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Adding Nitrogen to the Soil – Your garden isn’t growing as well as it used to, and some of the plants in the garden are beginning to turn a bit yellow. What should you do? You believe your soil may be deficient in nitrogen, but you are uncertain of the best way to remedy the situation. “Why do plants need nitrogen in the first place?” you may ask. Nitrogen is an important plant fertilizer because it promotes healthy plant development. Examine why plants need nitrogen as well as how to remedy a nitrogen shortage in the soil in this article.
What Is the Purpose of Nitrogen in Plants?
To put it another way, plants need nitrogen in order to produce themselves. A plant cannot produce proteins, amino acids, or even its own DNA if it does not have access to nitrogen. The reason for this is that plants get stunted when there is a nitrogen shortage in the soil. They are simply unable to generate their own cells.
Given that nitrogen is present everywhere, accounting for 78 percent of the air we breathe, it is reasonable to wonder why plants require nitrogen in the first place.What is the process through which nitrogen is made available to plants? In order for plants to use the nitrogen in the air, it must first be transformed to nitrogen in the soil in some manner. This may be accomplished via nitrogen fixation, or nitrogen can be “recycled” through composting plants and manure, among other techniques.
How to Determine the Nitrogen Content in Soil
It is not possible to measure the nitrogen content of soil at home. Either you will need to get your soil tested or you will need to buy a soil testing kit. The majority of the time, your local extension office will happily test your soil for a modest charge or perhaps for free, depending on your location. When you take your soil sample to the extension office, they will be able to inform you whether you have any additional deficiencies that need to be addressed.
You may also buy a kit that will allow you to test the nitrogen content of soil. These may be purchased at the majority of hardware shops and garden centers. Most are simple and fast to use, and they can provide you with an accurate estimate of the nitrogen concentration of your soil.
Increasing the availability of nitrogen in the soil
When it comes to resolving a nitrogen shortage in the soil, there are two options: organic and non-organic approaches.
It will take longer to repair a nitrogen shortage utilizing organic techniques, but this will result in a more uniform dispersion of the supplied nitrogen over an extended period of time. Nitrogen may be added to the soil in a variety of ways, some of which are organic.
- Composting manure into the soil is a good idea.
- Borage is a good example of a green manure crop to plant.
- Planting nitrogen-fixing plants such as peas or beans is an excellent idea.
- Adding coffee grinds to the soil is a good idea.
When buying chemical fertilizers, it is typical to see nitrogen listed as a plant fertilizer. The first value in the NPK ratio should be high when you are seeking to add nitrogen to your garden. In this case, the NPK ratio will appear like 10-10-10, with the first value indicating how much nitrogen is being applied. Using a nitrogen fertilizer to correct a nitrogen deficit in the soil will provide a significant and rapid increase in nitrogen to the soil, but the effect will be short-lived.