Ironite for Lawns

Ironite for Lawns: Why it Helps and How to Use It

When it comes to lawn care, one criteria we instinctively look at to determine whether or not a lawn is healthy, is the color of the lawn. Generally, greener lawns look healthier than lawns lighter in color or grass which is yellowing. In a perfect world, all it would take for a lawn to be healthy is water and sunlight. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and sometimes our lawns need extra nutrients and supplements for our grass to reach its full potential. In this article I’ll discuss Ironite for lawns – a popular Iron supplement that helps grass turn a deep, dark green.

I’ll explain what Ironite is, how it works, and how to use it to achieve the best results in your lawn.

I’ll also share the Iron supplement I now use instead of Ironite, because it has a few qualities that make it much better in my opinion.

Lets get started!

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Certified Horticulturist Nicole Forsyth, M.S.

Ironite: What it is and How to Use it

As the name suggests, Ironite is a nutrient supplement for lawns that is high in iron content.

Using Ironite as a Lawn Amendment

Iron plays a big role in the “re-greening” of lawns by aiding in the process of photosynthesis. The same is true of many other plants. Using an iron supplement for your rose bushes and vegetables will help the foliage turn a nice healthy dark green color.

While Ironite is rich in iron, different Ironite formulas also include other micro-nutrients such as manganese, nitrogen, and potassium for added benefits.

The best practice to effectively use Ironite as a form of lawn care is to distribute the Ironite with a fertilizer, between 4 to 10 times in a year depending on the current condition of your lawn.

I generally apply iron along with Milorganite, my favorite organic lawn fertilizer (which also contains a little bit of Iron).

There are two forms of ironite available: liquid and granular. is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Liquid Ironite for Lawns

Liquid Ironite (Amazon link) should be used with alkaline and sandy soil.

These loose soils are notorious for allowing lawn amendments to quickly wash right past the roots on the first rainfall, and using a liquid product allows the grass blades themselves to absorb the product.

Granular Ironite for Lawns

You can spread granular Ironite (Amazon link) directly on the soil and water the area immediately after application to help the iron granules adhere to the soil and begin to work into your turf.

This product is great for normal, loam lawns and it also works well for grass growing in clay soil.

When I apply granular Iron to my lawn, I mix it in with a granular, slow-release fertilizer and apply it at the same time.

Ironite Application Rate

The proper application and distribution rate for either type of Ironite has historically been 1 pound per 100 square feet. Ironite recently changed their formula, however, and granular Ironite should now be applied at the rate of 1/3 pound per 100 square feet.

If you’re using a measuring cup to measure the product as you add it to your fertilizer spreader, 1/2 a cup will be approximately 1/3 of a pound of Ironite. This means 5 cups of Ironite should be applied per 1,000 square feet of lawn. You can use one of these online tools to measure your lawn size, and then adjust the settings on your spreader to get nice even distribution across your yard.

The Benefits of Using Ironite

Aside from the reasons stated above, Ironite has a unique formula and composition that makes it one of the best options for lawn care and re-greening an established lawn.

Here are a few added benefits that make Ironite an attractive product for homeowners working to improve their lawns:


Ironite is not only great for lawns but can also be used for flowers, trees, vegetables, shrubs, etc.

Having chelated Iron in your garage can work wonders on making your entire landscape (lawn, trees, and gardens) healthier.

Simply distribute Ironite on the soil and allow the soil to balance out pH levels and promote growth and plant health.

Less Water

As mentioned above, ironite has a unique formula. One benefit that comes from this is that lawns treated with ironite require less water to grow and stay green.

Water Less When You Use Ironite on Your Lawn

Other formulas have different proportions and sometimes use too much nitrogen which can burn lawns and affect the growth rate.

This is not true with Ironite. Each form of this lawn supplement from Pennington has solid ratios when it comes to nutrients. It works well and is user-friendly.

Works With All Soil Types

Ironite works well with all soil types, though I recommend the liquid version of this product if you have alkaline or sandy soil. I prefer granular Iron for other soil types.

Ironite is also effective regardless of weather conditions (a factor that affects the quality of your soil).

In fact, Ironite improves soil quality by improving water penetration and minimizing soil loss.

Does Not Burn

One of the most notable benefits of Ironite is that it does not stain or burn your grass.

That said, applying too much can make your grass appear almost a gray-ish hue. This is something you should obviously try to avoid.

The Drawbacks of Using Ironite

There aren’t many reasons why you wouldn’t want to use Ironite. It’s a quality, time-tested formula from one of the most trusted names in lawn care (Pennington).

But if you have concrete walkways or a concrete driveway, be careful and consider another Iron supplement.

