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Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Posted by kokos 6a (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 21, 10 at 20:18

I bought some "Ironite" from a Lowes in NY. It is 1-0-1 in formulation. It has trace elements in there too.
I bet Iron sulphate works better for lowering ph for blueberries.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 21, 10 at 20:52

I use sulfur in small doses, rotten pine needles are a good mulch too. I never compost pine needles, unless they are old & rotten.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

I always thought pine needles were great for compost. Don't know why ... but I heard it somewhere. Anyway, I'm always bugging the dh to pick some up for me when I see piles by the roadside. He never has; that could be a good thing?


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Well, it contains 10% S so I would think it would have a tendency to lower pH. Don't think I'll be using it on my soil though as your Ironite also contains Ca, the last thing my soil needs more of. Check out the label, it is loaded with goodies beyond the 1-0-1.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

It can help to lower pH but depending on how much you need to adjust, likely not the most efficient acidifying process. You would need to use too much of the product to effect any kind of significant change. You might want to Google Ironite and read up on some of the comments - it is made from mine tailings and has been tested to contain a high proportion of heavy metals (lead, arsenic, etc). It has been banned in Canada because of this reason and I'd have cautions about using it on anything edible.

And FWIW, plant products like pine straw, conifer needles, oak leaves, etc. that tend to be low pH themselves do not really help to lower soil pH - that is pretty much a myth. If applied as a mulch, they can lower pH slightly but only at the soil surface. Once decomposed, they will become almost neutral in pH, just like most compost.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 22, 10 at 11:18

Pine needles are fine for composting, I prefer them for mulch is all. I have tons of pine straw to pick up, but ten times that much leaves. Leaves break down quicker, the finer they are chopped. But if you can & will compost pine straw, go for it.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

I read it's arsenic & lead levels are so minute that unless your kids are eating "bowls of turf" per day there is no effect.
curious where did you get this info?


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Hmmmm......I'd suspect that info was probably provided by the product manufacturer. You might want to research further :-)

Let me supply the technical stuff first. The Washington State Department of Agriculture was the first and still one of the few states to analyze all fertilizers sold under their purview for the presence of heavy metals. Among a couple of others, Ironite tested high for most but over the moon for arsenic and lead, at 4380ppm and 2910ppm respectively (zinc was also extremely high, at 9940ppm). EPA guidelines limit "safe" levels of these at 75ppm and 420ppm.
WSDA Heavy Metals Analysis

The EPA has done a study of the arsenic levels in Ironite, which you can read here:
EPA Ironite Risk Assessment study

And an article published in Environmental Science and Technology regarding a leachate analysis of Ironite:
Arsenic and Lead Leaching From Ironite

Minnesota has also done heavy metals testing on fertilizers sold there and with their report they include this: "Consumers may use more of the product than the label recommends or they may apply the product unevenly. These techniques would result in concentrated areas of the product on the lawn, in soil, or in a vegetable garden, in turn resulting in food chain and other exposures greater than estimated in this evaluation.
In addition, products, which are available for residential use may be applied in areas where children play. Children may be directly exposed to the product on treated lawns or in bare soil. Children (1 to 6 years) are at greater risk from these products than adults because of certain behaviors that increase their potential for exposure(e.g., hand to mouth activity), and because of their greater sensitivity to lead toxicity. Children may also be exposed to these products through direct ingestion." (emphasis mine)

Ironite's supplier's response to these concerns was to reduce the application rate. Period.

At one time, Ironite was restricted from sale in MN, MI and PA. Don't know if this is still the case

btw, the mine from which Ironite was derived is now an EPA Superfund site. YOU be the judge on how safe this product really is.


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Damn I got jipped. So if I apply this to my lawn, these lead ans arsenic particle will leach into my garden and contaminate my soil?

what do I do, I lost the receipt I bought it from a New York State "Lowe's". I live in Canada...will I be able to take it over the border again and exchange it?


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

"what do I do, I lost the receipt I bought it from a New York State "Lowe's". I live in Canada...will I be able to take it over the border again and exchange it?"

It may be more hassle than it's worth. If it were me I'd just write it off as a lesson learned.

Greg
Southern Nevada


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Wow!

that bad eh?


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RE: Does 'Ironite'acidify soil?

Check out this link about acidifying soil in various ways, http://www.jimwhitingnursery.com/acidifying-soil.pdf , and this one about Ironite. I also bought it and used it however luckily only a few cups. I will be putting this bag in storage for quite some time....

Here is a link that might be useful: Soil pH enhancement


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