Iron is an important micro-nutrient required by plants for healthy growth. Although needed in lesser amount, iron is what makes plants to be green as it aid in production of chlorophyll – the green pigment in leaves that absorb sunlight energy which is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose.
Why do lawns need iron?
Iron is an essential in production of chlorophyll, oxygen and energy within a plant. It is also necessary for most enzyme activities in various plants. Iron deficiency leads to chlorosis – the loss of green coloration in plants. Lawns grasses without sufficient supply of iron appears sickly with yellowing blades.
Iron and other micronutrients important to plants become less available as the soil pH increases. If the pH of soil exceeds 6.5, iron is converted to a form that is unavailable to the plant, causing deficiency. This can also happen when the level of nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, molybdenum or heavy metals in the soil is high.
In researchgate.net, an online resource, explaining the possible reasons for soil to have a higher pH value, Agricultural experts from various institutions have explained that ,soils can become alkaline due to over-liming, use of alkaline water in irrigation and weathering of calcium carbonate-rich parent material common in arid areas.
Soil pH can be reduced by using acidified water for irrigation and/or using acidity laden fertilizer. Addition of organic matter like compost manure and acidic mulches can also lower your soil pH gradually over time. Growing alkaline-tolerant plants can also help you mitigate the situation.
Correcting soil pH does not happen overnight. Soil Ph Test has to be done to also check on the levels of other micronutrients such as manganese whose deficiency symptoms are similar to those of iron deficiency. If lack of iron in your lawn soil has been confirmed liquid iron may need to be included in your fertilizer program.
When to apply liquid iron to your lawn
Iron is available in various forms including liquid, powder and granular. Liquid iron is the most used on lawns due to its availability and ease of application. There are also chelated forms of iron with improved absorption but they are very expensive. Iron is best applied to the leaves of a plant as a foliar spray.
The best time to apply iron on your lawn is in spring when temperatures are cool. Before the application, the soil should be moist, you can get this by watering your lawn a day before. Iron will burn your plants or grass when applied in heat, thus avoid spraying in the midday sun or during drought.
Regular application of your liquid iron will provide better results as compared to a one single heavy dose. Apply on a monthly or fortnightly to get that deep green look on your lawn. Depending on the current state of the soil and lawn grasses, time for outcome may vary.
Liquid Iron for Moss Control in Lawns
Moss can take over your weak grasses especially when there is some moisture. With right conditions, moss can spread rapidly and within few days your whole lawn will be covered with mosses. One of the natural ways of controlling moss in your lawn is to apply liquid iron.
Spraying Liquid Iron at a heavy concentration of 8 oz. per gallon of water, using a fine mist pump sprayer, will kill moss and other weeds. Although this can harm the grass too, they will not die. The brown grass should recover within a short period of time if they are not stressed by heat or drought.
Iron Toxicity in Soil
While lack of iron in the soil negatively affects plants, too much is also a problem. Signs of iron toxicity in plants include bronzing of the leaves or formation of brown spots on leaves. Since these symptoms may also be sign of other nutrient deficiency or a highly acidic soil, test has to be done before a treatment is offered.
Some of the way of correcting iron toxicity include improvement of drainage if the soil is waterlogged and aerating a compacted soil. Inspection also has to be done on the water you use for irrigation or the surface runoff from the nearby properties. After tests, zinc and potassium fertilizers may also be recommended.
Everyone love to see that green lush grass in their backyard. With time, soil changes in many ways and deficiency of essential nutrients can take place. Iron is a one of the vital elements in the soil that plants need badly. Applying liquid nitrogen for lawns is a quick way of making your yellowing grass green again.