Your lawn relies on several nutrients to maintain a lush, green appearance.
There are fertilizers and nutritional supplements for your lawn which include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
You may have even seen Ironite on the shelves at your local garden center.
So what exactly is Ironite, and what does it do?
Ironite is an iron-rich nutritional supplement for lawns. Ironite plays a vital role in the photosynthesis process by stimulating chlorophyll production to give your grass its green color. Most Ironite formulas also contain essential nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, and sulfur.
Ironite is also used in vegetable and flower gardens to give the foliage a darker green color.
An Ironite supplement will also work very quickly by turning brown grass back to a healthy green color in as little as three weeks.
Keep reading to learn more about Ironite and how it is used so you will be able to determine if it is a good choice for your lawn care needs.
Can You Apply Ironite And Fertilizer At The Same Time?
By definition, Ironite is not considered to be a fertilizer. Ironite is a nutritional supplement meant to be used as a complement to regular fertilizer, so it’s safe to use at the same time.
The predominant ingredient in Ironite is iron, but the other main active ingredients include:
- Urea Nitrogen
- Soluble Potash
Ironite may also contain manganese in minimal amounts.
A typical garden and lawn fertilizer has an ingredient formula to encourage green growth, produce brighter flowers, and control pests.
The main purpose of Ironite as a lawn care product is to give your lawn a more vivid green color without any excessive growth.
When your grass has a yellow or pale color, it has a condition known as interveinal chlorosis. This indicates your grass has an iron deficiency.
Iron is essential for the manufacture of chlorophyll, which gives your grass its green color.
Chlorophyll is essential for plant growth, and without it, your grass will turn pale green or yellow.
While Ironite is not an actual fertilizer, many formulas contain essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and manganese.
These slow-release ingredients will benefit your entire lawn and garden by encouraging overall growth and development.
Pairing Ironite with a general fertilizer or soluble nitrogen is an effective way to reap both short- and long-term benefits for your lawn or garden.
Always read the manufacturer labels on your Ironite and fertilizer products for instructions on dilution and application.
It is also to ensure the fertilizer of your choosing is compatible with the Ironite.
Check out our guide for when to fertilize new grass for the best results.
Should You Use Ironite On Your Lawn?
Ironite is good to use on soil low in iron. Don’t use it without a soil test to see the iron levels. Use a tank sprayer to apply liquid Ironite and a broadcast spreader for granular Ironite application.
Before you apply Ironite to your lawn, it is advised to have a soil test performed.
This soil test will be able to tell you whether or not your lawn is deficient in iron.
Once you have determined your lawn would benefit from the Ironite application, you will have to choose which form of Ironite to use.
If your soil is sandy or has a high pH factor, it is best to use liquid Ironite.
The grass blades will need to absorb the Ironite because the alkaline soil will prevent the nutrients from reaching the roots.
If you have normal, loamy, or clay soil, the granular form of Ironite is recommended.
These types of soil will allow the granules to reach the grass roots.
Always wear protective clothing such as gloves and boots when applying Ironite to your lawn.
Remember to avoid spraying nearby concrete or stone areas to avoid staining.
If you accidentally get Ironite on your driveway or patio, sweep the product away instead of water to wash it off.
And speaking of driveways, if you’ve ever wanted to know how to make a gravel driveway over grass we have an informative post on it.
Adding water to the Ironite granules will cause them to soak into the concrete and cause staining.
Avoid allowing people or pets on the lawn for several days after Ironite application.
Ironite produces ill health effects when it is absorbed by the skin or ingested.
Be sure to check the weather conditions in your area before applying Ironite to your lawn.
Do not apply Ironite on a windy or rainy day, and if you are using the granular form, be sure to thoroughly water the area immediately after application.
When Should You Apply Ironite To Your Lawn?
You do not have to wait until spring, which is the peak growth season, to apply Ironite to your lawn. Ironite works best when applied throughout the year in three-month increments, depending on the health of your grass.
If your grass has poor growth, a pale or yellow color, or a soil test has shown a lack of iron, it is time to consider applying Ironite to your lawn.
Do not use the liquid form of Ironite if there is rain in the forecast.
The rain will wash the liquid Ironite off the grass blades, and it will not work effectively.
If your lawn is dry and you are using the granular form of Ironite, it is important to ensure you are thoroughly watering the application site.
The moisture will help the Ironite granules adhere to the soil for better absorption and effectiveness.
When the ground is very dry, the Ironite granules will sit on the soil’s surface, where they are prone to be swept away by the wind.
Ideal temperatures for Ironite application range from 40-80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C).
Are There Different Types Of Ironite Products?
Ironite is composed of either organic or synthetic materials. Organic Ironite formulations, such as those found in greensand and milorganite, contain slow-release ingredients. Synthetic Ironite is manufactured as a quick-release product.
The grass can absorb the iron quickly, but other nutrients like manganese, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are slowly released to the plants over time.
Since organic Ironite is a slow-release product, it is more difficult to accidentally turn your lawn gray by over-application.
Organic Ironite also will not stain your concrete driveway or pathway.
