quick fix (is there no such thing) for Nitrogen deficiency

LeroyWhiteMay 26, 2011

I'm looking to till a new garden plot this weekend and my soil test shows that there is very little Nitrogen in the soil. I'm wondering what would be the best thing to add (and how much of it) to bring the Nitrogen level up. P and K look good. I'm all for composting, but having just moved into the house last year, I don't have any of my own.

So, yes, I'm looking for a quick fix for the lack of Nitrogen (I've got tomatoes that are ready to go in the ground). Compost? Urea? How much? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

For nitrogen I generally use blood meal (13.0-2.0-0). It provides rapidly available nitrogen. Don't use TOO much however, otherwise you'll end up with lush green growth and few fruits!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Thanks, I'll give blood meal a try.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:02PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)


Here is a link that might be useful: Don't flush it!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 6:06PM
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The best and fastest way is to till in a pelleted Nitrogen based fertilizer.

Ask your local yard and garden store or local nursery if they stock Urea Fertilizer 46-0-0. Tell them what you need it for and ask them how much you should till in.

The video link at the bottom should answer a question or two but essentially you spread it out and then till it in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Garden - Fertilizing - Tilling - Planting

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 6:21PM
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What kind of soil test did you have done? Home test kits cannot reliably test for N with any degree of accuracy.....even many professional labs do not test for N. It is the most mobile of any of the plant nutrients - leaches easily, volatizes readily and will vary widely based on season, soil temperature, time of day, recent rainfall and amount of organic matter in the soil. Virtually ALL tests will show N deficient.

If you've added OM to the garden, you may not need to add any additional N at all. Otherwise, blood meal or alfalfa meal are fasting acting organic sources; urea or ammonium sulfate are fast synthetic sources.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 9:32PM
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Just so you know soil ph lower than 6.5 will reduce availability of nitrogen to the plants.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:01AM
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Available Nitrogen depends on many things starting with soil temperature (which regulates that activity of the soil bacteria and fungi that feed your plants), to soil moisture, to how much organic matter the soil has. If the other major nutrients are in fair balance then the Nitrogen probably is also, although excess levels of any nitrient can also present problems. Excess Potash can interfere with a plants ability to properly use N and vice versa.
Most all commercial soil test reports usually recommend applying 2 pounds of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet without even testing for N and if you seriously think about that that is not very much. If your soil has adequate levels of organic matter Nitrogen more than likely will not be a problem.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:09AM
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I use ammonium nitrate - at about 1/4 the recommended dose - and them pile on compost.

After the first jolt, the Nitrogen levels tend to stay up because of the slower contribution of the compost.

Composting the kitty litter helps too. That stuff is loaded with urea.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nitrogen in the soil is ephemeral. It really cannot be tested with any accuracy and to rely on soil test results could be folly.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:29PM
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