Bio Green Outdoor Services, LLC Lawn Care & Sprinkler Learning Center (703) 450-0034

Nitrogen fertilization is most often associated with “greening up” a lawn, but there are times when it isn’t the best option, such as for deeply shaded grass in the summer or when there is an active “nitrogen-loving” disease present. The chlorophyll molecule in the turfgrass plant is responsible for plant color. Iron is a necessary component of photosynthesis, which is the process that produces chlorophyll. Thus, iron can help enhance the green color of turf without stimulating rapid leaf growth or disease problems.

Most soils contain abundant supplies of iron, but due to its limited solubility, this trace element is seldom taken up in sufficient quantities to meet the demands of high-grade ornamental turf.

Supplemental iron has been available for years in superior grades of granular fertilizers. Iron applied to the soil, however, rapidly reverts to a ferric state, which is not available for plant absorption unless chelated. Unchelated soil-active products can get tied up with other soil minerals, decreasing the iron’s solubility. And ferrous sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate iron in granular form must be watered in to prevent grass from burning.

Chelated iron products, available in both dry and liquid forms, are formulated to hold iron in an available form for a more extended period of time. A chelating agent such EDTA causes the iron to lose ionic characteristics and protects the micronutrient from soil reactions. This allows chelates to be used at lower rates and with reduced burn potential.

Research has shown that foliar (liquid spray) applications are significantly more effective and efficient. Foliar-active products not only provide a greater amount of plant-available iron, but they are taken in by the leaves, where the chlorophyll is produced.

With all iron applications, however, you should be careful to keep material on target, because these chemicals have the potential to stain.

  • Was this article helpful?
  • Yes!   No

Article Tags