One of the most immediate and important characteristics of a healthy lawn is its color – it’s the first thing people notice about a lawn, and hence, maintaining your lawns lush, dark green color is one of the most important components of lawn care.
Greener lawns look healthier – a yellow lawn signifies that it is not being enriched with nutrients enough, and a brown lawn says it is dehydrated. In an ideal world, a lush green lawn would be natural, growing just with the provision of adequate sunlight and water, but unfortunately for lawn enthusiasts across the nation, that is not the case.
Sometimes, grass needs supplementing with extra nutrients to reach its full, healthy potential.
In this article, we’ll be talking about Ironite, which is a popular iron supplement that is used to turn the grass into a healthy, rich-looking dark green. We’ll investigate how it works, and when it is best to use it so that you can achieve the best-looking results possible.
What is Ironite?
Ironite (as the name suggests) is a lawn nutrient supplement that is rich in iron and adds color back into a sick-looking lawn. It plays a big role in lawn ‘recoloring’, as it helps in the process of photosynthesis.
Iron supplements are commonly used in the garden, as it works similarly to a lot of plants – in the grass, rose bushes, and even in the garden patch, fertilizing the soil will help the foliage turn a healthy, dark green color.
Although iron is the main active ingredient in Ironite, there are trace levels of other chemicals that are used as micronutrients, found in different formulations. These include (but are not limited to manganese, nitrogen, and potassium, which nourish and enrich the health of your plant.
How To Apply Ironite To Your Lawn?
Generally, for the use of ironite, the best practice is to distribute it with fertilizer, somewhere between 4 and 10 times a year, depending on how healthy your lawn is. Experienced lawn care aficionados apply iron to their lawn in combination with fertilizer Milorganite (which contains a small amount of iron anyway).
There are two different forms of ironite fertilizer that are available, so which should you put on your lawn?
- Liquid Ironite – this one is best for alkaline or sandy soils, as this type of soil is notorious for letting the first rainfall wash lawn amendments away past the grass’ roots at the first sign of rain. Using a liquid product will let the grass quickly absorb the product, so little to none is wasted. If this sounds like the right option for you, you can buy it from Amazon here.
- Granular Ironite – you can spread the solid version of ironite, called granular ironite directly onto the soil, and then just water it afterward straight away, rather than mixing it into a watering can and distributing it that way. Watering after application helps the iron granules adhere to the soil.
This product is lower effort, and is great for normal, loamy lawns, and also works really well with heavy clay soil. We recommend that you mix it with another type of slow-release fertilizer, and apply them both at the same time. If this sounds like the ironite option for you, then you can buy it from Amazon using this link.
How Much Ironite Should I Be Applying to My Lawn?
The usual application and distribution rate of both of the types of ironite is around 1 pound per 100 square feet. However, recently, Ironite changed its formulation, and now recommend that you apply it at a more cost-effective ⅓ of a pound per 100 square feet.
Be careful that you do not accidentally revert to the old measurements, as too much fertilizer on your lawn can do more harm than good.
If you are using a measuring cup to measure out your lawn’s dose of ironite as you add it to the spreader, then you should add around ½ of a cup (which is approximately half of a pound of ironite).
What Are the Other Benefits of Using Ironite?
In addition to the regreening benefits that ironite provides, the company’s unique formula and composition provide a whole host of other benefits for your lawn. This includes:
- Versatility = the benefits of ironite are not limited to just enriching the color of your lawn – it can also be used on your shrubbery, flowers, vegetables and trees, and having it in your garden shed can improve the health of your entire landscape. To do this, just distribute the ironite over the soil, and allow the pH levels to balance. Ironite will promote growth and general plant health.
- Reduced need for water = ironite’s unique formula mean that a lawn that has been treated with ironite needs less water to grow and maintain their green color. Other iron formulations from competitors also sometimes contain too much nitrogen, which can burn lawns, and negatively affect the growth rate. Ironite does not do this – it works well and is pretty user-friendly.
- Works will all types of soil = ironite does work well with all types of soil, especially as there are two different types to choose from depending on your needs. Just to reiterate – the liquid version is best for alkaline and sandy soils, whereas the granular formulation is better for other soil types, like loam and clay.
- Good in all weather conditions – ironite is effective irrespective of the weather conditions in your area (which is a major factor in the type and quality of your soil). In actuality, ironite improves the quality of your soil, by improving the ability of water to penetrate the soil, and minimizing the water loss from soil.
- It won’t burn your grass – it sounds like it should be the bare minimum of all of your lawn products to not cause staining and lawn brining, but you would be shocked how many do cause problems. One of the biggest benefits of using ironite is that it won’t cause any of these negative side effects. However, don’t be too overzealous with your application, as if you do put a little bit much on your lawn, it can give your lawn a nearly gray color.
