Winter weather brings snow to your sidewalks and driveways, and unfortunately ice often comes with it. Keeping these areas shoveled helps to lessen the danger of slippery surfaces, but sometimes additional help to melt the ice become a necessity. There are thousands of products available, but before you make a purchase, keep in mind how these products will affect your landscaping and, if you have them, the dogs in the family.

The staff at Homestead Gardens has the following information to help you make the best ice-melt choice for your home.



* If you have pets, some salt products can get stuck in the pads of paws and cause irritation. Some can even make your dog sick if he ingests it. Products that don't contain salt are best. We love how Paw Thaw keeps pet paws healthy all winter long!



* For walkways surrounded by grass, trees, bushes and other landscaping, rock salt can break up the slippery spots quickly and easily, but when that salt dissolves into the melting snow and then washes off into your grass, it creates a new problem. Too many doses of salt can kill grass, plants and trees, resulting in few plants surviving in that area. In addition, the salt will wash into your storm water drain and then can continue to affect living plants and trees throughout the entire watershed system. Products containing calcium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate are better options if you don't want to damage your landscaping. Our staff likes Avalanche ice melt because it doesn't harm the plants. These products are more expensive than rock salt, but will help prevent you from spending money on new landscaping each spring. They also work well at breaking up the ice.

* Alternative, chemical-free options that provide great traction on slippery surfaces include sand, ash and granite dust. They won't do as good of a job at melting and breaking up ice, but they will help pedestrians keep their feet underneath them while walking on your property.


Taking care of your property in winter means thinking about what you're putting down and how it will affect everything nearby, including the plants buried under the snow. If you are worried about what types of ice-melting products are best for your yard and your family, ask the staff at Homestead Gardens for some advice when you come in.

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