Seasons Greetings from Our Family to Yours – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Complete Lawn Care and Complete Plant Health Care! We wish everyone a safe and meaningful holiday season.
Two Simple Rules for Snow and Ice – Many folks enjoy snow and the beauty it paints on our landscapes, but I’m not sure anyone feels the same about ice! Although snow and ice can look pretty from inside our warm homes, they can also cause catastrophic damage to our landscapes (think winter 2009-2010, aka “Snowmageddon.”)
Only time will tell whether we’ll face another winter like that, but here are two simple rules for protecting your landscape:
- Don’t try to shake ice or snow off of your plants; gently brushing snow from plants can help, but being too aggressive can snap and break brittle branches. It’s often better to let plants recover naturally as the snow and ice melts. Tying up sensitive shrubs such as boxwood prior to snow and ice events can help protect them from being crushed by wet, heavy snow.
- Be very careful when using ice melting products around your landscape. Some products are safer than others, but all must be used with caution and the use labels must be read and understood before application. Be sure to avoid using ice melting products that contain fertilizers such as Nitrogen or Phosphorus because they offer inferior ice melting and cause runoff pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. For this reason, the use of fertilizers in melt ice is prohibited by Maryland State Law.
The best and safest products for melting ice around your landscape are:
Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)
Magnesium Chloride (MgCl)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl)
Potassium Chloride (KCl)
Please note: Avoid Sodium Chloride if at all possible (NaCl is basically table salt). Although it is the cheapest product, it will damage your lawn, perennials, shrubs and trees, as well as concrete and steel. And, always read and follow directions for using these products!
We wish you safety in the ice and snow and pleasant thoughts of green grass and spring flowers (we’re already thinking about spring!).