5 Options for Eco-Friendly and Natural Nitrogen Fertilizer for Plants
Health problems and yellowing of plant leaves? Delayed growth? These are undoubtedly signs of nitrogen deficiency! Did you know that this is an essential element for plants and adding it to the soil once every two years is certainly not enough! Find out where to find nitrogen for plants easily and which natural nitrogen fertilizer to use!
Table of Contents
- What Is Natural Nitrogen Fertilizer? What Is Its Use for Green Plants?
- What Are the Signs of Nitrogen Deficiency in Plants?
- Where to Find Nitrogen for Plants? 5 Natural and Easy-To-Find Options
What Is Natural Nitrogen Fertilizer? What Is Its Use for Green Plants?
A few years ago, I noticed that the leaves on my lemon tree were turning yellow and it was hardly growing at all. I was still a novice and had very little experience with plants, so it took me quite a while to figure it out. Once I’d noticed the problem, I immediately set about finding out what was causing it. And that’s when I found out: yellow leaves and delayed growth = nitrogen deficiency. I prefer not to use chemicals in my home, so I had no other option than to find the best natural nitrogen fertilizer for my lemon tree and for my other plants, for that matter. But before giving you the list, let’s first see why nitrogen is so important:
What is nitrogen? It is an essential mineral for green plants and every healthy plant contains about 3-4% of it in its tissues outside the root. Although some plants, especially vegetables, are able to produce soil-enriching nitrogen thanks to the Rhizobiaceae bacteria in their roots, others can’t do this on their own. They need help from us in the form of adding a natural nitrogen fertilizer. Without this, they will not be able to grow and develop well.
What Are the Signs of Nitrogen Deficiency in Plants?
Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are the three minerals without which green plants are not able to grow. Signs of nitrogen deficiency include:
- Delayed growth
- Yellowing of lower leaves
- Falling leaves
- Small flowers
- Poor quality fruit
If you notice one or more of these signs in your green plants, the best thing to do is probably to test the soil. There are home kits that are quick and easy to use.
Where to Find Nitrogen for Plants? 5 Natural and Easy-To-Find Options
Generally speaking, all plant fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, since all three are essential to them and they need them in greater quantities. And although there are still 13 elements that plants need to grow well, these can be found in the soil in sufficient quantities. But when we talk about a natural nitrogen fertilizer, where can we find it? What are the best sources of this mineral?
Coffee grounds contain around 5% nitrogen, as well as potassium. It can be used fresh or in compost and you can sprinkle it around plants or dilute it with water to turn it into a liquid fertilizer. The little extra of this natural nitrogen fertilizer is the fact that insects do not like its smell and it can also be used as a natural insecticide.
Alfalfa Meal: One of the Best Natural Nitrogen Fertilizers
Alfalfa meal is easy to use and easy to find, but it is among the best sources of nitrogen for plants. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the package. Generally, it is used on the surface of the soil.
If you have chickens in your garden, don’t throw away their waste and transform it into a natural nitrogen fertilizer for your garden! Mix it with deep litter from the henhouse, or buy it ready-made and fertilize your plants to keep them happy. Use dry chicken manure and mix it into the soil before planting.
If you mow your lawn regularly, instead of throwing away the clippings, you can use them as fertilizer. They can be used fresh or composted and also act as mulch as they decompose. But beware! Nitrogen release is much slower if you use this method.
Compost tea is easy to make in just a few weeks by mixing your compost with water and it is a very rich source of nitrogen. You can enrich your compost even further by using alfalfa meal, grass clippings or manure. Attention! It is not recommended to use compost tea on leafy green vegetables that you will eat fresh to avoid bacteria like E. coli.