Ironite can stain concrete permanently. This is why I don’t recommend it if you have nice concrete paths or sidewalks.

Why Choose Ironite? (and what I recommend instead)

Above, I’ve discussed the ins and outs of using Ironite for lawns.

You now know the composition, benefits, and proper handling of the product to ensure sufficient lawn greening.

How is Ironite for Lawns?

Lawn care is more complicated than water and sunshine, and entails investing in products to ensure optimal lawn health.

Iron is a natural product that will help your lawn work better. Using Iron on your lawn is a good decision and something I recommend without reservation.

Ironite is popular among homeowners as the product is readily available locally, easy to use, and does not stain or burn skin (though it will stain concrete).

What I Use Instead of Ironite

What I’ve turned to recently is another iron supplement for lawns called Dr. Iron which I buy from Amazon.

Two 21 bags offers me coverage for my entire lawn. It doesn’t stain concrete, and it works as well or better than Ironite as it is 22% Iron.

If you’re looking for an Ironite alternative that doesn’t stain concrete, I highly recommend it. It mixes really well with Milorganite when I apply that four times annually.

Is Ironite Worth the Money?


As I’ve stated in this article and in many other articles on my blog, lawn care requires making investments to improve and support lawn health and quality.

So we have to ask the question, is Ironite worth the money?

I’m a big believer in using natural products that support a healthy lawn by amending the soil, rather than synthetic products which feed the grass and not the soil.

Iron (and Ironite) represent this type of product, and I do recommend applying Ironite (or Dr. Iron) to your lawn.

If you don’t want to apply it repeatedly, I recommend using it a week before you’re expecting company (it’ll make your lawn look great to impress your in-laws), and during the summer months when grass can begin to brown and appear yellow.

There are many benefits to using Iron to supplement and green up your lawn, and most homeowners will be satisfied with the results, and feel that investing in an Iron supplement like Ironite offers a good value.

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

34 thoughts on “Ironite for Lawns: Why it Helps and How to Use It

  1. David

    Hi there, great blogs!!! I have a question for you. I am getting ready to lay my spring fertilizer down in which is 19-19-19 (50lbs) I have a bout 10000 sqft of fertilizer that I usually laydown. I also bought the Monterey Dr. Iron this year…to give it that extra deep green for my Kentucky Blue Grass. My question is should I mix the Dr. Iron or wait about week and lay it separately down.

    Also do you have a Instantgram account to follow for tips.

    Thanks David

    • Hi David! Thanks for the kind words.

      I like to apply the Dr. Iron separately. You can mix it in with your fertilizer, but I find that you won’t get quite as even coverage as you do if you apply each product separately. You risk getting some sections of your lawn with more iron, and others with less and this could lead to an undesirable look. You could wait and lay it down separately, or apply both at the same time and just take two passes over your lawn with your spreader. The latter is what I do.

      And no Instagram as of yet! I created a Facebook page that I plan to start posting to regularly this summer, and I’ll be starting a mailing list later this month. I can email you to give you a heads up about those when they’re up and active if you like?

      Thanks for visiting my site!

    • The manufacturer recommends 3.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet, Patti. That’s what I typically do, though you can go a little lighter and still get good results in my experience. I have an article (here’s the link) with some of my favorite tools to measure different areas of your lawn so you can get a really accurate application.

  2. David

    Hi Sarah, thank you for the response. I’m am waiting for a little bit warmer weather to lay down Dr. Iron…we had snow yesterday…I sent you a message from FB…I think it might of went to your spam on there.

    Happy Earth Day!



    • Thanks, David –

      Yes, I’m planning to begin actively monitoring/managing my Facebook page this summer – I don’t check it regularly at the moment. Sorry about that!

      I think we’re all waiting for warmer weather right now – won’t be long!

    • Hi, David –

      It seems Ironite has recently updated their application rate recommendations (the 15 pound bags now say “Now Covers 5,000 Square Feet” on the front). I’ve updated the article just now to reflect the new rate recommended by the manufacturer. In short, they now recommend 1/3 of a pound of Ironite per 100 square feet (instead of 1 pound per 100 square feet – which was accurate at the time this article was written, though you’re right that it seems high).

      Now you’re looking at 3 and 1/3 pounds of granular Ironite (about 5 cups) per 1,000 square feet. Thanks for the question!


  3. Aileen

    Hi Sarah.

    Can I apply Ironite immediately after rainfall? If so, is there a need to water again after application to deeply embed the granules?

    • Hi, Aileen!

      I recommend that you apply it to a dry lawn a few days after you mow, watering it in after application. If you apply it to a wet lawn I would make sure you water lightly afterwards so that your granules aren’t adhering to the grass blades, which could result in some spots and discoloration on your grass which is the opposite of what you’re after.

