Road Salt Problems - Knowledgebase Question

Avon, CT
Avatar for klrich
Question by klrich
July 21, 1999
Is there a substitute for grass (or a tough grass) which would grow in an area that gets heavy road salt and full sun? All we can grow is crab grass and some unidentified weeds. We don't need a putting green, just something which looks ok.

Answer from NGA
July 21, 1999
Interestingly, I had a hard time finding any info on this subject--a problem that must be fairly common. (It sounds like a good subject for a magazine article.)

Here are a few ideas:

You can create a flower bed, and grow annual flowers along the roadside. Nasturtiums, for example, thrive in hot, dry, relatively infertile sites. You'd need to start with new seeds or plants each year.

You might try a few exceptionally durable perennials, such as yarrow, gallardia, and sedum. Also Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and evergreen candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

You might contact the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and ask about their research into salt-tolerant grasses, especially 'Salty' alkaligrass. Ask for a copy of the article from their publication BBG Plants, Spring 1997.

Good luck!

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