ammonia & etc. fertilizer... how much?

brendiJuly 31, 2009

I found this recipe for lawn fertilizer and was wondering if, since I am not much good at doing math, could someone please help me break this down as to how much of it to place into ONE 32 fluid ounce hose-end sprayer; the kind that comes with pre-mixed weed and feed type container that attaches to a garden hose. (like the ones that can be bought at Walmart & etc.) I read that ammonia is pure nitrogen. I need to be careful not to burn my lawn, which is why I am asking for help. I do not need 32 gallons of it. I just want enough of it to go into a 32 fluid ounce container and be able to use my garden hose attached to it. Thanks.

To make 32 gallons/145 liters

16 tablespoons Epsom salts

8 fl. oz/225ml household ammonia


Combine the Epsom salts and ammonia in a clean jar. To use, mix 2 tablespoons of the mixture with 16 pints/ 9 liters of water in a watering can. Sprinkle over 150-200 sqft/14-18.6 sqm of lawn. For use with a hose attachment, pour into the sprayer container.

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You are kidding right? Do you have any idea of how much nitrogen 8 oz of ammonia has?

Well not enough to feed your potted plants. Quit reading Jerry Baker books. It is SNAKE OIL.

But to answer your question 8 oz of ammonia is enough nitrogen to apply about .5 ounces of nitrogen to 1000/ft2 of lawn. (You need 1 pound or 16 times that amount) If you pee in the bottle instead of using ammonia it is free and has about the same amount of nitrogen.

Next question.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 1:02AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I agree with weed but also you might not need Epsom salts (magnesium and sulfate). The idea that any concoction like that is perfect for any lawn is highly optimistic.

If you want to do something for your lawn that is not snake oil, look for the "Organic Lawn Care FAQ" on the Organic Gardening forum or almost anywhere else on the Internet. The ideas presented in that FAQ are relatively creative at first but once you reset your thinking (and try it), you will start looking for ways to tune it up and improve on the plan for your lawn. There are literally thousands of people using that FAQ with all measures of success. Several years ago there was a website that counted the FAQ downloads. They got up to about 17,000 before they discontinued the counter service. Considering they were a minor player in the gardening world, I'd guess there are well over 100,000 downloads from all over. In the years since I wrote it, I've not heard one complaint.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:09PM
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Mix water and Urea...let set in tank one week, preferably in a sunny area...and VOILA! Ammonia! H 2 O + N (urea) Yields (=) N H 4 (Ammonia) + 0 (2) . Sorry for the lack of correct chemical labeling. But Oxygen does not exist as just plain O for long....either 02 (gaseous Oxygen which we need so as not to suffocate) or O3 (Ozone). Why ANYONE would want to apply such to their lawn is beyond me. The pH of that mixture could approach 10.0 or even 11.o (severely alkaline) in a hurry and would certainly BURN the lawn (most grasses incidentally prefer mildly acidic growing conditions. But perhaps it would be cheaper than Round-up... Would likely knock a buzzard off a honeywagon though...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:56PM
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I apologize for the tone of my last reply, it was a bad hair day.

The point I was trying to make is there is very little ammonia in household ammonia. Household ammonia is actually ammonium hydroxide and water, 95% water leaving you with 5% ammonium hydroxide. Ammonium hydroxide is 70% nitrogen by weight. So in the 8 oz of ammonia it contains roughly .4 oz of nitrogen by weight. .4 ounces is enough to fertilize roughly 31/ft2 of lawn.

So I hope you can see it is useless to use ammonia as a fertilizer.

Now farmers like me use anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer and is 78% nitrogen by weight. That might be the source of your confusion. But you as John Public cannot get access to anhydrous ammonia as it is a very deadly gas.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 12:00AM
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