De-Icing Salt

With winter closing, my pathways in the garden are still covered in the de-icing salt I bought from 'Value Topsoil | Bark Mulch | Decorative Aggregates | De-icing Salt from Hallstone' (http://www.hallstonedirect.co.uk /).
It's proving to be a bit of a nuisance as me and my wife own a couple of cats of whom the salt isn't the best for, but also, it's an eyesore.
I've suggested to wash it all off with water, but this way will cause it to run off into the soil patches, ruining the PH and god knows what else. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get shut of it to avoid these problems?
Any help is much appreciated.
Matt
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gardenermatt


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OMG. Have you ever considered studying what you plan to do, before you do it? Scrape it up. Chuck it. Then learn about what makes good soil. Perhaps sand and gravel would be the answer to your pathways.
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Billy

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Don't do that again... those salts are bad enough for a garden, even worse to track indoors, and they wreak havoc on paved areas. Anyways why would you care about ice in a garden during winter, you really have no business walking about on frozen ground. And if you must use suitable footwear, for outdoor chores something with cleats works well, an old pair of golf shoes is perfect
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gardenermatt wrote:

If you try to wash it away it will end up in your soil. Salt (sodium chloride) is very bad for plants, it produces a condition called sodizing, in which the excess of sodium ions displaces other necessary metal ions (calcium, magnesium, iron etc). This effectively makes your soil useless except possibly for a few very hardy weeds. Sodizing is a major cause of soil degradation and loss of arable land around the world.
Rome ploughed salt into the soil of Cathage after they conquered them. Now this may be just a story or if real a symbollic gesture but in any case it illustrates that the effect of salt on soil has been know for a long time.
So I would use any method possible to sweep it up, vacuuming has been suggested, before trying to wash it away. And if you actually want to have a living garden don't put salt on it in future.
David
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Not a "story" IMHO. Was a standard weapon of war in the ancient (and not-so-ancient) world.
HB

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On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 10:02:46 +0000, gardenermatt

Rock salt won't do much to the soil pH, but the sodium and chloride ions probably won't do your grass much good. If it hasn't dissolved, sweep up what you can, and then flood-irrigate the soils near your pathway as much as possible... the idea is to wash the Na+ and Cl- ions into the soil and below the root zone.
Next year, consider CMA (calcium magnesium acetate) or sand or kitty litter for your pathways. All of them are much easier on the vegetation and on your cats. Put a good foot mat outside the door if you use sand... sand, tracked into the house, will damage wood flooring or carpets quite a bit.
For the person who suggested not deicing pathways: that's not an option for some of us. If we have a spate of below freezing weather where I live (PNW US) I need to go out to the pump house and set up to prevent the water line from freezing. The choices for me are to use the stepping stones in the pathwayor sink to my ankles in mud.
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Many thanks for all your feedback.
I eventually managed to clear it up - Took some time but i've most certainly learnt my lesson! My main concern was primarily the cause of slipping and injury, resulting in why I had placed it there, i will definitely look further into the Yaktrax option, thanks Brooklyn.
The best way, I found, to pull up the salt was to rough it up with a hard-bristled sweeping brush, then hoover up the excess.
Safe to say, I won't be placing it near my plants again!
Thanks Again, Matt
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