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View Full Version : Is there such a thing as too much IRON?


AmGreen
12-29-2008, 03:21 PM
I've always included IRON in my fert program - typically a 6% along with the normal lb per 1000 N with good color results.
The other day I was riding through a "ritzy" neighborhood looking for potential customers. I came up on a few houses with the darkest green fescue you've ever seen - almost to the point of looking black. Obviously it was the IRON but how much? Are they spraying or spreading? Anyone with ideas...

jimmyzlc
12-29-2008, 04:44 PM
You can always get to much of something. I put just enough Iron down to give it some pop. No idea on application method, but I would not think dry would make it look black.

FdLLawnMan
12-29-2008, 05:05 PM
If you mean could it damage the turf, not sure but you would have to put an awful lot on to do that. Depending on the type of iron and how much is applied it will turn the turf almost black. All the iron is basically doing is internally and externally staining the plant. The more you apply, the darker it will get.

SpreadNSpray
12-29-2008, 06:42 PM
I've always included IRON in my fert program - typically a 6% along with the normal lb per 1000 N with good color results.
The other day I was riding through a "ritzy" neighborhood looking for potential customers. I came up on a few houses with the darkest green fescue you've ever seen - almost to the point of looking black. Obviously it was the IRON but how much? Are they spraying or spreading? Anyone with ideas...

In my experience, iron will help but can only do so much. More depends on the type and hybrid of grass for exceptional color.

bug-guy
12-29-2008, 08:20 PM
i was always told the lawn will only take up as much as it was possible and the rest was a waste. also possible wash off and staining concrete(liq apps).
i have seen liquid apps turn lawns really dark/black several times.
once a agition belt broke and the iron settled to the botom
many other times the lawn was just cut and then sprayed on a hot day

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-29-2008, 08:31 PM
i was always told the lawn will only take up as much as it was possible and the rest was a waste. also possible wash off and staining concrete(liq apps).
i have seen liquid apps turn lawns really dark/black several times.
once a agition belt broke and the iron settled to the botom
many other times the lawn was just cut and then sprayed on a hot day

I would assume this be true, I'm guessing plants are just like us, we can take vitamins everyday, and our body will only absorb what we need or what we have deficiencies in, nothing more.

Kiril
12-29-2008, 11:24 PM
I'll add that generally most soils are not iron deficient, it is just not available for plant uptake. Perhaps instead of adding more iron, you might look for ways to make the iron that is already there available.

Ric
12-30-2008, 09:23 AM
AmGreen

I think you are asking the wrong question. Maybe you should be asking What elements or combination of elements in what form caused that lawn to be almost black green. Iron is only one element and the form of iron along with what other elements it reacts with might be the answer you are seeking.

Grassmechanic
12-30-2008, 09:51 AM
Back in the golf course days, a week or two before a big tournament, we'd apply liquid iron at 9-12 oz/1000 along with about 1/4# ammonium sulfate to the approaches and around the green. This would turn the grass dark green, almost to the point of being black. It was a big hit with the golfers. The green itself stood out and the topograpy was easier to see for undulations when taking an approach shot. Of course we used nothing but pure white sand in the traps to enhance the visual effect.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-30-2008, 10:06 AM
toooooooo much and it will turn black not good

Ric
12-30-2008, 10:15 AM
Back in the golf course days, a week or two before a big tournament, we'd apply liquid iron at 9-12 oz/1000 along with about 1/4# ammonium sulfate to the approaches and around the green. This would turn the grass dark green, almost to the point of being black. It was a big hit with the golfers. The green itself stood out and the topograpy was easier to see for undulations when taking an approach shot. Of course we used nothing but pure white sand in the traps to enhance the visual effect.

Grassmechanic

First remember Golf Courses have a totally different budget and Quality demand factor.

Bug Guy one time posted a similar formula with some other elements that turn turf very dark green for a short time. While his cocktail works well, it is also very abrasive on pumps and nozzles. But I did say at the cost of his old chemistry he should be able to afford to replace pumps. There are other formulations that work for a longer period and are not any where as near abrasive on equipment. But I am not giving away my secrets on a silver platter.

AmGreen
12-31-2008, 10:48 AM
Grassmechanic

First remember Golf Courses have a totally different budget and Quality demand factor.

