Does iron dehydrate new seed?

Asked April 10, 2014, 9:29 PM EDT

I am wondering if the application of ferrous sulfate over ungerminated grass seed will dehydrate the seed. I know most herbicides will essentially kill the seed, but does iron kill it as well?

Clackamas County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for your question to Ask an Expert.

Iron-based materials are typically used to kill existing moss in lawns and will not pro-actively keep the moss from growing. Is that what you are trying to do? If you are looking to keep moss out, adjust the soil pH by adding lime per the directions on a package or per soil test recommendations. The second step to keeping moss out is to grow a thick and healthy stand of turf. Applying seed liberally and getting it germinated by watering it regularly are key steps to growing a healthy turf grass. You also might apply fertilizer 2-3 times per year too.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Ok. Let me see if I can say it a little clearer. Applying iron on top of grass seed after the seed is put down on the lawn. Will the seed be damaged by the iron?


Based on my reading of product label for iron sulfate moss killer found here, moss killer is applied to existing lawn and at the rates indicated on the package. It does not mention applying it to bare soil after seeding. As indicated on label, it is illegal to apply the product in any way that is inconsistent with the product label. Thus, I cannot recommend that you apply the product as you describe.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.