Here in Minnesota and in the Upper Midwest (and other parts of the country, too), we are coming off of the longest growing season on record. It is early November and we have not yet experienced a good hard frost. But, it can’t last and that’s fine–we have a love for winter and all that comes with it. Except for one thing – road salt on our gardens.
If you garden near the sea or near the road, then salt tolerant plants are an important issue to consider. Be successful, rather than stubborn, and install specimens that can handle a salty bath. These hardy plants are often referred to as boulevard or “hellstrip” plants. As the name implies, the hellstrip (the narrow, generally unloved stretch of land between the sidewalk and the street) is a tough place for plants to grow. It is the place where soil is compacted, lean, and yes, subject to regular drenches of road salt.
Any garden in the salt splash zone, whether from the roadside or a treated walkway requires special consideration when planting.There is no need to let road salt dictate your entire landscape plan; just site salt tolerant plants where you need to and begin to add other favorite perennials further back from the roads and walkways.
When the snow flies and the plows are out, sit by the fire with a cup of salted caramel cocoa and know these plants can handle a little attitude (and road salt). Here are just a few of our favorites.