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 lawns.
This versatile product can be used to control moss, discourage earthworms from casting and in certain cases control weeds and disease.
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 out.
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 lawns.
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 algae problems.
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 industry.
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.