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!
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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