ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Q. We have a few spots on our walkways that tend to stay icy, but I worry about spreading ice melt on those spaces since the lawn runs right up to them. I seem to remember that the ice melt can harm plant life. So what can we do to keep us safer? – A.S., Albuquerque
A. First, I’d try to keep those spots swept as soon as the liquid collects so there is a smaller space for an icy patch to form.
Next, if it’s a yard sprinkler creating the mess, re-aim the sprinkler head so it doesn’t spray the walk. I have seen commercial ice melts that say they are plant-friendly, so keep an eye out for them when you’re shopping for an ice melt.
Consider spreading a lawn fertilizer that is very high in nitrogen. The nitrogen will create a certain amount of heat, allowing you to sweep the spots, helping them dry out.