      Hope this helps – good luck!

  4. Alicia

    Hi Sarah,
    I just want to clarify… does Dr. Iron have all the same benefits as Ironite, specifically “less water” and “not burning”. I bought ironite but am wary to use it because we have pavers.

    • Hey, Alicia! Great question.

      My answer is yes – for me it’s an improved product that offers all of the advantages of Ironite (and a few more). It’s all I use now for granular iron on my lawn, but I still use Ironite as a liquid iron product every so often in the summer if I need a super-fast green-up for company.

      I also use and recommend Espoma’s organic Iron-Tone product in my gardens, but always strongly recommend Dr. Iron for lawns.


  5. Ralph

    I just applied ironite today (Sunday)and watered it in. How long before I can mow again? I had mowed my lawn yesterday, but we had a week of straight rain(almost 4 inches) so it is still pretty tall. I only cut .5 inch at a time to keep from stressing it.

    • Hey, Dorothy!

      I guess you could, but if you apply it at the proper rate you shouldn’t need to, and I’d recommend against it. Too much of a good thing isn’t good at all (and too much iron can actually turn your grass from dark green to a dull gray color).

      My advice is to follow the spread rate recommended by the manufacturer. These online tools can help you to measure your lawn size to give you an accurate square footage value for each section of your lawn. Taking a minute to get those numbers sorted out will help you order the right amount of product and adjust your spreader settings the right way to get nice even coverage.

      Good luck!

  6. Matthew

    Great article, I want to start using ironite granular , I also use Milorganite , getting ready for July 4th feeding. I use a Scott’s broadcast edgeguard spreader , Milorganite setting is 11 on the spreader . I have cool season grass. Approximately 2400 square feet . How much do I apply of the ironite. Thank you for your time.

  7. Claudia

    Good morning
    I have brand new sod (Bermuda) a couple of weeks ago, there is one piece that is turning light gray, would I be able to use Iron in that section only?

    • Hi, Claudia

      Sure, you could sprinkle a little iron on there, but I’m not sure it’s needed. Generally if grass turns from green to gray it’s because there’s too much iron, so I’d have to see a photo to tell you for sure. If it were me I’d probably try nitrogen fertilizer first … something you can spray on that spot to get fast results to see if that helps. Simple Lawn Solutions makes a good one.

      Good luck!

  8. Mark Spitler

    The beginning of May I put in a brand new lawn with our new home. Everything is going good but I have a few places through out the lawn that has brown spots. Is this a lack of iron? If so, What rate should I put on Dr. Iron? We have had a lot of rain this summer in Northeast Ohio.

    • Hey, Mark!

      Glad to hear you’ve had good luck with your new lawn install. Brown spots could be a number of things … it could be a lack of nutrients, but it could also be damage, disease, or dormancy. I have an article about some of the common causes that you might find helpful in IDing what you’re dealing with. You can read that right here. If that helps, great – if not just reply here and I’ll email you to maybe get a photo of the issue and see if I can help.

  9. Cal

    Sarah, like your info on Ironite. Live in coastal s carolina and use multiple grasses in lawn as it is sandy, trying to get a good lawn going, never had a problem before living here. Even use a west texas heat tolerant fescue. Do you have info on what is best weed and feed for all grasses, getting ready to apply in Sept but do not want to kill some grass, not worried about St augustine as that one I am not seeding. Any help appreciated tough year especially with voles wow never had so many. Again thx and info appreciated.

    • Hey, Cal

      I’m in a very different part of the country and have a cool season lawn, so while I’ve used the Scotts and Greenview weed and feed products and normally recommend them, I’m not sure how they are with warm season grasses. I’ve heard good things about the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Weed Control product. It comes as a hose-end sprayer and kills most broadleaf stuff while being safe for pretty much all grasses. I’d check that out if you think applying a liquid product would work for your property. Otherwise my best advice is to go to your local nursery and ask one of the experts there. They’re likely to know what works best in your area, and can probably recommend a product that will best support your new lawn.

      Good luck!

  10. Dan Neece

    I have new sod that was beautiful for a month and now is dying quickly. Neighbor said to use Dr. Iron but not sure I want to chance it. We’re at triple digits here for a couple weeks. My lawn probe says my lawn is wet (I water early about 39 min)

    • Hey, Dan

      Not sure where you are but it may be that your lawn isn’t dying, it’s just going dormant from the heat. If you dig out a small section that’s brown and examine the roots (you can replace after) that should give you an idea of whether or not the grass is still alive, and how moist the soil is. If the roots are brown and brittle the grass may be starting to die, but if they’re still white or even light brown and flexible you’re probably dealing with dormancy.

