Should I apply iron sulphate before or after scarification?

Like it or not, iron sulphate is a very useful, and easy to buy, compound for professional lawn care technicians! Products made with iron sulphate have traditionally always been applied prior to scarification in an attempt to blacken the moss and make it easier to remove. But these days more and more lawn care professionals are reporting that sometimes it works out better to scarify first!

Treating with liquid iron sulphate products

When treating moss with liquid iron sulphate products what you may find is that only the top 1-2cm of moss is blackened and the rest is still green. Carry out your scarification afterwards and you will inevitably leave behind some green moss that will continue to grow.

By scarifying first and then applying the liquid product you will be removing the bulk of the material first leaving your iron sulphate to work on what’s left of the moss. This can also be done in one trip, saving you time and giving better results in the long run.

Treating with granular iron sulphate products

If you are applying a granular iron product you may find the story is quite different. As the granules settle in the moss and are watered in they often cause blackening in the moss in the lower levels but leave the upper areas nice and green. In this case, you will find it better to scarify after application. A light liquid iron treatment after scarification (if desired) will help deter the spores and any green material that gets left behind.



Close up of a lawn treated with Black and Green 12%Fe 5%MgO, you can see the granules on the blackened moss below and the unaffected moss on top.

What can I use to blacken moss?

Suitable moss blackening products include:
Liquid Iron 6%Fe
Soluble Iron 20% Fe
Black and Green 12%Fe 5%MgO
Rich Green 5-0-0 9%Fe
First and Last 6-5-10 +8%Fe

What do you think? Share your experiences with us by email, Twitter or in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you!

For any information or help on treating with the products above please call (01963 364788) or email us!

4 thoughts on “Should I apply iron sulphate before or after scarification?

  1. Dewitt Wesler says:

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!


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