How to go about ironing your lawn

Author: Adam Fitzhenry   Date Posted:26 February 2019 


Who doesn’t love a lush green lawn that neighbours envy and passers-by give a second glance? With this latest heat wave your lawn and gardens might be looking tired and yellow and it could be that your lawn needs a good ironing!

Iron deficiencies or iron chlorosis cause problems to a plant’s health and vigour. As iron is necessary for the production of chlorophyll, the stuff that makes leaves green, without iron, chlorophyll cannot be produced resulting in leaves turning a yellowish colour.

In most cases, an iron deficiency is easy to identify in the landscape, but it can sometimes be a little more difficult to recognise on the lawn and even be mistaken for a similar condition called nitrogen chlorosis. This is caused by a lack of nitrogen and also leads to the leaves turning a pale green.

What causes iron deficiency in lawns?

An iron deficiency doesn’t always mean there’s a lack of iron in the soil, but rather, the plant’s inability to absorb iron. This could be due a soil pH level that’s too high or low, overuse of phosphorus, manganese, copper and zinc, waterlogging and excessive thatch.

How to identify an iron deficiency in lawns?

If an iron deficiency is the issue, your lawn will take on a yellow, speckled appearance. You should also notice that the veins of the leaves will be quite dark with pale yellow in-between.

The first thing you should do, is check the soil pH level. A pH level that’s either too high or low can often lead to iron being unavailable to plants. If the pH is greater than 7.2, the iron present is most likely solidifying and is locked up in the soil. If the reading is normal, it could mean too much phosphorus is present.

How to tell the difference between an iron deficiency and a nitrogen deficiency

It’s not uncommon for an iron deficiency to be mistaken for nitrogen deficiency and vice versa, but there are ways to distinguish between the two issues. When looking at individual plants, iron deficiencies will affect the youngest leaves first, while nitrogen deficiencies will appear on older leaves first.

A lack of nitrogen will often mean little to no green and cause the entire area to appear yellow or a pale green, rather than splotches.

How to treat an iron deficiency

The good news is – an iron deficiency is treatable, and you can do it yourself. However, the solution does depend on the cause of the issue.

If it’s due to a lack of air movement into the soil or by overirrigation, try turning the water off or core-aerating the lawn.

If the cause is a soil pH that’s too high, the remedy won’t be so simple. Products like humic and fulvic acid (and other products) might help buffer or unlock some of the tied-up nutrients to help temporarily resolve the issue and turn the yellow to green, but this will only last a few weeks before returning to its former state. For a long-lasting result, you will need to alter the soil pH.

If your lawn is simply lacking iron, you will need to use an iron product. Our Liquid Iron with Sulphur will help correct iron deficiencies in your lawn, plants and crops, while producing a rich green colour in leaves and the added Fulvic Acid will ensure a quick uptake of the nutrients to provide fast results. However, this product can’t be mixed with other liquids.

If you have any questions, we are always happy to help!


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