Spring Remediation of Salt-Damaged Areas

posted in Humic & Humates

What a winter this continues to be!

Record snow in the East and Midwest, incidents of sleet and icing in the Mid-South and Southern states, and shortages of road de-icers due to unprecedented demand. The previously unfamiliar-to-most Polar Vortex certainly made herself known.

The record demand seen this winter for salt-based de-icing products means more widespread damage to turf and ornamental areas surrounding where salt was applied.

Salt damage to turf and ornamental areas is one of the more difficult issues to manage in any landscape, whether the damage is due to a difficult winter, a coastal storm, or is simply thanks to high native soil salinity in irrigation water.

In searching for soil amendments to assist in the remediation of these areas, you should be looking for products that will stimulate soil chemistry to help break down the salts, and will improve soil structure to aid in flushing salts.

Our Solutions
Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG are soil-applied amendment solutions designed to increase the effect on soil microbial activity and applied nutrients. Featuring naturally-derived humates and gypsum, these products are ideal for the remediation of salt-damaged turf and ornamental areas.

Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG provide:

  • A full spectrum of humic substances that deliver results over an extended period of time — stimulating soil microbes and soil chemistry, and aiding in the chelation and breakdown of salt soils
  • Gypsum, full of calcium and sulfur, to improve soil structure and help flush salts through the root zone
  • Homogenous, self-incorporating dispersing granules, for quick availability in the soil
  • Clean and easy-to-apply solutions

Work Into Your Year-Long Maintenance Program
I like to think of a typical salt management program as something that should be worked into the management of the entire year’s turf or landscape maintenance program. While the damage may be more or less severe year-over-year, how you choose to treat these areas will have effects on the rest of the year’s program.

With that in mind, it is also important here to reference some of the additional benefits that products featuring our dispersing granule (DG) technology provide. In addition to reducing soil salinity, both Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG can help to reduce overall nutrient needs and to improve overall plant health.

Put The Products To Work
The following recommendations will allow you to use Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG to their best advantage:

  1. Determine the size of the area(s) to be treated (measure length, width and depth). Allow 12-18 inches in additional length and width beyond visible damage. Keep in mind, root zone depths differ. On turf, for example, the predominate root zone is about six inches deep in soil or less.
  2. If possible, aerate damaged turf or loosen soil or mulch in landscape.
  3. Apply 12-20 pounds of Black Gypsum DG per 1,000 sq. ft. or 3-4 pounds of Humic DG per 1,000 sq. ft., following product label directions. Individual landscape plants (including acid-loving plants) can be treated under canopy of the plant.
  4. For quickest, most complete product activity, apply products before rainfall or irrigate soon after application.
  5. In turf areas of more extensive salt damage, the initial application of Humic DG or Black Gypsum DG should be followed 5-8 weeks later with an application of Humic DG at 3 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
  6. A late Summer / early Autumn over-seeding of turf-type grasses is advisable.

While mother nature certainly got the better of us this Winter, our fight back begins with soil amendments like Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG – two products ready to help in the efficient remediation of salt-damaged areas and to prepare your turf and landscape areas for the rest of the year to come.

John Pope is a Territory Manager for The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group, with a focus on high-tech, high-value solutions for the professional turf, horticulture and agriculture markets. John has been in the Plant Nutrient Industry for 33 years. He can be reached at: john_pope@andersonsinc.com.