Street salt – danger to plants

Salt – a poisonous “spice” for the floor in the beds

Recently it has become very popular to farm with minimal use of chemicals – fertilizers, pesticides, etc. They are trying to replace them with everything you can find in the kitchen and pantry – soda, soap, ammonia, and more. Such a substance as salt is especially in demand on the farm. Unfortunately, very often its use brings more harm than good.

How can you damage the floor of the beds with salt?

The Internet is just replete with numerous articles and videos with screaming headlines like “You use salt – you’ll be a king in the fall! But mostly this additive is used in food for:

  • Getting rid of tardiness.
  • Improving beet growth;
  • To kill onion fly larvae;
  • To drive out ants, apple moths, and California scab;
  • To repel moles, moths, gophers, field mice.

Salt is used in different forms, but the main ways are two – in the form of a solution for spraying and in dry form for pouring beds. After the first rain, this substance in one form or another ends up in the ground, and there begins its harmful effects.

table salt and ants

The harm of salt

Deciphering the formula of ordinary sodium salt (NACL) shows that it contains chlorine and sodium. This should be considered, reflecting the balance of benefits and harms when using this substance in the garden and vegetable garden. First of all, Chlorine can cause harm to a wide variety of cultivated (and not just) plants. Its main property is the ability to draw calcium ions into the soil solution. Therefore, after the first rain or watering, penetrate water into the deepest layers of the soil.

Sodium is absolutely unnecessary for most plants, while it also removes calcium, iron, magnesium, etc. from the soil.

It is clear that this “loss” is not good for vegetables and fruits. It would seem that in this case, you can make fertilizers to make up for the deficit. But here’s the trouble – the salt prevents the plant from assimilating the useful substances. In general, an excess of sodium chloride can lead to soil salinization, a risk in those places where saline groundwater is close to the top layer of soil. Salt spots often appear in such areas.

Salinization of floors causes plants to absorb moisture poorly. This is because the saline soil turns into a lifeless rocky crust that does not allow liquid to pass through.

In addition, under the influence of water and microorganisms, salt is converted into hydrochloric acid, which increases the acidity of the soil and interacts with many substances necessary for plants. Unfortunately, useful chemical elements are not available to plants in this form.

homemade spices

The world's largest salt marsh, the Uyuni salt marsh in Bolivia

I can’t say anything about using salt to improve growth, but I know that my friend’s husband cleaned his driveway with this substance. They made a beautiful tile driveway in their garden, and every year they agonized over how to weed out this beauty. And then they were recommended a salt solution (one kilogram of salt per 10 liters of water), which they had to water the tiles with. In fact, they even forgot about the excess vegetation for 2-3 months, and then repeated the process.

The gradual accumulation of salt in the soil leads to the formation of soda, and if it already interacts with humus (the main organic element of the soil), it has a negative effect on it. Useful substances from this component of the soil are actively released, but do not have time to recover, as a result – reduction of the soil and a strong deterioration of plant growth.

The use of salt in agriculture can be easily abandoned, as it can be replaced by much safer means:

  • Salt is not needed as a fertilizer, since sodium is not an essential substance for plant growth, and it is already available in the right quantities in every floor.
  • It is better to use ash or tobacco dust from onion dips, which should be sprinkled and applied regularly between beds on moist soil during the season.
  • To add sweetness to the bug twice during the growing season, treat them with a solution of borax (1 teaspoon per 10-liter bucket). It will fertilize the vegetables, make them larger, improve the leaf and prevent root rot.

There are many other safe remedies that serve as alternatives to salt and can be more effective.

Onions infested with onion fly larvae

How to “heal” the soil after planting

According to the FAO, about a quarter of the country’s entire surface is now occupied by saline soils, and in the Russian Federation (according to the RAS) their number is about 40 million hectares. At the same time, 30% of them are inhabited by man. As you know, this situation means that there are fewer fertile countries. It is even sadder when you with your own hands turn the land into barren, and then you have to think seriously about how you can remove the excess salt on your personal plot. Let’s face it, the process of restoring the soil can be very long and not always one hundred percent effective.

The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is the United Nations organization for food and agriculture, whose main task is to fight hunger and find ways to prevent it.

