The uses of sulphate of iron in lawn care
For many years sulphate of iron has been widely used in the lawn and
turf care industry. It's uses are varied and there are many benefits of applying this product to
grass, especially now that many previously used chemicals are no longer available for use on
This versatile product can be used to control moss, discourage
earthworms from casting and in certain cases control weeds and
Many fertilisers used in the turf care industry contain sulphate of iron in their formulation
because of the reasons previously mentioned. We will take a closer look at each of the benefits
that this product has on lawns and turf.
Disease prevention & control on lawns
Diseases such as fusarium patch and take-all patch require the turf surface to be alkaline (high
pH) for the fungus to be active. Applying iron to the lawn will help acidify (lower the pH) of the
turf surface, therefore minimising the damage caused by the disease.
The product can be mixed with water and applied at a rate of 10g/m2 to the lawn when the disease
is most active.
In the turf industry fungicides are still widely used for the control of turf diseases as they
are more effective than this product. However the disadvantages of fungicides is that they also
kill the beneficial bacteria (which helps to suppress the disease) as well as the pathogenic
bacteria which causes the disease.
At some point in the near future fungicides may end up being banned because of their affect on
the environment. If this ban goes ahead this will mean this product will play a major
role in disease control in the turf industry.
Control & kill moss on lawns
This is the most common use for sulphate of iron in the lawn and turf industry. It is used
in lawn sand along with sulphate of ammonia (nitrogen) and sand (used as a carrier) to kill moss in the spring time.
The above photo shows a lawn that has been treated with
sulphate of iron. Note how the moss has turned black and is ready to be scarified
Lawn sand will kill moss very quickly, usually between 10 - 14 days, however the period of
control can be short. It can also be used on it's own at a rate of 10g/m2 to control moss in
Regular applications at the above rate about every 4 - 6 weeks during the winter months will
help stop any moss invading your lawn.
It also has the added benefit of burning off certain weeds if used regularly and preventing
Wormcast & worm control on lawns
Unfortunately there are no chemicals that are approved for worm control
on domestic lawns, they are only available for turf professionals who are employed in the turf
However as previously mentioned these product may soon be banned, so sulphate of iron will also
play a major role in worm control in the turf industry.
Because of its acidifying effect on the turf surface, it can be quite effective in
discouraging worms and reducing the number of worm casts. This is because worms do not like the
acidifying effect on the surface caused by this product.
Applying sulphate of iron every 4 - 6 weeks at a rate of 8g/m2 should help reduce worm activity
resulting in fewer worm casts.