Autumn is the ideal time to assess and repair any damage to your lawn that may have been caused during the summer months. Although the weather may be cooling down, there is still residual warmth in the soil so grass will still be growing enough to take advantage of any topical products applied such as an iron treatment.
What is an Iron Treatment?
Iron Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate or Sulphate of Iron are all different names for the same ingredient which is used in iron treatments for your lawn. Although the primary use for iron is a feed/fertiliser greening-up your lawn and acting as a turf hardener against winter disease ready for the cooler months, it also has additional benefits which include the management of moss, protection from frost damage (within reason) as well as being a worm suppressant due to increased soil acidity.
How does an iron treatment work?
There are two forms of iron treatments – liquid iron and granular iron. Both iron treatments are applied topically and work through being absorbed into the leaf directly but give slightly different results. If you would like to take advantage of the moss inhibiting side effect of an iron treatment it can be beneficial to scarify your lawn to remove the bulk of moss growth before applying the treatment.
It is also important to note at this point that any iron treatments can cause rust coloured staining to hard surfaces such as patios, pathways, decking and driveways and can be transferred indoors on the sole of shoes staining floors and carpets so it is vital that care is taken when applying to your lawn and avoid walking on treated areas until the lawn is dry (if using a liquid treatment) or until all granules have dissolved. This staining of hard surfaces can be exacerbated by moisture (such as dew overnight) so brushing off rogue granules as soon as possible is advisable.
Liquid Iron Treatments
Liquid iron treatments tend to be used more by professionals as it is important to get the dilution ratios correct and the use of spraying equipment or a knapsack is advised. Liquid applications are usually favoured by professionals as they are used to aid micro nutrient shortages as well as top up on trace element during the growing season. These liquid applications tend to be faster acting (opposed to granular) but not so long lasting and are accurate to apply evenly, depending on the operator.
Granular Iron Treatments
Granular iron treatments, such as Green & Black Fertiliser, tend to be slower acting compared to liquid treatments but give a longer lasting result and are therefore a popular choice. The application of granular treatments also is not as scientific and can be slightly less precise. As mentioned above, iron treatments will stain hard surfaces so it is advisable to brush away excess granules that may have strayed onto any pathways or patios.
In summary using an iron treatment this autumn as part of your routine lawn care management will help to see your lawn through the winter months in top form!