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Best Nitrogen Fertilizer To Have A Lush Lawn Or Garden

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With the best nitrogen fertilizer, your plants can have the best conditions for optimal growth.

While this nutrient is vital to many functions, nitrogen deficiency occurs more often than you might think. This problem gets worse when there is plenty of high-carbon matter in the soil, which can “rob” nitrogen from other plants.

On top of that, every grass and leafy vegetable needs nitrogen-rich soil to thrive. A standard balanced fertilizer may not be inadequate, requiring you to find another way to boost this level. Consider the products below to safely do so at Growingherbsforbeginners.com.

Best Nitrogen Fertilizers For Every Need

PICTUREPRODUCT'S NAMEFORMNPK RATIOORGANICSIZE/ WEIGHTPRICE
RTS Home Accents Rainwater BarrelSimple Lawn Solutions Extreme 28-0-0 Lawn Food
Liquid28-0-0No32 ounces
Good Ideas IMP-L50-SAN<br /> Urea Fertilizer 5lbs - Plant FoodGranular46-0-0No5 pounds
Good Ideas RW65-GRN Rain WizardScotts Turf Builder Lawn Food, 12.5 lb.Liquid/ Granular32-0-4No12.5 / 37.5 pounds and 32 ounces
Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGardenDown to Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix 12-0-0Compost12-0-0Yes0.5 / 5 / 20 / 50 pounds
Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGardenMiracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant FoodGranular24-8-16No0.5 / 1.5 / 2.5 / 3 / 5 / 5.5 / 6.25 / 10 pounds

#1. Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme 28-0-0 Lawn Food – Best Overall

Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme 28-0-0 Lawn Food
Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme 28-0-0 Lawn Food
  • Form: Liquid
  • NPK Ratio: 28-0-0
  • Organic: No
  • Size/Weight: 32 Ounces
  • Overall rating: 4.5/5

While it is marketed as a lawn care product, you can actually apply this top high-nitrogen fertilizer to a wide variety of plants. With an effective formula and amazing ease of use, it is a great all-around solution for almost everyone.

The Simple Lawn Solutions fertilizer contains a 28-0-0 NPK ratio, which is somewhere in the middle. You can add a significant amount of nitrogen to the soil of your lawn or garden quickly, but it has a lower risk of burning plants like more concentrated products like urea.

The unique combination of 70% quick-release and 30% slow-release nitrogen provides great help too. It means most of the nutrient dissolves quickly to correct nitrogen deficiency, while the rest of it gradually releases over time.

We saw significant changes in our plants within days after applying this Simple Lawn Solutions fertilizer. It immediately brought up the green and attractiveness of the grass compared to spots that didn’t receive it.

It was incredibly easy to apply this product too. The liquid fertilizer came within a ready-to-use sprayer that didn’t need any dilution.

Remember to keep your pets and kids away from this fertilizer. If your dog eats the grass that has just got sprayed with this product, it may suffer from diarrhea.

The fairly expensive price may also put off a lot of customers. Experienced gardeners can find cheaper products that provide the same nutrients to their plants.

Pros

  • Effective ingredients
  • A unique blend with both quick and slow-release nitrogen
  • Suitable for several plants, not just grass lawns
  • Easy to apply with a sprayer

Cons

  • Not pet-friendly
  • Costly

Verdict: With the Simple Lawn Solutions fertilizer, you can boost the green color of your plants quickly. It requires minimal effort to apply and doesn’t pose any huge risk to them.

#2. Cesco Urea Fertilizer – Budget Choice

Cesco Urea Fertilizer
Cesco Urea Fertilizer
  • Form: Granular
  • NPK Ratio: 46-0-0
  • Organic: No
  • Size/Weight: 5 pounds
  • Overall rating: 4/5

If you already know your way around fertilizing, urea variants like this Cesco product are an amazing way to raise the nitrogen level in the soil with an affordable cost.

The 46-0-0 grading has no competitor – you can give your plants the biggest amount with the least fertilizer applied. It reduces the effort required to fix the deficiency in a huge area, such as your countryside garden.

Cesco is an established name in the industry, and its urea manufacturing process has been tried and tested for several decades.

The result is a fertilizer made from high-grade ingredients that don’t cost much. With just a few dollars, you can fix depleted nitrogen levels for an area as large as 1,000 square feet. The Cesco urea has a neutral pH too, so you are free to use it on most soils.

Storing these white granules is a breeze. They don’t degrade over time like organic alternatives or have any special requirements.

Like most urea products, this Cesco fertilizer isn’t for novice gardeners. The super high concentration can backfire and result in burns on your plants.

A wrong application of any fertilizer can already cause a lot of issues. Additionally, this high-nitrogen product can inhibit the cellular respiration of your plants. Remember to spread the granules evenly and use enough water.