Bug Guy one time posted a similar formula with some other elements that turn turf very dark green for a short time. While his cocktail works well, it is also very abrasive on pumps and nozzles. But I did say at the cost of his old chemistry he should be able to afford to replace pumps. There are other formulations that work for a longer period and are not any where as near abrasive on equipment. But I am not giving away my secrets on a silver platter.

Hey Ric,

Not looking for a silver platter, but any chance you can give me some hints on what direction I should go with my research. Maybe some keywords or things of that nature...
Thanks

rcreech
12-31-2008, 11:44 AM
I don't know Ric's formula...but he is right you have to look at the micros and their forms and also I will add the turf be it age, type, characteristics!

There are only a few nutrients that will give you a good color change assuming you are dealing with a good soil with no defeciencie and pH.

The only bad part about the micros is...they only last a few weeks (of course this depends on several factors such as maintenance practices, rainfall etc.).

N is the big one (macro) but the key to N is using a slow release on all apps, excluding late fall (IMO). Give it a continual feeding and feed it slow as most "off colored" lawns I see are just needing a good N feeding due to timing between apps or the source used (mineral maybe). Fe and Mn is also very helpful. When using a chelated form you will get a much better response, but it also depends on the type of grass you are treating!

If you are trying to turn a 20 year old lawn into a dark green golf course...then you will have many more issues then dealing with the newer cultivars of KB and Fesucues etc. that are on the market today!

Just like people that tan! Some people can go sit in a tanning bed and get a great tan after 2 visits! Others have to go 10x, get burnt the first two times and if they skip once, they turn back into a white sheet again.

Probably not the best analogy...but lawns are the same exact way! The response will be different on most lawns!

I know I am preaching to the Choir...but every lawn and turf type is different and may take a different approach!

Grassmechanic
12-31-2008, 12:00 PM
Grassmechanic

First remember Golf Courses have a totally different budget and Quality demand factor.

Bug Guy one time posted a similar formula with some other elements that turn turf very dark green for a short time. While his cocktail works well, it is also very abrasive on pumps and nozzles. But I did say at the cost of his old chemistry he should be able to afford to replace pumps. There are other formulations that work for a longer period and are not any where as near abrasive on equipment. But I am not giving away my secrets on a silver platter.

Ahhh Grasshopper, I'm not giving away all of mine either.:waving:Notice that I mentioned only liquid Iron and fert. This was my starting point and did the job we wanted for the tournaments. Like you said, it'll get by for a short period of time. Along with a generous budget at the GC, I also had the freedom to experiment diff. products. I didn't mention any other combos that will do the same thing for a longer period of time.:cool2: My response was merely trying to add insight to AmGreen's question of "is there such a thing as too much iron".:waving:

bug-guy
12-31-2008, 03:39 PM
there are alot of products today that have newer sources of iron that are more availible to the plant with out the BIG N factor.
look at 4-4-5 and the high mang combo both at jdl

http://www.lesco.com/NoCompression/Label.aspx?label=088184.pdf

http://www.lesco.com/NoCompression/Label.aspx?label=084053.pdf

rcreech
01-01-2009, 07:23 AM
Bug Guy,

You state "without the Big N"....are you talking about color or just being more plant available?

Shouldn't these product be used in conjunction with a good N program?

What it the turf going to look like after 2-3 weeks when the Fe is GONE?

Are you saying these products will reside in the plant for longer?

Tx,
RC

Ric
01-01-2009, 09:52 AM
Hey Ric,

Not looking for a silver platter, but any chance you can give me some hints on what direction I should go with my research. Maybe some keywords or things of that nature...
Thanks

AmGreen

My Silver Platter might not carry your crystal. What works for me might not work well for. But the Big N can and does play a factor. Not necessarily the amount but the type. The same is true about your minor elements. There are many different compounds of elements and how they interact is really the key to achieving that dark green. Now Chlorine is one element needed by plants as a nutrient but it sure doesn't do anything but kills plants if applied straight and in any minor amount. Combine it with other elements and they become more available to the plant. But IMHO you don't want more than 2% chlorine in any blend, so realize I am not recommending chlorine.

