madmantrapper(7)May 25, 2010

Who uses Urea as a source of nitrogen? My soil lacks nitrogen and a guy at the co-op suggested using Urea to bring it up. Its 46%, pretty high. 50 pounds is only $10 or so. I think the feed rate is 5 cups per 100' of row at planting and again at 8" tall. Any input?

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We used to use it on hay. I wouldn't use it on my garden as it's high in salts. I stick with organic protein sources like soybean or alfalfa meal, compost.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 8:23PM
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Tracy, what kinds of salts are you talking about?

madman, read the label for ingridients. At $10 / 50lbs,
46%N, it sounds like a good deal to me.
I would use it if I could find it. I bought this Scholtz 26%n stuff but three times mor expensive.

If you check lawn section in HD, they might have similar product for lawns. I bought one 50lbs bag last year and used it all last year and up until
a month ago . Most plants needs extra nitrogen in their early growth stage.
And of course I would generally give my cold crops just nitrogen.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 10:52PM
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All chemical fertilizers are SALT.

you are buying 50 pounds of SALT.

stop calling it fertilizer because it kills plants.

It is very strong and you are more than likely to kill your plants with urea. You dissolve urea in water and it immediately washes down through the soil and washes away into the water table. terrible stuff. will probably kill everything eventually. Kansas the entire water system is not useable.

I agree your plants will grow much better with alfalfa meal. great stuff. super fertilizer. it also gives up the fertility slowly. \

miracle grow is all SALT. All chemical fertilizers are salts. salt kills plants.

Do not be brainwashed by the chemical companies trying to sell you salt as fertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 1:50AM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I use it. The only thing my garden needs is nitrogen. P and K are present in lifetime supply amounts. Urea is the cheapest nitrogen available, and my soil tester (KS St Univ.) recommended it.

The only problem I have with it is that I can not calibrate my fertilizer spreader (dropper type) low enough to apply it to my garden, as it takes so little of it to provide the N I need. So, I just use a Kraft cheese shaker (holds a pound) and sprinkle it down the rows in my garden.

I avoid fertilizing the paths, and that 50# bag I bought 5 years ago will probably last another 10 or 15 years. (2,000 sq. ft. garden).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:02AM
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Coming from this sand-coast county, if I were transplanted to some of the ground I've seen in Kansas, I wouldn't think of needing to add N for probably the rest of my life. And this place has rich soil compared to my central florida sand.

In short, one can't really speak of N without qualifying the soil in question.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 6:43AM
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gardendawgie sounds like a ORGANIC ACTIVIST.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 8:25PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Don't really know what urea is (was thinking of urine).
I don't use anything in my vege garden except for home made compost and pond water, but I do use MG on many of my flowers and other plants. They don't die, they flourish! So what does THAT mean?????
My neighbor uses epsom salts on her roses and they are WONDERFUL!!!!! They haven't died.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Farmers in the US and around the world use chemical fertilizers on millionss
of acres and zillions of plants and and produce bumper crops.
When it comes to fertilizers, I believe organic or inorganic does not make much difference
to the plants: Nitogen atom is the same no matter where it comes from.
The main issue here is environmental. Chemical fertilizers are fast acting and can leach out/down while organic ones are slow release and leach less.

To me "ORGANIC" in gardening mainly means not using chemical pesticides that pollute, have health hazards and can kill benefitial insects and micro organisms.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:36PM
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The big difference between natural forms of nitrogen and chemical forms is the condition they leave the soil in. Naturals are much better for the enzymes and microbes in soil and also leach much less. I know of very few aquifers in Kansas that are polluted by high levels of N. The water table along most of the Arkansas River is very shallow and they grow enormous amounts of corn using extremely high, 250-300 lbs per acre, of N. I'm switching from MG to naturals this year on the garden, I'd like to see healthier soil in the future.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:36PM
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daryljurassic(OHIO 6a)

I use the 46% urea also. I use it to side dress my corn @ 2 cups per 100' row. Prior to sowing, I mix 10-10-10 in the soil. As far as the urea goes, the 1st application is when the corn is 12" high and the final (2nd)application is when silk first appears. I literally use a tablespoon to apply the urea(dry) so I don't over do it...It also use urea about every 10 days on my bananas, elephant ears, cannas & a bit less on my palms - it(1Tbs/2 gl) gets dissolved in water with epsom salt, MG & root stimulator. That combo makes for very very serious growth on my plants. These plants need to be established so I wait and do that from June - end of August.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:24AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

using green type mulches ie.,. lucern hay mulch or pasture grass hay mulch over here we get sugar cane mulch should all help maintain nitrogen levels along with other nutrients in eh garden. my wee water gets added to dish rinse or wash water and watered around the plants, no obvious nitrogen issues in our gardens. some of the things we do to keep our gardens sustainable with no need so far to buy man made fertilisers.

