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Is Ironite Safe?

Posted by patioplanter SoCal z9/z10 (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 21, 08 at 15:06

I'm considering adding Ironite to my lawn to green it up, however I found some information online saying it is full of arsenic and lead. Most of the other inforamtion seems to be positive.

I will be getting my soil tested as well to make sure there isn't something else I need to do to green it up.

Any opinions out there on the safety of this product? We are expecting our first child and I like to grow my own vegetables so I don't want to put anything harmful to our health on the lawn.

Thanks for your help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

Ironite does have low levels of heavy metals. Those levels are within what the government considers safe when you apply per their recommendations.

Lead and arsenic are naturally occurring elements and are found in low levels across the country. Using ironite will add slightly to those levels. The actual risk is probably quite small, but I personally choose not to use this product. There are lots of organic fertilizers that would be suitable substitutes, so I just don't mess with it.


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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

If you are uncomfortable with Ironite (as I am) you could look into greensand. I haven't used either, but I know that is a popular alternative.


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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

I like the product. It does what it advertises, which is to add iron to the lawn. I have read most of the articles about it, and you can Google and get a passle of them, and some are reasonable in tone, and some are not. There's just no way around that nowadays.

What moved me off of Ironite was the price. I find that I get just about as much iron on the lawn by using Milorganite, and with the Milorganite, you get the organic material, and the nitrogen, as well as the iron. I am willing to admit (though I have not measured) that you might get more, or longer lasting, iron out of Ironite. But I find that my results with Milorganite are 'close enough'.

Hope that helps.


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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

One thing to consider is whether your soil is actually deficient in iron or not. I have problems with iron deficiency in some plants, but the soil has plenty of iron in it and using a product like Ironite or Milorganite wouldn't help. My problem is that my soil has a high pH and the iron is not in a form that is available to the plants.

From what I understand, the iron in greensand (glauconite) would help, but I can't find it around here and shipping makes it too expensive for me to consider. What I've done instead is to try to lower the pH of the soil in selected areas and also to add organic matter as often as possible to try to provide a buffering effect for the pH.


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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

BP, do you think you might have too much phosphorus in the soil also? I ask because I have read that that plus high pH combine to cause iron chlorosis.


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scotts option

Another option for Iron is scotts turfbuilder with 2% iron (which is different from scotts "plus two," which includes a weed killer but not iron). Now is probably not the time to use that, but if you are still looking for some iron when temps start to drop you might consider that also.


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RE: Is Ironite Safe?

"BP, do you think you might have too much phosphorus in the soil also? I ask because I have read that that plus high pH combine to cause iron chlorosis."

It's possible. I've never had my soil tested, but in general, the soil around here is naturally high in P and K, so if chemical fertilizers are used, the recommendation is to use something like 21-0-0 or 46-0-0. The extension service never said the P or K levels were a problem, just that they mean we don't need to add any. I know that when I am able to lower the pH around my maple tree (the only plant that has real problems now that the magnolia died), the leaves green up nicely.


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