      Typically regular watering will wake up a dormant lawn, but most turfgrass only requires about 1″ of water weekly once established. If your sod is a month old it may still need more frequent waterings. My advice is to dig up a small plug from a few areas and examine what’s going on below the surface – Look at the root characteristics, the root depth, soil moisture, etc.

      I think it’s likely that if you’ve been watering it regularly the lawn is ok and may just be going dormant from the heat. Checking the roots and a cross-section of the turf will tell you a lot.

      Good luck!

  11. Bud

    Hi Sarah, I’ve been reading your blog and the comments. I live in the south, South Carolina to be exact. It is July 24th, I have an irrigation system and the temperatures are in the 90s. I have a Kentucky tall fescue and bluegrass lawn. My lawn is looking okay but is light to medium green in color. I’ve been told not to fertilize fescue during summer months but am wondering if I can use Dr. Iron or Ironite during this time. And if so, at what rate? Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hey, Bud!

      I’d definitely recommend an application of Dr. Iron. The back of the bag will have the application rate per square foot and I recommend following that. This article on my site has links to a few great online tools to quickly measure the square footage of different sections of your yard so you can dial in your application and be as accurate as possible.

      Hope this helps! (and sorry for the late reply)

    • Hey, John!

      Yes, you can – I usually apply the liquid form with a hose-end sprayer in really hot weather. I use the Southern Ag chelated iron for that application, but Ironite’s liquid iron is good as well.

  12. Mike Stemm

    I have a very nice lawn only 5000 ft.² but for the last couple years I’m getting a light green blades of grass in spotted areas in the yard. I have been using the scotch four step fertilizer program I live in northern Indiana. I have not yet put down the third application which is fertilizer with iron. Scott’s 3rd step).

    Can I put Dr. iron on in place of the third step of fertile loam and hopefully get that yellowing back to a deeper regular green grass?

    • Hey, Mike

      You could definitely try that, but if I were you I’d probably stick with the Scott’s program and get a hose-end sprayer with iron and spot-treat the area where you’re seeing the issue to see if that helps.

      Ironite makes a liquid iron that comes right in a hose-end sprayer, or you could try the Chelated Iron from Southern Ag (Amazon link) and buy a hose-end sprayer separately for application. I use the Southern Ag product on my lawn and have had great results.

      Good luck!

  13. John Navratil

    Hi Sarah,

    What is the recommended setting for Ironite using a Scotts broadcast spreader. I used the setting on the bag and the pellets were too large to pass through the opening using the Scotts broadcast spreader setting of 3.

    I have a Scotts SpeedyGreen 2000 spreader.

    John Navratil

    • Hey, John!

      That’s a great question, because every spreader and every granular product is different and the manufacturer recommendations don’t always work.

      The good news is that you can usually go up or down a spreader setting or two to adjust for the product you’re using as long as you maintain the right application rate for your square footage. Personally I rarely look at the number setting on the package, and just try to look at the square footage recommendation. Then I choose the smallest opening on my spreader that will work for the product and make that setting work for even coverage.

      For Ironite you want to do 1/3 of a pound of product per 100 square feet or lawn. That works out to be about 5 cups of Ironite in your spreader for ever 1,000 square feet of lawn that you want to treat.

      What I recommend is using one of these online tools to measure your lawn size and when using the tool break your lawn into small sections that are an even multiple of 500 or 1,000 square feet to keep the math simple. Then, use the lowest setting on your spreader that allows the product to drop through easily and try to cover that section of lawn with the correct amount of product (for example with Ironite you’d use 5 cups if you have a 1,000 square foot section, 2.5 cups if you have 500 square feet to do, 10 cups if you have a 2,000 square foot area).

      In a best case scenario you can keep the setting on your spreader low enough so you can use half of the product doing East-to-West passes and the other half North-to-South on each section. So if I had 1,000 square feet of lawn to cover with Ironite I’d add 2.5 cups of product and use that traveling up and down my lawn, then I’d use the remaining 2.5 cups of product going side to side, perpendicular to my last route.

      This ensures great, even coverage across your entire lawn, section by section, and gets you at the recommended amount of Ironite per square feet.

      On my property I try to break down my yard areas based on easy-to recognize landmarks (i.e. the front yard between the Maple and the driveway is 500 square feet, the front yard beyond the maple tree is 1,500 square feet, etc.). By doing that you’re able to get accurate coverage of product with just about any spreader, even if you have to fudge the recommended number settings a bit. Those tools mentioned in the linked article use satellite imagery from Google Maps to make it easy to map out sections of your yard, so it’s a great trick to make sure you’re applying Ironite or any granular product accurately.

      Hope this is helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *