Nitrogen, a nutrient found in healthy soil, is essential to plant growth. It is turned into a water-soluble solid and then absorbed through the plant’s roots. Fertilizers that are used in gardens contain the water-soluble forms of nitrogen, also known as ammonium ion and ion nitrate. So, how exactly does nitrogen affect your plants?
What it does: Nitrogen, which is necessary to the seed development process, supplies plants with the energy to grow foliage and produce fruit or vegetables. Nitrogen also provides stability to the metabolic processes of plants by helping to synthesize proteins from nutrient supplies.
Its features: Nitrogen has to be turned to solid forms to be used as a nutrient for plants. This can be accomplished through chemical processes or through the use of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Legumes and alfalfa are nitrogen fixers and have nodules on their roots that have the bacteria required to convert the nitrogen in the air into the solid forms that plants can use. By planting either legumes or alfalfa, and then converting them into the soil, you can replenish the nitrogen in the soil of your plants.
The effects: Plants need nitrogen for growth, but providing too little or too much nitrogen can negatively affect your plants. When a plant doesn’t get enough nitrogen, the leaves will begin to turn yellow because of ineffective photosynthesis. Without it the plant will go into a state of distress and begin to die. Excessive nitrogen results in more foliage but fewer flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The plant will eventually fail because of over-fertilization.
Things to consider: Vegetables, fruits and annual flowers use nitrogen as they mature. Soil needs to be replenished with nitrogen once your annual flowers have died back. As your plants die and decay, you can add them to your compost for next season, which will in turn provide more nitrogen.
Now that your plants are healthy and provided with nitrogen, you need to make sure they continue to remain healthy throughout the season. By applying Green Thumb to your plants you are ensuring that pests and plant diseases stay far away while improving the growth of your plants at the same time.