Q. How do I protect my plants from salt injury?
Salt injury to plants shows up during early spring. The symptoms of salt injury are brown needles, sparse leaf production in spring, brown leaf margins thrughout the summer, and needle drop. Sometimes plants die due to salting of streets and sidewalks during winter.
To reduce salt injury in soils exposed to de-icing salts, thoroughly water soils in spring. If possible, avoid using any de-icing salts after March 1st.
Other steps to reduce salt injury are:
- Use a salt alternative.
- Add gypsum to salt-prone roadside areas and other salty soils to displace salt. This helps imporove soil structure before planting.
- Install snow fencing to reduce salt spray and runoff.
- Mulch around plants will help absorb salts.
- Use salt-tolerant plants.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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