How do I know if my plants need Ironite? —Martha Dean, Hilliard, FL
Ironite is a soil supplement and fertilizer used primarily on golf greens and athletic fields. Made from silver-mine tailings (what remains after ore is processed), Ironite contains iron plus secondary and trace minerals that help plants grow. A soil test can give you information about the nutrients in your soil. If your soil is deficient in minerals, you could work Ironite into the soil at planting time or add it later in the season. Despite some controversy, Ironite is widely available at home and garden centers.
The reason it’s somewhat controversial is that it contains small amounts of arsenic and lead (both as components of other minerals). According to Ironite’s producers, neither is released to your plants or to the environment, but some environmentalists and organizations discourage the use of this product.