Low Nitrogen Fertilizer

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Last Updated on February 20, 2022

Sometimes, gardeners prefer not to use fertilizers with high nitrogen if their garden soil already contains a high level of nitrogen. Low nitrogen fertilizer is what you need if your soil already contains nitrogen.

So, before adding fertilizer to your garden, you should consider doing a soil test. This will help in knowing if what your soil needs are low or high nitrogen fertilizer.

There are plants that do not require a high level of nitrogen such as plants that produce vegetables, fruits, and flowers. But for some other types of plants, the reverse is the case. These are plants that produce large foliage like lawn grass.

When the level of nitrogen in the soil is high, the plants produce abundant foliage instead of much of the expected crops. But fertilizers with low levels of nitrogen, plants will be able to produce much of their fruits than leaves.

Therefore, let’s take a look at how to identify and also know the benefits of low nitrogen fertilizer.

Low Nitrogen Fertilizers: How To Know Fertilizers That Are Low In Nitrogen

To identify a package of fertilizer that is low in nitrogen, take note of the three numbers on the package. Every fertilizer has three numbers indicated on it and these numbers signify the levels of the three nutrients in the fertilizer. The available nutrients in the fertilizer are represented by these three numbers.

You will see the nutrients indication as N-P-K. “N” stands for nitrogen, “P” stands for phosphorus while “K” stands for potassium. A fertilizer with low nitrogen will have a low or zero the first number. This means that it’s either the nitrogen in the fertilizer is minimal or there’s none.

Low Nitrogen Fertilizers - How To Know Fertilizers That Are Low In Nitrogen

Let’s take for example a package with the indication “5-10-10”. This simply means Nitrogen is 5, Phosphorusis 10 while Potassium is 10. This package contains low nitrogen. But any package with an indication such as “0-10-10” means it contains no nitrogen.

So, take note that apart from these three nutrient figures which are NPK, choose the one that suits your plant needs.

Factors To Consider Before Using Fertilizer

Before adding any type of fertilizer to your soil, be it low or high nitrogen fertilizer, there are factors you need to put into consideration.

·         Test The Soil

Get your soil tested first in order to know the soil pH and nutrient levels. This will help in knowing the decision to make regarding any amendments in your garden. It helps in knowing what will be good to use to make your soil healthy and ready for planting.

You can get your soil tested yourself by buying a do-it-yourself soil test kit. This can be bought online or from a garden center.

Another way to get your soil tested is by taking a soil sample and sending it to the agricultural extension lab close to you. The lab will be able to advise you and give you some recommendations, on keeping your soil healthy, based on what you want to plant.

Test The Soil

·         Stick To The Fertilizer Label Instructions

Check for the instructions labeled on the fertilizer and follow them when you want to add fertilizer to your soil.

Don’t add too much fertilizer to the soil early. It can cause fertilizer burn, thereby causing serious irreversible damage to your plants. Adding fertilizer to your soil should be a gradual process.

·         Overall Soil Health Is Important

Look to achieve and maintain good overall soil health first. And then, every other thing like using fertilizer, compost, manure, and mulch can follow.

Keeping your soil in good condition in regards to its texture, water retention, and microorganisms, is very important.

Manure With Low Nitrogen

Apart from using commercial fertilizers with a minimal level of nitrogen, there are natural types of soil nutrients that contain low nitrogen.

A way to add organic material and other necessary nutrients to your garden soil without burning your plants is with low-nitrogen manure. But have it in mind that, it is not all manure that is being made in an equal manner. You should remember that every type of manure has a different level of nitrogen in it.

Black Kow Composted Cow Manure 4 lb. Size

The level of nitrogen in manure is determined by the type of animal the manure is gotten from. And also, its water content.

For example, chicken manure contains more nitrogen. For this reason, it will be hotter than that of a cow which can burn the plant. Typically, the nitrogen in chicken manure is 6% by weight and this also depends on the amount of water in it.

Compost With Low Nitrogen

Before you begin planting in your garden soil, it is a great idea to first prepare the soil by adding compost.

This helps to provide nutrients and organic materials to your soil. When looking at the nitrogen content in compost, know that the level of nitrogen in the compost depends on all that is being added to the pile.

Pile components such as grass clippings or cuttings from pruned plants are “greens” are high in nitrogen. But pile components like sawdust and straw or any other components are “browns” are high in carbon.

All these components that are contained in the compost decompose gradually with the help of microorganisms.  E.g worms and bacteria in the soil. This way, there will be a gradual release of nutrients to your soil in a small dose.

Bone Meal

Bone meal contains is a soil additive that contains a low amount of nitrogen, but lots of calcium and phosphorus. If you want to add calcium or phosphorus to your soil without adding much nitrogen, you can opt for a bone meal.

Reasons For The Use Of A Low Nitrogen Fertilizer

Sometimes, a garden soil may contain a high level of nitrogen which can be as a result of adding high-nitrogen fertilizers to the soil improperly in time past. For this reason, it will be advisable to carry out a soil test. Also, get recommendations on the amount of nutrients to add to your soil.

Too much nitrogen in the soil can lead to plants not producing as many flowers and fruits as they should. Hence, adding fertilizer with less amount of nitrogen can help encourage the plants to produce more flowers and fruits than leaves.

Low Nitrogen Fertilizer: Conclusion

With the help of this article, it’s certain you now understand the benefits, as well as everything about a low nitrogen fertilizer. You should have also learned about where and how to get them.


What is a low nitrogen fertilizer?

Low nitrogen fertilizer is any fertilizer package where the first number amongst the three nutrient numbers is low. For example, a package that has 5-10-10 on it which stands for NPK means that the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer is low.

Why is fertilizer with low nitrogen hard to find?

This may be because most farmers may find it a bit hard to get all the necessary things they need to make low nitrogen fertilizer.

Which fertilizer is low in nitrogen?

A fertilizer that is low in nitrogen is the type that the first number in the ratio is low. All fertilizers come with 3 numbers as the ratio of the percentage of each of the nutrients available in them. The first number stands for nitrogen.
To get a fertilizer with low nitrogen, look out for a package with a low first number.

What is low nitrogen fertilizer good for?

Low nitrogen fertilizer is good for encouraging plants to produce more flowers as well as fruits.

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