Ironite is a mineral supplement made by Pennington. It’s a synthetic, granular product designed to be used or your lawn, although it can also be used on flowers, shrubs, vegetables, and trees.
The main reason why people use ironite on their lawn is to achieve that desired dark, green emerald color in their lawn. This occurs mostly as a result of the iron that this product contains which I will explain in a little more detail further on in the article.
Ironite has a 1-0-1 NPK ratio. This is ratio between Nitrogen-Phosphors-Potassium. In other words, it has…
…This means pretty much nothing – This product is designed to be a supplement, not an actual fertilizer.
Most importantly, this product does contain a lot of iron, 20% in-fact. This is a lot more iron that’s added to most of the fertilizers you will see in the store.
Ironite also has some calcium in it too!
The product is supposed to give you that nice greening affect for around three months.
What Does Iron Do for Your Lawn?
Using iron on your lawn is a bit of a yard hack. It’s used by a lot of lawn owners to really get their grass color to pop. It can help make your lawn look a shade darker. When done properly, it almost looks like the grass has a blue tint to it.
Of course, this works better for cool season grass types which are naturally darker anyway.
In any event, iron (Fe) is a micronutrient required by grass and other plants to produce chlorophyll which is necessary for photosynthesis.
If your grass doesn’t get enough iron and develops an iron deficiency, the plant develops a condition called chlorosis which can look nasty. It turns the grass blades yellow.
You might see grass turn yellow in shaded areas where it doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.
If you are going to use iron on your lawn, make sure that the iron you get is chelated. This will ensure the iron is readily available for your grass to uptake upon application.
Even though ironite is a mineral supplement, you do spread it on your lawn just like you would for any granular fertilizer. You can use a regular broadcast spreader. Whatever size you have should work just fine (I like this one).
On the back of the bag, it tells you the application rate – lbs/1000 sq ft. depending on the model of spreader you have. e.g. Scotts, Sta-green or Pennington. It’s recommended that you apply the ironite to your lawn when the grass is actively growing.
A word of caution though…
Ironite contains a lot of iron so you don’t want to overdo it with this product. If you give your grass too much iron, it can actually turn black. Unless it’s Halloween, this is not what you want so make sure you’re following the application rate recommended on the bag.
Typically, you can get away with being a little heavy handed with organic products, but I wouldn’t recommend it with synthetic products.
Other Ironite Application Details to Be Aware Of
It’s recommended that you apply this product up to four times per year.
You can apply it to wet or dry lawns although it’s recommended that you don’t apply ironite if there is a lot of rain forecasted.
The product also suggest that you water deeply after applying it.
I should also mention that before you apply any fertilizer, check your local regulations to see if there are restrictions on fertilizer use.
Be careful! Although this product says it will not stain your concrete or driveway, I wouldn’t recommended taking any chances. If you do get any on a surface, make sure to blow it back onto the lawn right away. This will guarantee no staining and give you the most amount of efficiency possible.
Remember to wear gloves when using handling this product too!
When Should You Use Ironite on Your Lawn?
Ironite works great if you have an event coming up and you’re looking to show off a dark green lawn. Of course, if you’re a lawn nut like me, whenever you have company you want your lawn to pop and impress everybody.
Because ironite doesn’t have a lot of nitrogen, it’s great to use on an actively growing lawn. In the spring your grass will already be growing at a fast rate, so you might not want to be adding a ton of nitrogen to your lawn because it can start to grow too fast. If you’re unable to keep up with the mowing, you could be creating more problems for yourself.
Is Ironite Better Than Milorganite?
This is a question I often get. Both of these products are made by two different manufactures and are designed for slightly different purposes.
Milorganite is an organic product. It does have a little bit of iron in it along with the fertilizer. The iron level is about 2.5%, which is still more than most fertilizers. Ironite has 20% iron which is a whole lot more.
I’ve used both products on my lawn and you can certainly tell the difference. When using ironite, your lawn will green up a lot faster than Milorganite, but that’s to be expected.
Milorganite has a completely different nutrient profile to ironite. Most of the Milorganite products have an NPK ratio of 6-4-0 or 5-4-0 so you’re getting a lot more Nitrogen and Phosphorus. It’s a slow releasing product too!
If your goal is to build soil quality over a period of time and increase microbial activity, Milorganite is the way to go. It works great as a starter fertilizer in the spring time. It’s perfectly safe to use on your lawn too!
It really comes down to what your goals are…
It’s not necessarily that one product is better than the other because they are different products that aren’t designed to do the same thing. Nethertheless, it’s good to be aware of what each product is and when to use it.
Ironite vs Liquid Iron
At this point you’re probably wondering if you’re better off applying a liquid iron product than a granular product like ironite.
The good news is that both products will work if your goal is to get a dark green lawn. The problem with ironite is that it will take a week or so to notice a significant color change. Meanwhile with liquid iron, you can get great results in just 48 hours after you apply it. This might not be much of an issue for you, it’s just something to be aware of.
Liquid iron is usually a little bit cheaper than ironite although it can depend on the product you choose. The cost is pretty similar in general so it’s not a huge factor to consider.
I like this liquid iron product from Southern Ag (link to Amazon).
In my opinion, spreading a granular product is a just a little bit easier. You don’t have to worry about cleaning up a bottle afterwards. It really just comes down to personal preference.
In Summary – Should You Use Ironite Your Lawn?
Ironite definitely helps green up your grass so I would recommend giving it a go for yourself. You can get it on Amazon here at a reasonable price.
It can really help to get your lawn to pop in just a few days although I don’t think it’s any better than other products out there that are designed for the same purpose.
I’ve found that it can sometimes be a little hard to judge results with a lot of lawn care products. The best way to track any changes is to take before and after photos so you assess how the product is. Also if you have a drone, now is the time to use it!
Remember that ironite is a supplement. It’s not a conventional fertilizer and it shouldn’t be used in place of one. If you do choose to use ironite, make sure you’re using it as one part of a well-rounded lawn care maintenance program to see the best results.