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Nitrogen? How to add it without buying it?

Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:36 pm
by kepkitty
After a soil test, the one thing my gardens were missing was nitrogen.
Can I use grass clippings? and then water it well? or put it around the plants? I try to use what I have and not buy products.
Thank you! :)

Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:04 am
by farmerlon
I have heard of folks making "grass tea"... soaking fresh-cut grass in water for several hours, and then using that water on the plants. I've never tried that myself. Grass is relatively high in Nitrogen, but I don't know if much of that (N) would actually make it into the soil when the grass is applied as mulch or watered-in.

Also, keep in mind that most (County Extension) soil tests don't even bother to try to test for Nitrogen because it is volatile or "fleeting". In other words, by the time the soil sample is removed from the ground and gets to the lab for testing, the nitrogen measured may not be indicative of the actual levels available "in the ground".

Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:41 am
by TaoistImmortal
I use grass clippings but I always make sure to compost them first...then just mix the compost in with your soil to get a nitrogen boost. The bacteria will feed on the nitrogen in the grass clippings...but it gets returned once it's finished cooking.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 4:45 am
by klevelyn
You can use grass clippings. They are a great source of nitrogen. You can put a layer on top of the soil. Don't do more than 2 inches. It will decompose fairly quickly. It will act as a mulch as it is decomposing. Add more through out summer as needed. Mulch around your plants with the grass clippings.

Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:23 pm
by Susan W
One source of N is fish stuff aka Fish Emulsion. You can find it at the garden center and box stores. Dilute as needed and water with it. I am using about 1/2 cup for 5 gal bucket to water. This is for needy herbs, mainly basil, and try for once/week.

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:33 am
by TheSilverSurvivor
You can also top dress with some used coffee or tea grounds for nitrogen, or feed your plants with really weak coffee or tea.

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:37 pm
by lisavantil
I’ve had the same problem before and grass does help, but just a little if I may add. Like what farmerlon suggested, you can do a “grass teaâ€