Preventing your lawn from turning yellow is the first step to a great-looking lawn. The lawn soil needs to be healthy, and the grass needs to have the nutrients they need.
But don’t despair if you don’t have the best lawn in your neighborhood. You can take a few easy steps to create a lush green lawn without spending too much time or effort.
The most important thing you can do for your lawn is to fertilize it properly and apply a small amount of iron to turn it into dark lush green.
Although it’s vital to apply iron to your lawn, it can be difficult to know how much you need or use it correctly. In this article, I will cover all you need to know on how to properly apply the iron for lawn care so you can have rich and dark green color grass.
Let’s get started.
What is the purpose of iron in lawn fertilizer?
Iron is one of the essential nutrients for plants. They need it for the photosynthesis process, where they convert light into energy using chlorophyll.
The chlorophyll gives a green color to grass and plants. Without adequate chlorophyll in the grass, the leaves look weak and unhealthy.
The leaves may turn yellow or brown with a low iron level in the grass. If you don’t take care of iron deficiency on time, it may cause iron chlorosis that turns yellowish leaves nearly white.
Iron helps create a rich and greener color in the grass without pushing growth. This helps as you don’t have to frequently mow due to grass overgrowth or need any special care to maintain the yard.
If you have moss in lawns, applying iron helps create its spread. Spraying a small concentration of liquid iron filled in a small mist pump sprayer takes care of any existing moss problem.
How do you know if your lawn needs iron?
Several reasons can cause iron deficiencies in lawns. Lawns with low iron levels may show symptoms like yellowing, thinning, and gradual decline. If the iron composition in the soil is insufficient, or if the soil is highly alkaline (high pH) and has poor aeration, iron deficiency may occur.
Soil with a high concentration of lime or calcium causes iron deficiency. You can use a soil pH tester to test it further. You can also visually look at the overall health of the lawn and determine if it needs some iron boost.
Some of the possible causes of iron deficiency in the yard are:
– too much nitrogen in the soil
– imbalanced soil pH level
– poor drainage
– excessive topsoil removal
– too much lime or gypsum application
If the soil in your lawn is very alkaline or highly compacted with excess phosphorous in the ground due to over-fertilization, it’s likely the yard is getting deficient in iron.
Any milder iron deficiency will turn the grass yellow, but severe iron chlorosis could destroy the grass.
Here is a word of caution, don’t always assume iron deficiency if you see grass yellowing or leaves becoming light green. Most soils should have enough natural iron, and grass doesn’t need a lot of iron. It helps to do a quick soil test to know the nutrient deficiency.
How often can you apply iron to your lawn?
Lawn care is a year-round job that requires a lot of attention. So, it’s essential to make sure you’re doing everything right. People frequently wonder how often they need to apply iron to their lawns. More or less, it depends on the type of grass you have.
For example, if you have cool-season grass, such as Kentucky bluegrass, you’ll want to apply iron once in the fall and again in spring. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and Zoysia, only require one application in the spring. Iron helps your lawn by giving it an extra boost of nutrition each time you apply it.
You have the option to choose to apply liquid iron or apply iron in granular form. For most gardeners, the application of liquid iron is more convenient and efficient to get faster results.
The liquid iron applied directly over the grass goes into the soil quickly. It then spreads through the foliage, and you see good results for the next 3 to 4 weeks.
You should be careful not to overapply iron as it could cause the grass to turn gray. Water-soluble iron (also known as chelated iron) is another good alternative, but it usually costs more. You can also use iron salts that are less expensive but risk burning plants and causing stains on the concrete surfaces.
The granular iron is often mixed with other supplements for the soil. This is more effective when laying a new grass patch of spreading grass seeds in your lawn.
It usually takes a long time to give the desired result, but its effect can last longer, which means you’re likely to maintain a greener lawn without needing it applied as frequently.
If you want iron granules, Dr. Iron (Amazon link) is a good brand with elemental sulfur added to help faster application.
