac and Rugosa rose. Avoid planting arborvitae, beech, holly, dogwood, hemlock, Scotch pine and white pine in areas where salt may accumulate.

Use de-icers correctly. These products are not meant to melt all the ice and snow on your pavement, only to break the bond between it and ice.

Most people apply too much of these chemicals. Follow the manufacturer’s label. Wait for the melting action then mechanically remove the ice.

 Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.


Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hope’s Wings volunteers need your help today

    Help a local resident “get out of jail,” and in turn help men, women and children break the cycle of domestic violence in Madison and surrounding counties.

    April 11, 2014

  • 4-11 FosterParentYear.jpg Bereans named Foster Parents of Year, Outstanding Adoptive Parent

    Stephanie and Doug Gillum of Berea will be honored as Foster Parents of the Year tonight during an appreciation reception at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-11 PuppetryFILE.jpg Puppet parade planned Saturday in Berea

    The city of Berea will be celebrating Puppets in the Park on Saturday as part of the National Day of Puppetry.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal group seeks volunteers to assist with spay/neuter clinic

    The Madison County Humane Society/Animal League for Life is reaching out to the community for help with its low-cost spay and neuter clinic.
    The clinic, which operates at the HS/ALL adoption center at 128-C Big Hill Avenue, has spayed or neutered more than 2,000 dogs and cats since it opened in July 2012, according to volunteer Lynn Grove.

    April 3, 2014

  • State funding to help keep domestic violence shelter open

    Money for Madison County domestic violence intervention in the recently passed $20 billion state budget will be used to keep the Hope’s Wings shelter open.
    The budget bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

    April 2, 2014

  • 3-29 PetsofWeek1.jpg Pets of the Week

    This week's cat is Jett, a neutered and front declawed 5-year-old male.

    This week's dog is Ace, a 2-year-old male Chihuahua mix.

    March 29, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results