• What Does Iron Do For Your Lawn?

    by  • March 12, 2012 • Fertilizing a Lawn • 2 Comments

    lawn ironIron is a great additive for your soil. Iron for lawns has two main purposes.  The first is it lawns turn green and encourage growth.  Iron is a necessary micro nutrient.  Soil deficient in iron will grow yellow grass.  Lawn experts suggest use test your soil before installing a new lawn.  If it is low on iron, it is really easy to add more.

    The second purpose of lawn iron is it is a cheap way to kill moss. If you live in a part of the country that has moss, iron works as a mild herbicide that kills it. Iron is one of the best ways for getting rid of lawn moss.


    1) Iron promotes growth and turns your lawn greener.

    Is your lawn looking a little yellow this year? Well in truth there could be several reasons for this, but the most common reason (aside from not watering) is a lack of iron in your lawn soil. Just adding a little iron every year to your soil can turn your lawn green without having to excessively mow. Alkali lawns tend to have high amounts of minerals, acidic lawns, such as those found in the northwest; are slightly acidic and deficient in minerals. These lawns will benefit most from adding iron. Not only does iron help your lawn turn green but is also acts as a catalyst to encourage steady and healthy growth. Do you every wonder why the neighbor’s professionally serviced lawn looks better than yours? Well they probably added iron to their fertilizer and this is the only reason their lawn looks greener. Lawn fertilization companies have known about this for a while. Recently, fertilizer manufacturers have also of starter to use 2% iron mixtures in their fertilizers. Different types of grasses have different levels of affinity for iron. Blue grasses and fescue are two of the most common grasses on the west coast and they love iron. I have dealt with iron in lawns a long time and the only negative effects are that it can turn a lawn orange and too much iron can temporarily turn a lawn gray.

    There are two types of iron chelated (organic) Milorganite and non-chelated (synthetic) Ironite. Both of them are excellent products we have used a lot and are highly recommended the best internet prices we could find below.


    The organic iron is more readily absorbed by the plants because it is in an organic form and it slowly broken down and released into the soil. Another advantage of the organic iron is that it does turn concrete orange. Synthetic iron is cheaper, quickly released into the soil, and better at killing moss. Just be careful around driveways, walkways, patios and cement curbing. The iron has to get wet before it will react.

    2) Iron is a very affordable way of getting moss out of a lawn.

    Iron is used to kill moss before it gets out of control. Lilly miller makes a brand called Moss Out which works exceptionally. Adding iron and then waiting a few days will work if you have less than a 1/2 inch of moss. Small amounts of moss will decompose after they are dead. If the moss only turns yellow you have not added enough iron and will probably need to reapply the moss control to your lawn. If it turns brown or black then you have killed it. If it is a thick layer you may need to have it thatched out of your lawn. If you don’t it will just grow back even thicker.

    The best time to apply iron to your lawn is in the late fall or early spring with ideal temperatures ranging between 60 and 80 degrees.

    After using iron to green the lawn or kill moss, you may also be interested in lawn aeration or using a thatch rake or dethatching rake to pull out the moss.


    2 Responses to What Does Iron Do For Your Lawn?

    1. Mary
      February 22, 2013 at 12:41 am

      The ironite looks like it will solve my Oregon moss problem in the lawn, but I was wondering if there were any cautions regarding animals on the lawn. This yard is our dog’s yard so I wouldn’t want to endanger her health. If animals get the ironite on their paws, lick it or roll in it while having a good time, will they get sick? I am assuming that this would be the safest thing to use. Thanks.

      • spencer
        March 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        I have been spreading iron for years. My advice is to water it in and then let your lawn dry before letting your dog out on it. It should take about 12 to 24 hours. Make sure your pet is indoors when you are applying it. Iron is not a pesticides or herbicide, and I don’t think it is nearly as dangerous. When I was about 5, my gardener pet pesticides on our lawn and it killed my dog. I am a little sensitive about the issue even now. But iron isn’t that bad for pets and it can make a huge difference to your lawn, especially if it is iron deficient.

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