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The Finer Points of Nitrogen Fertilizer

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Nitrogen is our planet's most abundant gas. Its life-giving properties come highly recommended as a means to wake up your dead lawn. Use too much nitrogen fertilizer, however, and you could wind up with a case of scorched lawn.

Nitrogen fertilizer supports all of a plant's growth processes. Because plants are unable to use the gaseous form of nitrogen, it is applied as fertilizer. Nitrogen fertilizers vary by nitrogen content and the formulas that release the gas. Here are some of the more common nitrogen fertilizers and some considerations for application.
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Types of Nitrogen Fertilizer

  • Ammonium Nitrate. A more concentrated source of nitrogen, ammonium nitrate features 33.5% to 34.5% concentration. Keep applications of this type to one or two per year.
  • Calcium Nitrate. A combination of nitrogen and calcium that, absorbed together, can reverse a variety of common plant deficiencies.
  • Calcium Ammonium Nitrate. A mixture of calcium/magnesium carbonate and nitrogen that is often used to raise the soil acidity in the form of lime.
  • Urea Ammonium Nitrate Solutions. A liquid form of fertilizer with a high nitrogen content that is used where water-soluble mixtures are viable options.
  • Ammonium Sulphate. Not exclusively a base fertilizer, ammonium sulfate is often coupled with other broad fertilizers to adjust pH levels in the soil.

Always ask your local home and garden professional about nitrogen fertilizer recommendations. Professionals can provide localized information that will help you to choose the right nitrogen fertilizer for your region.


About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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