What is it?

Nitrogen is for green. That’s how I remember it. Plants that you harvest for their vegetation such as spinach and lettuce need an extra dose of nitrogen. All plants need nitrogen but these plants can use an extra dose. Other fruiting plants like peppers and tomatoes will be hurt by too much nitrogen. This is why I like the flexibility that the individual raised beds offers me. I’m able to mix my fertilizer custom depending on what I am planting in a bed.

Signs of Deficiency

If a plant does not get sufficient nitrogen it will not thrive and it’s lower leaves will turn yellow and die. This process will slowly work its way up the plant.

Excellent Sources

There are many excellent organic sources for nitrogen. Watch out because all of these could burn the roots of your plants and stunt their growth. Blood meal is probably the cheapest and an excellent choice. This has a nitrogen content of around 12. Another source is manure. If the manure is fresh it would be better to compost first. But, since most of us are urban farmers, we have to buy it in bags. Another choice is Fish Emulsions, which is pureed fish.

Other Sources

Other fertilizers that have nitrogen in more modest quantities include: Worm Castings, Alfalfa Meal, Guano, Bone Meal and Cotton Seed Meal.

Deficiency Remedies

A Fish emulsion solution used immediately. I would then work a little blood meal around the base of the plant, and water weekly with a fish emulsion solution. Be careful not to over do it. The plant is already stressed. You don’t want to burn the roots.

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