no chance of overdosing the plants with nitrogen using above methods, plants with too much nitrogen more attractive to bugs.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Actually, Urea is an "organic compound". The synthesis of this organic compound by Friedrich Wöhler in 1828 from an inorganic precursor was an important milestone in the development of chemistry.

c.f. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urea

Personally I prefer organic compost as it's better. However, organic compost is not panacea and many organic merchants exaggerates its importance.

Depending on the language you are using, organic compost releases its fertilizer also in the form of chemical compound (or "salt" as a gentleman in a previous post called). Just that it releases not just fertilizer but also organic matters which can provide better air circulation, etc, for the soil.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:54PM
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For vegetables, it is better to use organic protein sources like soybean or alfalfa meal, instead of urea though. Even though chemically speaking urea is organic compound, nowadays it's not coming from organic source and is too "pure" a fertilizer. Soybean or organic compost is richer in different kinds of nutrition.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:58PM
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Glad to hear it's organic - I didn't know that.
I use 1/4 cup in 2 gals of water as a liquid fertilizer for greens - they seem to really like it every couple of weeks or so. I use granules for corn at planting time and when it's knee-high; also for lawns in light doses before a rain. It will burn a lawn if applied too heavily or if it's not watered in.
Another use is to heat up a carbon-heavy compost pile. I use 2 cups dissolved in 5 gals of warm water, and pour that over a pile. never fails to heat it up, although there might be a slight ammonia outgassing smell if the liquid is not distributed well within the pile. It really speeds up decomposition of browns.
Best price I was able to find locally (SE Mass.) is $18/50 lb bag.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 8:55AM
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As a nitrogen only source the only thing better is ammonium nitrate as it is already in the nitrate form plants use, which because it could be used to make bombs is hard to find in the pure form anymore. Dilute the urea in water and use it for foliar feeding. I mix up a 55 gallon drum of it at a time and use a watering can to apply it. Farmers often mix it with the irrigation water. Just make sure to use a very dilute solution so you don't burn your plants.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 10:15AM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

Just to clarify, in chemistry any carbon-containing compound is 'organic,' which has little to do with the common conception of organic in gardening.

I've heard several chemists grumble about the appropriation of the term, although the word seems to have more usages than I would have expected!

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic from Wikipedia

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:58AM
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I'm curious as to whether you used it. If so, what were the results and did you dilute it with water? I'm thinking about using it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:36PM
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I used urine 10 to 1 diluted with water for nitrogen source, it is organic too

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 7:48PM
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i do the same JCT, why piss it down the drain when I can feed my plants with it :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2014 at 1:21AM
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Too bad those bastards Mc Veigh and Nicols did what they did or we'd still have NH4NO3 to use, an excellent, flexible N source fertilizer when used properly.

I use urea on veggies and berries always keeping in mind 2 things - 1) it takes time for the urea to get converted to No3 in the soil and 2) that NO3 can leach so, I spoon feed it, so to speak. It has a higher salt index than ammonium nitrate but oh well, can't get that anymore.

Speaking of leaching N, it all comes down to responsible, informed use of whatever source you use. Manure can be abused, I saw it first hand in FL at a community organic garden where some folks used it at upwards of 800,000 lb/A and they poured 5 gal buckets of piss on top of that all to grow greens. Geeze, that was nuts, especially in a sandy soil.

Improve soils by amending with organic matter, absolutely! Some benefits may include improved tilth, aeration, micronutrient availability and soil structure. Heavy clay soils will have improved water penetration.

All "chemical " fertilizers are salts, NOT salt, sodium chloride.

Hey PN I know what you mean about the FL sand. I did about 8 years of vegetable crop nutrition research for the U of FL many years ago. We did research from coast to coast. I always snicker at the idea of FL having soil except for the muck lands down south, talk about organic, MAN! And then there's the Marl way down south, that's just hydroponic growing.

Really, with drip fertigation on the sand lands, those are hydroponic systems too.

I prefer mineral soils with sand, silt, clay and about 5% OM.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2014 at 8:53PM
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