You can use sulfur to create a healthy green yard.

Is Sulfur Good for Your Yard?

by Daniel Thompson

Creating a healthy green lawn for children and pets takes hard work and the right materials. You can use sulfur several ways to improve the quality of your lawn. Applying the right type of sulfur in the correct amounts ensures that you reap only benefits from your fertilization efforts.

Benefits of Sulfur

Sulfur is one of the nutrients that plants need to maintain regular growth. In most cases, the relatively limited amount of sulfur that plants use is naturally supplied from the soil. If your soil is deficient in sulfur, applying elemental sulfur or another source of sulfur can improve the health of your plants. Sulfur is also used to decrease the pH of soils. If your soil pH is too high, it can prevent your plants from using iron, zinc, manganese and other nutrients in the soil. Plants that are growing in soil with a high pH often show signs of chlorosis. Chlorosis is a nutrient disorder that causes yellowed or discolored foliage. As symptoms become worse, it can spread to the entire plant, and may cause foliage to curl and turn brown in severe cases.

Types Of Sulfur

Elemental sulfur is a concentrated form of sulfur that contains up to 90 percent sulfur. It will not immediately affect the pH of your soil. In some cases, it can take up to a month for elemental sulfur to break down into a useful form in the soil. Several other compounds that contain sulfur can be used to improve the soil in your yard. Potassium sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron sulfate gypsum and ammonium sulfate usually contain between 18 and 24 percent sulfur. The main advantages of these products is that they incorporate other beneficial minerals, and they do not need to be tilled into the soil since they are water-soluble.

Using Sulfur

The most effective way to use elemental sulfur is to spread it evenly over the soil and till it into the top 6 inches of the soil. Water-soluble forms of sulfur such as iron or aluminum sulfate are a good choice for lawns and other existing plants in your yard. These forms of sulfur are best applied by spreading them evenly over the soil, then watering them lightly to wash them into the root zone of your yard. Iron sulfate typically takes three to four weeks to affect soil pH while aluminum sulfate has an immediate affect.

Applying Sulfur

In sandy soils, you can use 0.8 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet to lower the pH value of your soil one point. Loamy soils that are high in organic matter can absorb more sulfur than sandy soils before their pH begins to decrease. Loamy soils require 2.4 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet to decrease the pH of the soil one point. If you are using iron sulfate to alter the pH of your soil, increase the recommended application rates by six times. If you have a loamy soil that would require more than 9 pounds of iron sulfate per 100 square feet, split the total amount into two applications two to three weeks apart to reduce the buildup of salt in your yard.

About the Author

Daniel Thompson began writing about analytical literature in 2004. He has written informative guides for a hardware store and was published at an academic conference as part of a collaborative project. He attained a Bachelors of Fine Arts in English literature from Eastern Kentucky University.

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