What Is Nitrogen?
Nitrogen is one of the most essential elements for life. Without it, plants cannot grow properly. Plants need nitrogen to survive and thrive. Without nitrogen, there would be no plants or animals living on earth. Even humans depend on nitrogen for their survival and growth in order to live longer and better lives than they otherwise could have lived before the advent of modern medicine and science. (1)
How Does Nitrogen Help Plants Grow?
Without nitrogen, plants cannot grow. However, if you are not adding enough nitrogen to your soil, then the plant will not grow at all. If you do not provide sufficient amounts of nitrogen to your plants’ roots, then the root system may die off and the plant will become stunted and eventually die from lack of nutrients. (2)
If you want to increase your crop yields, then you must add more nitrogen into your soil. (3)
The best way to get more nitrogen into your soil is through the use of fertilizers. There are many types of fertilizers available, but the two most common ones used are:
Organic Fertilizer – These fertilizers contain natural ingredients such as composted animal manure, fish emulsion, chicken blood meal and other organic materials which include dead leaves and grass clippings. (4)
Inorganic Fertilizer – These are man-made fertilizers which contain chemical ingredients such as ammonium nitrate, urea, potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate. (5)
Whether you choose organic or inorganic fertilizer, the main thing to keep in mind is that you want to have a nitrogen source in your fertilizer.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Fertilizers?
When you decide to use fertilizer on your plants, there are several benefits and advantages which you will enjoy from doing so, including: (6)
Your plants will grow larger, better and faster.
Your soil will be richer and more fertile.
Your crops will be more bountiful.
Your plants will be free from disease and insect infestations.
Your plants will taste better and have a higher nutritional value.
Your harvest will be healthier for you and your family to eat.
Food will not go to waste since there will always be something to reap.
Using Fertilizers Can Be Healthy
Sometimes when you are growing fruits, vegetables and other crops, you might unintentionally introduce certain types of chemicals or other types of harmful materials into the soil. If you grow organically, this will not be a problem. However, if you are growing with the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, there is always the chance that you will expose yourself, your family or other people who eat your produce to dangerous chemicals.
Using organic fertilizers is a healthier choice for you, your family and the environment. (7)
Nitrogen Fertilizer Types
When you go to the garden centre or nursery to buy your nitrogen fertilizer, you will find that there are many different types and brands to choose from.
How do you know which one is best?
It really just depends on what you are trying to grow and how you want to apply the fertilizer.
Urea – Urea is probably one of the most common nitrogen fertilizers on the market today and is formed naturally during the decay and breakdown of animal matter. It is a solid substance but turns into a liquid when it is mixed with water. Urea is usually quite cheap and easy to find at your local garden centre or online.
Sources & references used in this article:
Interactions between fertilizer nitrogen and soil nitrogen—the so‐called ‘priming’effect by DS Jenkinson, RH Fox, JH Rayner – Journal of soil Science, 1985 – Wiley Online Library
Effects of inoculation and nitrogen fertilizer on soybean in Western Nigeria by BT Kang – Experimental Agriculture, 1975 – cambridge.org
FERTILIZER VERSUS RED ALDER FOR ADDING NITROGEN TO DOUGLAS-FIR FORESTS OF THE PACIFIC NORTffi EST by RE Miller, MD Murray – 1979 – fs.fed.us
Fertilized to death by N Nosengo – 2003 – nature.com
Nitrogen fertilizer effects on nitrogen cycle processes by RD Hauck – Ecological Bulletins, 1981 – JSTOR