Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer: How To Use Ammonium Nitrate In Gardens

The following are some facts about ammonium nitrate fertilizer: how it works, its properties, its uses and other things.

How Does Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer Work?

Ammonia is a naturally occurring gas with atomic number 14 which occurs in nature. It exists as a solid or liquid state at normal temperatures and pressures (1).

Ammonia is one of the most common elements found in nature. It forms compounds with nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Ammonia’s chemical formula is NH4+; it is named after the German chemist Johann Heinrich Georg von Nürnberg who discovered ammonia in 1787 (2).

When ammonia reacts with water, it produces nitric acid (NH3) which dissolves organic matter such as plants and animals. When nitrates react with water, they produce nitrite (NO2), which further decomposes organic matter into harmless nitrogen and oxygen. The result is a plant or animal that thrives under these conditions.

The use of ammonium nitrate fertilizers is widely known among farmers because it helps increase crop yields and prevents soil erosion. These fertilizers have been used since ancient times, but their effectiveness was not fully understood until the 20th century when scientists began studying them extensively (3).

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has long promoted the use of ammonium nitrate (4). The National Fertilizer Development Center was established by the USDA in 1975 to develop fertilizer production and alternative fuel technologies.

What Properties Does Ammonium Nitrate Have?

Ammonia has the chemical formula NH3, with a molecular weight of 17.031. It is flammable, colorless gas at room temperature and pressure (3).

Pure ammonia is not explosive at normal temperatures and pressures but it can accelerate the ignition of other flammable materials. Additionally, if it is present in large quantities, the oxygen percentage in air could become too low to sustain life (6).

Ammonium nitrate is a compound with the chemical formula of NH4NO3. It has a nitrogen:oxygen:hydrogen ratio of 14:5:1.

Sources & references used in this article:

Studies on cellulose degrading bacteria in tea garden soils by A Balamurugan, R Jayanthi… – African Journal of …, 2011 – academicjournals.org

Toxicity of nitrogenous fertilizers to eggs of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in field and laboratory exposures by SR De Solla, PA Martin – Environmental Toxicology and …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library

Does the limpet Patella cochlear fertilize its own algal garden? by ÉE Plagányi, GM Branch – Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2000 – int-res.com

Human urine-chemical composition and fertilizer use efficiency by H Kirchmann, S Pettersson – Fertilizer research, 1994 – Springer

Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden by D Relf, A McDaniel, SJ Donohue – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu

Amphibian decline and fertilizers used on agricultural land in south-eastern Australia by AJ Hamer, JA Makings, SJ Lane, MJ Mahony – Agriculture, Ecosystems & …, 2004 – Elsevier

Development and assessment of exceptional quality biosolids products for urban gardens by O Alvarez-Campos, GK Evanylo… – Compost Science & …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis

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