Calcium Chloride – Dust Control

Q: Since rain has been lacking recently, my fescue lawn has gotten very sparse
and the soil is very dusty. When I mow, the resulting dust cloud is truly
spectacular. My wife has been trying to convince me to put calcium
chloride on the yard to control the dust. It might work for the dust but I
don’t know what it would do to the grass. I suspect she is secretly trying
to get rid of the grass because it is so much work.

Would the calcium chloride help or hurt the conditions?

A: A: CaCl (Calcium Chloride) holds down dust because it is hygroscopic – it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and thereby dampens the soil around it.

CaCl is also used as a de-icer, better than rock salt because it is not as harmful to plant roots. Even so, I’d worry that it might affect fescue somehow.

That said, why not plant more fescue seed now and water it enough to get it started and solve the dust problem that way?

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