To improve the land, you can use the following methods:

  1. Flush the land thoroughly. This requires about 150 liters of water per 1 square meter of salted soil;
  2. Make special additives, most often used raw gypsum, as an option you can take phosphogypsum. Getting into the soil, one element of the substance (calcium) replaces the sodium from the soil, and the other (sulfate) binds it and turns it into a neutral salt. The amount of additive can vary depending on the stage of salinity, but on average it is 4-10 kg per square meter.
  3. Arrange for good drainage. Use all available loose materials – large sawdust, wood shavings, brick chips, peat, etc.
Diseases of garden plants

Sawdust in the garden

Do not be afraid that the plaster will turn the floor into a solid lump. On the contrary, the ground will be able to “breathe” and hold water, which will not allow it to create increased mineralization.

After clearing the ground of excess salts, organic fertilizers should be applied to the site, because once absorbed, all the beneficial substances disappear from the ground.

Salt reviews on the website

Do not forget that by applying salt to the soil, you get rid of not only weeds, but also good plants. And whether your trees like salty soil is also a grandmother’s twofer. Probably not. At the same time you will destroy worms, and these are our main helpers. And on an empty salty place will only grow weeds. What do you want? It is better to mow or cut the grass with a flatbed or scissors and leave it in place as mulch.


The question is very interesting. I myself have been engaged in recovery for a long time and at the same time solved problems with water-salt metabolism. As a rule, no chemicals help, and if they do, they help only temporarily. You have to do the drainage well and competently, it helps dramatically! But it is very expensive. Of course, you can make it waterproof in the form of clay, but to a depth of 2-3 meters you can’t make it waterproof. Any external impact, somehow saddles the tree, and these 30 centimeters (bayonet according to Sadovov) will make all your labors useless.

Mikhail E. Vasin

We bought a plot for a dacha near Salt Lake. The land was not productive, and then our association arranged for manure land. We brought 500 cubic meters of earth, leveled it and in spring we saw the salt glistening in the sun. In the first year, nothing good grew, and in the fall we were advised to dig up the dacha with grape seedlings instead of manure. There was a winery in our town, and this oilcake was sent to the landfill. We brought a tractor trailer, scattered it, and digged it up. In the spring, the ground was loose and no salt was visible. We have had a dacha for many years, but everything grows beautifully if you fertilize the soil.

Anna Shuvaeva

Most likely, salt has become so popular in private farming due to its exceptional cheapness. But keep in mind that there are no agricultural studies on the use of this substance in treating crops. And even before using numerous recipes with salt for the garden and vegetable garden, remember the expression of Dmitry Nikolayevich Pryanishnikov, the famous Russian agrochemist and plant physiologist: “Lack of knowledge cannot be replaced by an excess of the will of fruit agents”!

Snow thrower Huter SGC 2000E. Description, instructions, reviews

How does technical salt affect the environment? The reaction of the expert

How does industrial salt affect the environment?

The snow in Minsk has almost melted. It became much easier to move around the city: no drifts, no ice. Minsk residents have noticed that many sidewalks in the capital are covered with hoarfrost after the snow melts. It’s simple: “frosting” is a trace of technical salt. This chemical was liberally sprinkled on the sidewalks in winter. The salt dealt with liquefaction of ice, reliably saving citizens from painful falls and injuries. The spring rains came and the rest of the de-icing material washed away. Some of it fell into the ground. In what order? How does the technical salt affect the environment? We turned to a specialist for an answer.

Cheap and sulfuric

Technical salt has long established itself as an inexpensive and effective reagent. It acts quickly and effectively, it stands on ice, it can be used in a mixture with sand. This winter, the reagent has once again proved its effectiveness and was used on the streets of Minsk on all the roads.

Meanwhile, citizens complain that engineering salt is not as flawless as the utilities like it. For example, it is commonly believed that salt along sidewalks spoils shoes. In addition, the use of salt is bad for pets’ paws. Car owners, in turn, complain that technical salt negatively affects the condition of their personal cars. It is believed that the cherry over the criticism of technical salt contributes to environmental problems. Yes, technical salt is cheap for melting snow, but what harm does it do to the urban environment, and especially soils? Salt destroys their structure, and plants do not thrive in a salty environment, experts say.

