The air was slight and acrid, slicing through flesh and bone.  Every breath, every utterance stolen from our lips and cast into the barren, frigid abyss.


And to think it’s not even technically Winter…yet.


The Winter Solstice arrives in exactly one week – December 21st, to be precise, and we’ve already experienced mid-Winter temps, and the power and fury of the Polar Vortex.  But we also have snow.  Glorious, festive, white-Christmas snow, and I am grateful, happy, and dare say spirited; however, with snow, comes certain safety and environmental issues, mainly in the form of salt and its proper usage.


Salt can harm our own landscapes, but did you know it can affect our broader environment too?


As the salt begins to melt the snow from our driveways and sidewalks, the salt laden water ends up in our local waterways, and as it accumulates, it can create a toxic environment for local fish and wildlife.  Sadly, there’s no way to remove the salt once it’s in our waterways.


We’re certainly not saying salt should never be used.  That’s simply not realistic, but I believe we can salt smarter and more responsibly.  When using salt, be judicious and spread evenly.  One pound of salt (roughly the amount that will fit in an average coffee mug) will cover 20′ of driveway or 70′ of sidewalk.  It is also recommended that salt be made into a brine prior to using.  Simply mix salt with water and spread over affected areas, and remember, salt loses its efficacy when the temperatures are below 15 degrees, so salt only when it makes sense.  Look to eco-friendly products when possible.

Have a question about salt or looking for alternative products?  Reach out to Sweeney’s.  We’re always here to help.

Plant of the Week


Shooting Star

Clusters of delicate white-lavender flowers bloom atop leafless stems from April – June amongst a lush, compact base.  Prefers sun to partial shade and dry soil.  Grows 12-18″ tall and 6-8″ wide.  Attracts wildlife and is native to the prairie.

“Winter came down to our home one night

Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,

And we, we were children once again.”

-Bill Morgan, Jr.

Warmest wishes,

Kim Sweeney