OK we are back to the old pull a soil sample. Sorry I haven't pulled one in many years. I am not talking each yard but the over all area you service. Now my basic soil is calcareous sand with a pH of 9.5 and a CEC of about 5. Any released granules not up taken before the next watering event is much leached out. My soil is a PITA to work with in no uncertain terms. You don't what my fertilizer expense or my secret to keeping dark green yard. How can a guy 1500 miles away from you tell what will work in your soil or your market? we can only share Ideas and not actual facts.

Now back to compounds for just a second. The form elements come in will cause different response in plants. Take good old Blue Chip or Methylene Urea for example. It is straight N basically the same as straight Urea. But Methylene Urea will cause a Blue-green response that straight Urea or SCU can't even come close too.

A quick story. Years ago I saw a picture of art work done on turf. The Medium was fertilizer. By using different compounds of fertilizer the artist created different shades of Green to make a picture of a face I personally associate with a pagan religion. While I don't have the talent to draw a straight line it did peaked my interest in studying fertilizer.

rcreech

I agree with you about the need for N in conjunction with a good minors package. Without the N those minor will not give a good response alone.

BTW let me add, Don't forget the K. It might not cause green today but it sure helps plant health in general.

Kiril
01-01-2009, 10:43 AM
How can a guy 1500 miles away from you tell what will work in your soil or your market? we can only share Ideas and not actual facts.

This is not necessarily true. There are general characteristics of soils that can be applied to just about any soil type, particularly within the same order. A soil test and careful site assessment gives you the facts you need to determine an appropriate management program.

Now back to compounds for just a second. The form elements come in will cause different response in plants. Take good old Blue Chip or Methylene Urea for example. It is straight N basically the same as straight Urea. But Methylene Urea will cause a Blue-green response that straight Urea or SCU can't even come close too.

Care to detail why?

Ric
01-01-2009, 11:04 AM
This is not necessarily true. There are general characteristics of soils that can be applied to just about any soil type, particularly within the same order. A soil test and careful site assessment gives you the facts you need to determine an appropriate management program.



Care to detail why?



Kiril

In your own words GENERAL and that is not specific. What about Climate as a Factor also???

No I am not about to try and teach a fertilizer chemistry class here.

Kiril
01-01-2009, 11:39 AM
In your own words GENERAL and that is not specific. What about Climate as a Factor also???

Of course climate is a factor. My point is, facts about soils can be shared, even 1500 miles away just by knowing the soil order. Beyond that, give me a geographic location and I can pull up very specific details on soils in most areas of this country. In short, there are many facts about soils that can be conveyed in a public forum, and are not simply "ideas".

No I am not about to try and teach a fertilizer chemistry class here.

So, does this mean you don't know? There are many factors that could affect a turfs response to a particular fertilizer, like climate.

quiet
01-01-2009, 01:04 PM
Why the dig? That wasn't Ric's point. All Ric was mentioning was different N sources give different color responses. And the color response can be based on the N source's interaction with the local soil chemistry . . . as well as a myriad of other factors.

The point is that there is no cut and dried "one size fits all" formula for the entire world. General assumptions are only that.

Kiril
01-01-2009, 01:24 PM
Why the dig? That wasn't Ric's point. All Ric was mentioning was different N sources give different color responses. And the color response can be based on the N source's interaction with the local soil chemistry . . . as well as a myriad of other factors.

Not a dig, I just wanted more information, given some of the studies I have read don't jive with what he stated.

The point is that there is no cut and dried "one size fits all" formula for the entire world. General assumptions are only that.

You are preaching to the choir dude. This is the reason why I stress soil testing is a necessary part of any landscape management program. I don't think I need to point out what most peoples response is to that.

Ric
01-01-2009, 02:06 PM
Of course climate is a factor. My point is, facts about soils can be shared, even 1500 miles away just by knowing the soil order. Beyond that, give me a geographic location and I can pull up very specific details on soils in most areas of this country. In short, there are many facts about soils that can be conveyed in a public forum, and are not simply "ideas".



So, does this mean you don't know? There are many factors that could affect a turfs response to a particular fertilizer, like climate.

