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Nitrogen and Your Garden Plants.

      Nitrogen makes up seventy eight  percent of the earth's atmosphere and is essential for healthy plant growth. Without nitrogen green plants would be weaker and smaller than they should be. With too much nitrogen though  plants are unable to withstand frosts or heavy winds. While fertilizers contain nitrogen there are also natural sources of the element. The decay of organic material  is another way that soil can become nitrogen rich. Earthworms, bacteria and decay break down the proteins in the organic matter, assisting it to decompose. Ammonia compounds, mixtures of nitrogen and hydrogen form. These compounds become nitrates, which are then consumed by nitrobacteria called azotobactors. Azotobactors produce soluble nitrates, which can be used by plants.
      When using fertilizers, check the package to see which kind of nitrogen you're getting. The "N" number of the "N-P-K" formula will tell you the percentage of nitrogen by weight in the mix. Quick release fertilizers will contain nitrates so your plant can use them right away. "Slow release" indicates the ammonium form of nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate is actually a half-and-half mix of nitric oxygen (quick release) and ammonium nitrogen (slow release).
     The best organic sources for nitrogen are alfalfa meal, blood meal, fish emulsion and guano.
This is a general  compound fertilizer, this is the  basis of Nutrition plan. Regular dressings should maintain nutrient levels in all soils.
The nitrogen  contained  in this fertilizer,  however, is fairly quickly released  so
blood,  fish and bone  meal should not be spread more than  two weeks before  the crops are sown or planted.
Bone-Meal Fertilizer
Hoof and Horn Fertilizer
One of the best sources  of slow-release nitrogen.  The ground  hooves and horns are heated  to 60'C (140'F) before  being packed  so  it is quite safe to use. It  has to be broken down  by bacteria  before it becomes available  to plant roots,  so it must be applied  a good two weeks  before  its effect is needed.  Thereafter  it will remain  in the soil for some time. Use hoof and horn fertilizer for a quick boost to over wintered  plants, such as cabbages, in the spring or for any plants that appear to have  stopped growing. Other fertilizers which are high in nitrogen include sewage sludge and cottonseed  meal.
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