While synthetic Ironite produces quick results, special care must be taken to ensure you do not overuse it.
Applying too much synthetic Ironite on your lawn will cause your grass to turn gray instead of green.
What is the Difference Between Liquid and Granular Ironite?
The type of Ironite you choose will depend on the condition of your soil. With alkaline and sandy soils, using a liquid form of Ironite is recommended. For regular and clay-based soils, the granular application of Ironite is the best choice.
You will also need to measure the size of your lawn to determine the proper application rate.
While Ironite is less likely to burn your grass when it is overused, too much of any nutrient may negatively affect your lawn.
These loose soil types cause nutrient particles to be washed into the ground past the roots.
The grass blades can absorb a liquid form of Ironite for maximum effectiveness.
Use a tank sprayer to apply liquid Ironite to your lawn.
Take extra care not to spray liquid Ironite near your driveway or patio because it will stain concrete and stone.
To apply granular Ironite, spread it onto your soil and immediately water the application area.
Watering the application site allows the Ironite granules to be better absorbed into the soil.
Granular Ironite formula is easily mixed and applied with most slow-release fertilizers as well.
What Is The Application Rate For Ironite?
For the liquid form of Ironite, the recommended application rate is one pound of Ironite for every 100′ square feet of lawn. Since the granular formulas tend to be stronger, apply 1/3 pound of Ironite per 100′ square feet.
Adding too much Ironite to your lawn will not make it greener.
Instead, over-application will lead to your grass turning gray and possibly dying.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Ironite?
The main benefit of Ironite is it will not burn your grass if overused. Other benefits of using Ironite include its versatility, increased water penetration, and ability to balance soil pH.
Even if the over-application of Ironite has caused your lawn to turn gray, the grass still has a chance to recover and turn green again.
Ironite is also versatile enough to be used on any soil type, and it is available in both liquid and granular formulas to suit your lawn’s needs.
Lawns treated with Ironite do not need as much water to stay green and grow as well.
The Ironite will minimize soil loss and increase water penetration.
Adding Ironite to your lawn will also balance the pH in your soil.
Aside from lawns, Ironite may be used on shrubs, flowers, and vegetable gardens.
What Are The Problems With Using Ironite?
The main drawback to using Ironite is its ability to stain concrete and stone. Ironite is also not a permanent solution for an iron-deficient lawn. If your lawn has an iron deficiency, it will take a lot of work over a long period to reduce soil pH and increase iron levels.
Ironite will also leave dark orange stains on your concrete or stone surfaces, and unfortunately, the stains are permanent.
You may want to avoid using Ironite near your patio, sidewalk, or driveway.
If Ironite granules are on any concrete or stone areas, use a broom to sweep them away.
Using water to wash away the granules will cause them to dissolve and cause stains.
Why Would You Choose Ironite Over Other Products?
Ironite shows excellent, fast results in improving soil quality, and it will not burn your lawn like traditional nitrogen-rich fertilizers if it is overused. Many homeowners prefer to use Ironite on their lawn over other nutritional supplements or fertilizers.
Even though Ironite will stain concrete and stone, it will not stain your skin or clothes.
Ironite is also useful if you are looking for quick results.
With proper usage, you will see results from the Ironite application within three weeks.
In a little over one month, your brown lawn will once again have vivid green color.
Ironite is also readily available, and it is sold in most hardware stores and garden centers.
Can Ironite Burn Lawn?
In 2005, the mine supplying the recycled tailings used to make Ironite was declared an EPA Superfund site and was closed. Since then, Ironite has been made without any toxic ingredients, and it has been approved for use on food crops.
There used to be concerns about using Ironite because it used to be made from recycled mine tailings.
These mine tailings often contained heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, which are very harmful to animals and humans.
Arsenic and lead are known to build up in the soil and cause dangerous amounts of contamination.
Is There An Alternative To Using Ironite?
A highly recommended alternative to using Ironite is an iron supplement called Dr. Iron. This organic iron supplement contains 22% iron with 55% sulfur, and it will not stain concrete.
The Dr. Iron supplement works the same way as Ironite to reduce soil pH and give you a green lawn, but with the added benefit of a non-staining formula.
This product is more environmentally friendly than Ironite and is safe to use on grass, flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.
Should You Take Safety Precautions When Using Ironite?
Always wear protective clothing whenever you apply Ironite or other supplements and fertilizers to your lawn. Wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and water-resistant boots. Thoroughly wash exposed skin after applying Ironite to your lawn.
Wash the clothes you wore during application separately from your other laundry.
Ironite may stain your clothes, and these stains could transfer to other items if they are washed together.
Keep people and pets away from your lawn until the Ironite application is completely dry.
If there are any contaminated objects in the yard your pet might play with, it is best to remove those things.
Ironite contains mercury, which is toxic to animals and humans.
As previously mentioned, avoid getting Ironite on any areas of concrete or stone.
Ironite will cause permanent stains on your driveway, sidewalk, or patio if you are not careful.
Sweep away any stray Ironite granules on your concrete to avoid staining.
If you use a liquid Ironite formula, keep a spare rag handy to immediately wipe up any spills.