Kiril

I taught a few classes at a State College about Fertilizer. No it doesn't mean I don't know, only that I don't care to type that much information. If you want some Information on the subject do a search here under threads I started entitled Nitrogen. While I had planned to do all 17 elements, let's just say for some reason I stopped before completing the first thread about Nitrogen. Many others contributed also to that thread. I have posted a lot of technical information over the years trying to raise the standards of the Industry. My attitude now is to let fools dig for that information themselves the same way I did. Education is not cheap either Time, Sweat or Money wise. It is not my job to educate you or do I get paid to educate you.

rcreech
01-01-2009, 04:00 PM
Kiril,

It sounds to me like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth!

You tell Ric that you can put general info on here about soils and fert...but last week when I posted about N (and the worries you had of adding salt) you posted tons of maps and a ton of other info telling me I was wrong, and that I was only worried about my "own corner" of the world.

Make up your mind!

I do think this is a general forum...and I think it should stay that way! If I read about a post from CA then I probably won't respond unless it is something general.

I agree with Ric...what works for him may not work for you and me and vise versa!

You can look up and read all you want on the internet, but that may not be "real life". Are you saying that you believe everything you read on the internet? And if not, how do you know the difference!

Believe half of what you see and very little of what you read or hear!

rcreech
01-01-2009, 04:15 PM
Not a dig, I just wanted more information, given some of the studies I have read don't jive with what he stated.




Case in point...you believe what you READ and question Ric's real life experience!!!!!

Sometimes you can throw the book out the window!

Kiril
01-01-2009, 04:31 PM
If you want some Information on the subject do a search here under threads I started entitled Nitrogen.

I did as you suggested, no mention of Methylene Urea. Would you point me to the specific post where you explain how Methylene Urea will cause a Blue-green response that straight Urea or SCU can't even come close too.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=44636

Some studies you may be interested in looking at:

http://ucrturf.ucr.edu/UCRTRAC/Accumulative%20Report/PDF%20Files%20for%20Download/SUMMER%20GROWTH%20RESPONSE%20-%20Parkins%20et%20al.pdf

http://ohric.ucdavis.edu/Newsltr/CTC/ctcv23_2.pdf

http://crop.scijournals.org/cgi/reprint/45/2/486.pdf

I can probably dig up some more if anyone is interested.

Education is not cheap either Time, Sweat or Money wise. It is not my job to educate you or do I get paid to educate you.

Thanks Ric, but I don't need you to educate me, given I spent 10 years in higher education, 5 of which in related fields.

Kiril
01-01-2009, 04:33 PM
Sometimes you can throw the book out the window!

Absolutely true.

Ric
01-01-2009, 06:21 PM
Kiril

You only read and understand what you desire to understand. I Said the Nitrogen thread and other element threads were never completed for one reason or an other. I don't want to discuss why 6 years later.

You seem to have a cross to burn and I have no desire to fuel that fire. You sir may have the last word, I don't do special Education. I am done here.

Kiril
01-01-2009, 06:28 PM
Ric,
I simply want clarification on a very specific statement of fact you made, nothing more, nothing less. Unlike some people, I want to know the reason why, and I could find nothing to support the statement. Either you can provide the clarification or not. I don't feel this is an unreasonable request, and I am sorry if you do.

bug-guy
01-03-2009, 09:12 AM
Bug Guy,

You state "without the Big N"....are you talking about color or just being more plant available?Shouldn't't these product be used in conjunction with a good N program? What it the turf going to look like after 2-3 weeks when the Fe is GONE?Are you saying these products will reside in the plant for longer?
Tx,
RC


i'm sorry i wasn't talking about using no N at all but here some LCO's look for other sources to use at this time of year. most are using about 4 lbs of N over the course of the year. but some times you do not want to push growth just maintain with the grass slowed down but not totally dormant yet.
alittle N to sweeten the mix is usually used. again that is what some do HERE.

also i was just trying to show other sources of iron.

and in no way suggesting it as a stand alone for the whole year just a tool to use as it fits the job.
here we went from a hard frost in the end of oct which turned most of the lawns brown as hay.
to again more seasonal temps where the grass as recovered already( i had to cut yesterday )
there have been some serious brown patch breakouts also.i can spot it just driving around
i personally use alittle less N here and like to supplement my lawn with the mang. high combo, which seems to be a minor element package. it seems to maintain a nice lawn without stressing. you have remember here we go through some drastic climate changes
late spring we have drought conditions and 1X week watering
summer we can get 6 inches of rain a week
late fall/Early winter it can be 30 degrees @ 6 am and 85 @ 11:30