Several years ago, Minsk residents drew attention to the fact that sidewalks were unfairly sprinkled with large amounts of de-icing chemicals. Such a fight against ice was negatively affecting vegetation near roads and sidewalks. Note the importance of moderate reagent use. Finally, the limited use of salt reduces some environmental problems.

BK-2600 gas rabbit "Kalibr": description, characteristics and rules of use

Several years ago, activists on the handy city platform created a petition with the resounding title “Stop the Salt Road.”

In the text of the petition, the author emphasized all the shortcomings of the technical salt used in the capital. Alternatives were also offered. For example, as noted by the creator of the petition, in Finland, in Sweden, in the so-called warm sand, and in the United States to produce liquid use granite and stone chips. The petition, which collected 269 signatures, was sent to the Department of Housing and Public Utilities for review. The petition was considered and the response was signed by the deputy minister. The letter said that only those de-icing agents, specified by sanitary norms and rules, could be used, while the order of their use would be defined by law.

The letter also stated that the organizations assigned to the road surface may choose the type and brand of de-icing agents.

What do the experts say?

Head of Department of Vegetation Monitoring of the Institute of Experimental Botany Alexander Sudnik noted that the problematic effects of technical salt had long been known and the research on the subject was underway.

– Belarus uses technical salt – halite. Depending on the brand, it is 96-98% sodium chloride. Nowadays, pure salt without admixtures of sand is used more often,” says Alexander Sudnik.

What happens when the salt hits the moths next to the road? The snow melts, the salt solution is formed, which spreads in all directions during transportation and falls on the vegetation next to the road. The solution settles on the crowns and branches of trees. On average (for example, along the Moscow Ring Road) this mortar can be thrown to a height of up to 15-17 meters!

“If you drive along some roads, you can see how the lower part of the trees has dried up,” says an employee of the Institute of Experimental Botany.

This is especially noticeable when salt damages trees with thin bark, such as linden or birch, by penetrating their tissue.r

– The buds exposed to the salt usually die. Then new shoots form from the dormant buds, and we will observe a phenomenon called rosette, or bushiness, explains Alexander Sudnik. – In recent years, thanks to observational data was established a direct correlation: the more salt poured on the road, the worse condition of trees on the plots adjacent to the road. Their condition is also connected with climatic conditions during one or another period. For example, the spring before last year was early, but without rain, with minimal precipitation. Because of this, the salt on the shoots was not washed away by the rains. The growing process began and the shoots were damaged. In the spring, when most of the trees were covered with young foliage, the roadside trees were damaged, which affected them.

Journey to Poland's most beautiful botanical gardens

When all the scattered salt is washed away by the rains and meltwater, it ends up in the ground. Sodium and chlorine ions accumulate in the soil.

The extent of the effect of salt in the soil depends on the concentration of sodium and chlorine ions and the time of year. The highest salt concentrations are usually seen in April and July. In spring the snow melts and the salt does not have time to penetrate quickly into the lower layers of the soil. Later, the salt is washed away by the rains and settles. With a large accumulation of sodium ions in the soil, plants cannot absorb this water, even if it is available. There is a concept in physiology: the root pressure mechanism. Plant roots absorb water through the osmotic mechanism.

– In Russia, calcium chloride is mainly used. Calcium chloride and its analogues have been tested in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and the USA. Only Switzerland has “ventured” to use it where there is virtually no frost. In Norway and Sweden, chemicals are not used at all. The snow drifts are simply removed with snowplows. Finland and the Netherlands use a recipe from Czarist Russia: salted marble chips. This crumb is used in a proven technique. It is believed to have less negative impact on the environment than sodium chloride.

What is the result? The issue of using technical salt on the streets and sidewalks of Minsk has been raised by public activists for years. Not only environmentalists, but also public utilities should be aware of the problems associated with the use of this reagent. From time to time, conversations about the dangers of engineered salt reach the level of the media and a broader discussion by community activists. Has anything changed over the years? Maybe somewhere they’ve started using salt more moderately and dosing it out along those same sidewalks? If there are such cases, they are rare.

Currently, the cheapness and efficiency of technical salt for utilities outweigh any arguments against it. Therefore, passions in this matter will boil over and over again. We just have to wait until next winter.

( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: