Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Posted by thecomposter (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 26, 09 at 11:31

Is there anyway to remove Nitrogen from the soil quickly? I over fertilized and it's becoming an issue.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Incorporate sawdust, bark, wood chips or any wood product into the soil. That will serve to tie up the nitrogen and make it unavailable to the plants.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

High carbon material such as leaves or sawdust will work if you can dig it in. If not, watering will leach it out.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Thank you.

It sounds like dried grass chipping would work. Plus, grass clippings would decompose faster than wood chips for next years crop.

I already injected some wood chips into the rootball of one plant.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Water... water... water...


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

What kind of fertilizer did you use, how much, and what sorts of problems are you seeing?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

"It sounds like dried grass chipping would work. Plus, grass clippings would decompose faster than wood chips for next years crop. "

No, that will add more nitrogen. You want something with more carbon.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

If it's burning the veggies, water. If it's burning your conscience, sawdust/wood chips.

Dan


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

If you can't disturb the plants, apply sugar solution; maybe, I am guessing, about 2 lb in 5 gals water per square yard.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

This is the first I've heard of the use of sugar (not that this means much). It sounds like it will turn into an ant feast.

Can you explain how the sugar works chemically?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Sugar is high in carbon. The suggestions of wood chips or sugar is to add excess carbon to offset the extra nitrogen.


 o
RE Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Will boric acid hurt plants?

Since the sugar will attract ants, I should control them with boric acid.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

If the sugar is properly diluted in the water and applied to the soil - not the plants - there shouldn't be issues with ants. Ants in the garden are not really a problem unless they are farming aphids. If they appear anyway and you don't want them, bait for them with a saucer of sugar laced with boric acid. Don't apply it to the soil.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Can you explain how the sugar works chemically?

After supplementing the soil bacterias' diet with sugar, the bacteria anabolize the fertilizer nitrogen and multiply.
I think most of the nitrogen is converted to bacteria protein and the rest is released into the air.

It was done in this article:

Sweet success: adding carbon to counter invasions by plants by Peter Alpert


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Thanks for the sugar info, I like to know how things work :)

I added the sugar mix to a "test" plant a few hours ago, so see what happens. Can I assume the nitrogen level is reduce within hours of adding sugar?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

By all means don't add boric acid. It'll kill the soil like you wouldn't believe. Gardengal48 has mentioned this and she's dead on right. Even a little boric acid will sterilize the area you put it in and you really don't want that. Sugar is almost a pure carbon source but so soluble it passes right through the soil with rain and watering. Your living soil needs to have a 'stay around' source of carbon and fine sawdust is just the ticket. It does have to be mixed in, though, for it to use up excess nitrogen. Watering heavely may wash it out if it is a "blue" additive (MG). If it's something like over-application of blood meal or alfalfa then you'll have to get the carbon into the soil to make the compensation work. Hope this helps with your situation.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

What is said here about sugar reducing the nitrogen supplied to the plants is false, my plants turned greener after adding the sugar solution.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Did you hurt yourself jumping to that conclusion?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

In plants, much of the nitrogen is used in chlorophyll molecules which are essential for photosynthesis and further growth. Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in most plants

The only thing I did differently is add the sugar solution and the plants turned greener. How would a different conclusion be determined?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Well, just for giggles, let's say your problem was an over application of nitrogen. Of course, I have no idea if your problem was over application of nitrogen because you never answered my questions above but let's just say that's what happened and follow it out a ways just for illustrative purposes.
One of the biggest problems with nitrogen over application is its contribution to salinity. (In regards to this, nitrate nitrogen is a bigger contributor to salinity than other forms like urea or ammoniacal) Anyway, symptoms of salt toxicity may include yellowing foliage. Then time passes and some of the nitrogen leaches out of the soil (along with other salts) and some volatilizes and some is taken up by plants. Maybe even some could have been tied up by carbon sources in the soil. If nitrogen did decrease significantly , then your salinity would also drop, which could conceivably decrease plants stress and improved performance, very possibly resulting in greener plants. That's just one example of something that could happen. There are approximately 300,958,658 bajillion other possibilities. Anything that adds or relieves plants stress can affect performance and appearance:
nutrients, soil moisture, evapotranspiration rates, root disease, light conditions, soil compaction, and on, and on, and on.....

"if A, then B; B, therefore A" has a way of turning around and biting your backside.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

I use shredded leaves as my main 'brown', and would suggest them as a good short term solution. Wood chips and bigger woody materials may continue to use up soil nitrogen for years as they break down.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

my plants turned greener after adding the sugar solution.

For an experimental failure, that's relatively good news. The worst that could happen is the plants dying and the next worse is no effect.

I should try it on my lawn.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

Mix 1 gallon non chlorinated water with 1 Tablespoon of Wood Vinegar 1 Tbs Fish Amino Acid and 1 T calcium Phosphate. Some organic farmers also add 1T Brown Rice Vinegar to the water. Spray this on the soil to reduce the Nitrogen in the soil. After heavy rains, you can spray the same amount again as heavy rains cause a lot of nirogen in the air to fall on soils and plants. The rains causes fungal problems too. When you have fungal problems on plants, spray this solution when the day is hot with sun shining but use a fine, very fine mist spray. Hope that helps.


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

What exactly is Wood Vinegar?

How do vinegar, amino acids (which contain significant N, although the amount being added here is small) and calcium phosphate actually work to reduce nitrogen?


 o
RE: Removing Nitrogen from Soil

:-]

watching


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here