What Are the Drawbacks of Ironite?
That being said, there are some drawbacks to using ironite. Here is our list of ironite’s cons:
- It can stain your drive – if you have any concrete paths, drives, or flower beds around your lawn, you should know that ironite can permanently stain any concrete it comes into contact with. You need to carefully consider your priorities, and whether you would be able to keep it off the concrete (remember that rain might cause it to run off the lawn, and onto concrete).
Should I Use Ironite on my Lawn (and What Alternatives are Available to me)?
We have taken you through all of the pros and cons of using ironite on your lawn, but should you actually use it?
Ironite is a great addition to your lawn care regimen, as iron is a totally natural product that will make your lawn look (and grow) better. Using iron products is great for your lawn, and we recommend them.
Part of ironite’s popularity, in addition to its efficacy, is that it is one of the most readily available iron lawn supplements, it is purchasable at your local garden center or hardware store, and it does not cause any skin staining or irritation.
As with a lot of gardening and lawn care, it is up to your own personal preference – if you do decide it is the right product for you, then just ensure that you know all of the guidance for proper handling to ensure sufficient and safe lawn greening.
There are alternatives to ironite (though we will be the first to admit that they are sometimes harder to find). Our favorite is Dr. Iron (which can be purchased on Amazon).
- Corrects Iron deficiency - when your garden or lawn is yellowing in color, that's a sign of an iron deficiency. Dr. Iron helps to correct this deficiency. The product is made up of 22% iron and 55% sulfur.
- Non-staining - Dr. Iron is applied in the oxide form, so it will not stain concrete sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc. Until it has been in contact with soil moisture and converts to the sulfate form.
- Great for a variety of uses - use this product on turf, flowers, vegetables, ground-covers, shrubs, and more. The combination of iron and sulfur makes application and plant uptake easy.
- Reduce soil pH - Dr. Iron reduces soil pH and won't stain or burn like other iron products. It can be used on turf, flowers, shrubs, and more. It can be used anywhere in the garden where plants are pale or yellowing.
- Organic gardening - Dr. Iron is OMRI listed and approved for organic gardening. Omri, the organic materials Review Institute, determines whether or not a product Qualifies as organic under the usda's national organic program.
The benefit of Dr. Iron is that it does not stain concrete (in addition to working just as well or maybe even better, due to its 22% iron content). If you have concrete that you want to protect, then this is definitely the best option for you.
Is Ironite Worth the Money?
Lawn care is not exactly a cheap hobby – primping your lawn can require you to make a relatively big investment in order to support lawn health and quality. Ironite doesn’t come cheap, especially if you have a large lawn to maintain. So, is it actually worth the investment?
We think that you should always try to use a naturally derived product that has an ingredient list that would usually be found in your lawn, before jumping in with the overly harsh chemicals.
This is because synthetic products often feed the grass, rather than enriching the soil as a whole. Iron as an ingredient (and therefore ironite) is a natural product, that would naturally be found in your soil, and is necessary for grass growth.
Therefore, we do think that it will be worth it to invest in ironite for your lawn. If you don’t have much in your lawn care budget (or you just cannot be bothered to apply it repeatedly), we recommend that you use it around a week before you have an important event (like a garden party) or guests (like the in laws).
It’ll get right to work, and have just the right amount of time to make your lawn look the best it can, as well as negating any effects of hot, dry summer weather when your lawn is most susceptible to turning brown and yellow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Apply Ironite Immediately After it has Rained? And if a can, will I Need to Rewater after I have Applied it to Embed the Granules in the Solid?
We recommend that you use Ironite on a dry lawn, with at least a few days between the last rainfall and the time of your application, rather than after it has rained.
Another recommendation is that you apply it a couple of days after you mow, for maximum efficacy. If you do end up applying it to a wet lawn, give it a light watering, so that the granules don’t adhere to damp grass blades.
If iron that becomes directly stuck on the grass blade might cause undesired discoloration and spots.
Can I Apply Ironite Twice in One week?
It is probably best to avoid applying ironite twice in one week, and if you are applying it at the proper rate, then you likely will not need to.
Too much of a good thing can actually harm your lawn, and more fertilizer than strictly necessary isn’t only going to be hard on your wallet, but can also harm your lawn. With the addition of too much iron, your grass can turn from a lovely glossy dark green to a dull gray color.
We recommend that you adhere to the manufacturer’s suggested spread rate, and use tools to help you measure and calculate the square footage of your lawn, and get nice even coverage.
There are so many benefits to using an iron supplement to enrich and recolor your lawn. Ironite will leave many homeowners satisfied with the results, and feel as though it offers them a good result for the cost.
We recommend Dr. Iron if you have concrete features in your garden or by your lawn, as it does not stain anything, unlike Dr. Iron.