Gardening is a passion that tests our patience to its core.

Even if you follow a beauty regime for your lawn year-round by mowing, watering, and fertilizing properly, the process of melting ice with salt can flip it easily.

If you dwell in a location that expects harsh wintertime, you may be using salt in the lawn to melt ice.

We can understand that using salt is a great way to prevent hard falls and slips. However, it is not a great move for your plants.

Today, we will discuss the use of salt in the lawn and answer the question, “does salt kill grass”.

Salt in Lawn Care: 3 Best Practices

A chart on the best practices for using salt in lawn care

Salt is famous as a cheap and mainstream method to kill weeds.

However, this method can have suboptimal outcomes. Due to that, many turn to the internet to search for “does salt kill grass.”

Every year, we use salt to de-ice sidewalks and pavements and discover uses for it to fight the ongoing battle with weeds. 

Using salt for killing weeds is an old method for a lot with a green thumb. Nevertheless, it is a method that requires utmost care.

1. Apply Before It’s Too Cold Outside 

It is more detrimental to apply salt towards the end of winter than it is to apply it early. 

Plant damage can be minimized by letting the salt dissolve and spread while the roots remain dormant.

So, even if you are using salt to kill weeds, apply it early and after diluting with a solvent.

2. Cut Back on Salt

Salt is known to lower the freezing point of water. Thus, using it in your backyard melts the ice.

To clear dangerous slippery areas during the winter months, you can combine the following with salt:

  • Cinder: A cinder is a porous substance that usually appears as a black dot. Cinder can improve traction. As it has a dark colour, it absorbs sunlight. Therefore, cinder bits can cause even the tightly packed layers of snow to melt.
  • Sawdust: You can also leave your lawn in the hands of sawdust treatment. It can liquefy snow by trapping air inside the blocks of ice.
  • Sand: It is a suitable option to be used with salt. It increases friction on the surface so that people can walk freely on the ground.

Selecting a de-icing salt without sodium can also be beneficial.

3. Tread with Caution 

Do not shovel or plough salty snow onto a garden or grass. 

Use caution when using salt to kill weeds so it doesn’t harm neighbouring plants.

Instead of dissolving in the soil, the salt seeps into the groundwater. In addition, salt poisons earthworms and other soil microfauna, which can reduce biodiversity.

Salt has an adverse effect on water, too. The sensitivity of freshwater aquatic life to variations in water salinity is high.

Through their root systems, even plants that you do not treat with salt will end up absorbing salt. 

Because their nutrient-seeking roots can spread far from the trunk, trees are especially vulnerable. 

These roots may take up the excess salt, which will ultimately cause them to die.

Hence, regardless of the reason for using salt in your backyard, you can put the neighbouring trees and your lawn at risk.

To handle that, provide a physical barrier to shield plants from salt exposure.

For instance, you can place barriers, like a stone border, around the garden or on the lawn’s edge. That will prevent salt from seeping in from the roadway. 

Moreover, to prevent planting where there is already a natural runoff, you can install a drainage system to guide the runoff around any plants.

Using Salt to Kill Weeds 

Several steps can be taken to lessen the harm to your grass if you are using salt to kill weeds. 

For using salt to kill weeds, either use fine-grain or coarse-grain. 

You can purchase it without a problem as it is inexpensive and easily accessible. 

Herbicides such as curing salt and de-icing salt are suitable too. 

Remember, de-icing salt is less effective and may also contain calcium or magnesium chloride, which is harmful to the rest of the lawn.

Second, instead of using only salt, use a water and salt solution. This will dilute the salt’s damaging effects on your grass. 

Using a funnel, apply a solution made of three parts water and one part salt to the base of the pesky weed. 

Finally, to promote dilution and to keep the salt from damaging your grass, make sure you water the area well after applying the salt.

Once you notice salt’s effects on the target plant, you can gradually increase the amount of salt each day.

The Cons of Using Salt To Kill Weeds 

A diagram on the cons using salt to kill weeds

The use of rock salt as a herbicide is simple, efficient, and safe for your family and pets. 

Although it is better than the traditional herbicides in many ways, you can’t use it without taking precautions.

Here are some things to consider before using rock salt to eradicate weeds.

1. Makes the Land Infertile 

When dealing with extensive weed growth, you may use too much salt before finishing the task, making soil infertile in the long run by taking away all its nutrients. 

Salt can kill plants no matter how immune they are to damage and disease. 

Therefore, consider using a different technique than using salt to kill weeds close to other plants that you plan to keep on your lawn for long.

2. Weed Won’t Be Gone For Long

You may notice that using salt to kill weeds is an effective method after the application. 

Nevertheless, for more aggressive or deeply entrenched weeds, the weeds will subsequently reappear since the salt didn’t reach the roots.

Hence, if you are using salt to kill weeds and it ends up killing your plants and reappears the next season, it will be a lost cause.

3. May Unbalance Soil pH 

If you are confused about does salt kill grass, the answer has been there for several years.

Salting the earth was a common tactic employed with the aim of impairing the land’s capacity to produce flora or crops by altering the pH. 

Various ancient civilizations used to do this on conquered lands so that the enemy would have unrecoverable damage.

In case you unintentionally oversalt your own land, grass and vegetation won’t be able to thrive there.

Using Salt to Kill Weeds: Alternatives 

Man pulling out weeds from garden using hands

There are a few alternatives to using salt to kill weeds. 

Removing weeds by hand or with the use of a hoe or weed puller is one way to go about it.

Using an organic weed killer derived from natural substances like vinegar or citrus oil is an additional choice. 

These weed treatments work well at eliminating weeds without damaging your grass.

After knowing the answer to does salt kill grass comes another concern: how to tackle the damaging effects of salt.

How to Repair Salt Damage to Lawns

If you are looking up the phrase, “does salt kill grass?” because your lawn is turning into bundles of hay after using salt, we have bad news.

It is very difficult for a lawn to recover from salt damage. But don’t lose hope yet, you can use the following tips.

To repair salt damage to lawns, apply soil conditioner made of pelletized gypsum. 

The calcium and sulphur that the gypsum, also known as calcium sulphate, aid in the healing of the grass and promote new growth. 

It improves the soil’s ability to hold onto water. Water well after applying a thin coating to the damaged grass using a lawn spreader. 

To reduce salt damage on lawns, apply less salt on roads and pathways and consider installing a snow fence or burlap screen along the road.

If the recovery method doesn’t work, you can apply sod and give your lawn a makeover.

Sod is a convenient option as it is easy to grow, and you can opt for sod removal without much hassle.


What are some common household ingredients to kill weed?

Other than using salt to kill weeds, dish soap and white vinegar are also effective.

Does salt kill grass in the area where you are planning to grow crops?

Yes, it kills the stubborn weeds but damages the crops. So, it is advisable not to use it in such areas.

How fast does salt kill grass?

Depending on the quantity used, the powerful substance can kill grass within ten days.

How much salt does it take to kill the grass?

Two cups of rock or Epsom salt make a strong solution with one gallon of water that can easily kill grass.


So, the answer to your question, “Does salt kill grass?” is yes. 

If you are wondering how many people are still using salt to kill weed, they make it work with the right technique.

Small-scale gardening benefits most from using salt to remove weeds since it reduces the amount of land that can be exposed to sodium. In such cases, the salt particles are eventually washed away.

Your house or office can have the lawn you always wanted with our experience and ongoing lawn care services. Best of all, you won’t have to do any work!

Whether you are planning to plant a lawn or desire to repair one, Falcons Landscaping is the best option.