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Closeup of the center and partial petals of a deep yellow sunflower.

The End of Fall Ushers In Ice Melt Season

November typically is the beginning of ice melt season when most people realize winter is closer than further away. Snow tire installation is a good sign that you might want to think about shovels, fresh wiper blades, and of course ice melt. I mention ice melt because it has a role in winter safety, but also affects your lawn and landscape.

Ice melt is commonly used to keep you from falling; no one likes to fall and get hurt. The problem is that ice melts vary tremendously in content, performance, and cost, see for even more information. A rule of thumb, the cheaper the ice melt (rock salt) the more damage will occur to things you cherish such as lawns, trees, shrubs, beautiful walkways, wood floors, and your pet’s paws. After working so hard to bring your lawn back from a harsh summer, does it make sense to damage or even kill parts of your lawn with rock salt just because it’s cheap and readily available? You do have choices.

There are ice melts that are landscape, walkway and pet friendly that are less harmful than the sodium chloride of rock salt. Ice melt products containing CMA, calcium magnesium acetate, are not only less damaging, but offer better performance in lower melting temperatures (20 to -20F) and will provide greater coverage. However, no ice melt is perfect, as products containing CMA do cost more. But with better coverage and a lower melting temperatures, the cost is not a clear apples to apples comparison. For instance, a typical 50lb bag of rock salt ice melt may treat 2,500 to 5,000 sqft if you are really good at spreading it onto an icy surface. On the other hand, the same 50lb bag ice melt containing CMA would typically treat 5 times as much area or about 25,000 sqft. Even though the bag of rock salt is less expensive, is it really such a bargain?

I mentioned safety earlier because regardless of how much you love your lawn or shrubs or even a freshly sealed driveway, falling can be a very hazardous and painful event. No shrub or lawn is worth a stay in the hospital for a broken leg or worse. However, if you could still stay safe and protect your landscape, would not that make ideal sense? Especially since the cost is not that much greater with better performance? I think so.

This season, please consider a more environmentally friendly ice melt which will serve both to protect your safety and that of your green landscape and pets. We do offer ice melt for delivery by the 50lb bag or pallet in our market area. If interested, simply respond to this post.