Using ARMEX around plant life and grass can be an issue. One biological process that can be disturbed by the presence of any free sodium ion, including sodium bicarbonate is the process of photosynthesis. This process uses light in the presence of chlorophyll and water to convert carbon dioxide to sugars, the plant life nutrient. Depending on the type of plant, sodium bicarbonate can produce temporary discoloration or cause more serious damage.
The most easily upset plants are flowering shrubs, such as roses, azaleas, or lilac. Trees and grass typically turn brown, then recover in 4-6 months. Some plants are completely unaffected. The speed of any reaction with plant life can vary widely, depending on the type of plant.
To avoid damage to plants from blasting with ARMEX Blast Media:
- Avoid contact between plants and blast media residue. Cover plants and prevent the liquid run-off from soaking the soil around plants.
- If contact is unavoidable, the client should be aware that damage to plants can occur.
To minimize damage:
- Soak the soil and leaves thoroughly before blasting. It is best to use a sprinkler for 4-6 hours to completely soak the soil, leaves, and branches before blasting.
- Continually rinse the leaves and prevent liquid run-off from soaking into the soil around the roots.
- After blasting, continue to soak the leaves and soil to thoroughly flush the sodium bicarbonate away from the root structure. The amount of soaking after blasting depends on the amount of residue in contact with leaves and roots. The goal is to reduce the sodium ion concentration below 0.5 vol% on the leaf surfaces and around the roots so that any damage will be minimized.