How much iron does it take to make grass green?
You can add one cup, which is about 8 ounces of liquid iron solution, covering up to 5000 square feet. If using granular or liquid iron, follow the manufacturer’s recommended dose as different brands often have other additives.
You should apply iron supplements in the spring when the temperature isn’t too high. Using it on a hot day may not be the most effective for the ground to absorb iron and transfer it to the grass. As per gardening experts, 2 pounds of chelated iron is enough to turn an acre of grass to turn green.
The lawn grass grows best when the soil pH is 6 and 6.3. Applying iron on your grass helps control moss. Gardening experts recommend not using iron in high pH soil. You should look for an elemental sulfur additive in the iron fertilizer as it slowly lowers the lawn’s pH.
Organic iron supplements such as Espoma Iron Tone Bag (Amazon link) take some time to start acting, but you will see the long-term effect after the application. If you have a lawn near your concrete-made driveways and sidewalks, I recommend that you use organic iron fertilizer as it won’t stain the concrete surface.
You can also use chelated iron that contains iron and aluminum mixed with sulfate.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, synthetic iron fertilizer is the way to go. It acts fast and improves the lawn condition in a week or two. However, the effect won’t last long, and you have to keep applying it at regular intervals. Also, you should be careful not to use near concrete driveways as it leaves stains.
You should be careful when using the synthetic iron supplement if you have kids and pets in your home. The EPA has identified few synthetic iron supplements to contain toxic materials such as arsenic and lead.
What is the best time to apply iron supplements on grass?
The best time to put the iron on grass is in spring when the temperature is between 40°F — 80°F (4.5°C — 26.5°C) . This is the ideal temperature of the iron to percolate deeper in the soil, which helps grow a greener lawn.
You should apply these simple lawn solutions during the early morning or sunset hours. A proper amount of iron even helps combat other deficiencies in the turf. You should use it in the soil instead of through foliar treatments.
Spray it 12-18 inches around the perimeter of your lawn, but not directly under trees or shrubs. Irons should only be applied every 2-3 weeks. You should use it before any expected rain. This helps the iron reach the roots of the grass, which will then provide more protection against yellowing and wilting.
If you can’t wait for the rain to come, you can apply it at any point in the day, but it’s necessary to avoid watering after application to prevent iron washing away. Also, aerating helps cool down the soil so that it’s easier for iron to penetrate the ground.
You can aerate your lawn about once or twice per year, if not more often. Aerating your yard with a plug-in aerator makes it easy to do this quickly and inexpensively.
Can you apply iron in the winter months?
Many people think they have to feed their lawn with fertilizer to keep it healthy and green all year long. The problem with this is that most fertilizers contain a lot of phosphorus and nitrogen, which will eventually cause algae growth in your lawn.
I recommend using chelated iron (Amazon link) in the winter months. It would need to be applied once every 2-4 weeks for higher iron uptake. This will provide the plant with all the necessary nutrients they need over the colder months. You can start by mulching the grass and applying iron supplements.
Depending on the grass type, you shouldn’t put nitrogen as it doesn’t help much grass grow. You can add a dose of humic acid (Amazon link) and micronutrients to move iron to the soil. It allows the plant to absorb iron. The humic acid helps bring iron to the grass root system.
You can add manganese to improve the photosynthesis process but don’t apply NPK fertilizer or granule irons in the winter since it takes too long to break down.
I use a compost thermometer (Amazon link) to test soil three feet under the ground. Ensure the temperature remains above 40°F (4.5°C) . If you have frozen ground, apply surfactant before a few days of using iron supplements.
Iron deficiency is a big problem for people who live in highly alkaline soil and don’t have any acidic food or vegetables to help them absorb iron.
We all should know how much iron the plant is getting and the soil conditions to find the best solution for any serious lawn health issue.
If your lawn is experiencing iron deficiency, the best way to help stop it’s to ensure that your soil is organic, has sufficient aeration and reduces its alkalinity.
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