Pros

  • Highest percentage
  • Cheap price
  • Simple storage
  • Compatible with most plants and soils

Cons

  • Easy to burn plants and cause root rot
  • Need more effort to apply

Verdict: This Cesco product is the go-to choice when you need the high nitrogen content of urea. It is an economical choice for experienced gardeners and farmers who want to bring up the nitrogen level quickly.

#3. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food – Best For Lawns

Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
  • Form: Liquid/Granular
  • NPK Ratio: 32-0-4
  • Organic: No
  • Size/Weight: 12.5 / 37.5 pounds and 32 ounces
  • Overall rating: 4/5

This product belongs to the lawncare lineup of Scotts – a top name on the market. This brand produces easy-to-use products for every homeowner to take care of their lawns, including this fertilizer.

Unlike other Turf Builder products that are only recommended during a specific season, this lawn food can be applied any time of the year.

Its fast-acting 32-0-4 formula can give a quick nutrient boost to most grass types. Within days, our lawns became much greener, thicker, and looked healthier. The results were consistent among different grass varieties, from St. Augustine to Bermuda.

A small thing we really appreciated was that this Scotts fertilizer did not stain concrete when we dropped some stray granules on it.

Scotts provides both granular and liquid options. You will need a spreader to distribute the granular formula over a large lawn, but it is much cheaper. The 32-oz bottle is available too for those who prefer a quick and easy application.

Unlike other lawncare variants, this fertilizer doesn’t contain weed killers. You will need to buy a separate Scotts product for that purpose. The high nitrogen percentage can easily burn your grass too, so keep it in mind.

Pros

  • Both granular and liquid form
  • Fast-acting
  • Detailed instructions
  • Easy to apply
  • Suitable for most types of grass

Cons

  • Can burn grass
  • No weed killers
  • Low-quality sprayers

Verdict: This is the best nitrogen-rich plant food to bring out the lush green of your lawn. The result even gets better if you use it in conjunction with other Scotts products. Together, they make an excellent lawn care package.

#4. Down To Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix – Best Organic Product

Down To Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix
Down To Earth Blood Meal Fertilizer Mix
  • Form: Compost
  • NPK Ratio: 12-0-0
  • Organic: Yes
  • Size/Weight: 0.5 / 5 / 20 / 50 pounds
  • Overall rating: 4/5

There are several natural sources of nitrogen great for feeding plants. In addition to making them at home, you can buy off-the-shelf products like this blood meal mix from Down To Earth.

The manufacturer doesn’t use any synthetic ingredients in the production. In fact, this product has been certified by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) – an independent reviewer recognized by the USDA National Organic Program.

Derived from dried blood, it is able to provide enough nutrients for heavy feeders like broccoli, spinach, or corn. However, the blood meal doesn’t break down and dissolve in the soil as quickly as synthetic variants like urea.

We applied this Down To Earth blood meal to our poor raspberries. It did a great job in bringing them back to life. Adding this fertilizer to the soil before planting could also make a tremendous difference to your plants.

The minimal packaging of this fertilizer has hit-or-miss quality. Like plenty of users, our bag broke easily and created a mess inside. And while the risk is smaller, using too much blood meal can still burn your plants.

Pros

  • Natural ingredients listed by OMRI
  • Great even for heavy feeders
  • Can deter pests with its smell
  • Slow-release (no need to apply often)

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Burning can still happen
  • Questionable packaging

Verdict: The Down To Earth blood meal fertilizer is a great choice if you want a natural source of nutrients. It is certainly expensive, but this product gets the job done quite well.

#5. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food – Best Mixed Fertilizer

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food
  • Form: Granular
  • NPK Ratio: 24-8-16
  • Organic: No
  • Size/Weight: 0.5 / 1.5 / 2.5 / 3 / 5 / 5.5 / 6.25 / 10 pounds
  • Overall rating: 4.5/5

Unlike the above products, this plant food contains some phosphorus (8%) and potassium (16%) as well. It makes a good fertilizer when you only need a higher percentage of nitrogen, not avoiding everything else.

Working together, the 24-8-16 formula provided grown plants with a visible boost of life. It worked wonders when we needed to prepare the soil for our transplanted plants as well. The secret lies in its potassium proportion, activating enzymes and promoting root establishment.

The Miracle-Gro plant food is one of the biggest best-selling products in all online stores. This speaks volumes about its compatibility with plants: it is safe for virtually all of them.

There are several weight options for every need, from a small balcony garden(0.5 pounds) to a big lawn (10 pounds).

If you opt to use it with Miracle-Gro’s garden feeder, the application shouldn’t be difficult. Just fill the jar with some plant food, then set up the sprayer, and you are good to go. Likewise, mixing it inside your own watering can is simple.

Note that the garden feeder kit is a separate purchase. Compared to other synthetic fertilizers, it doesn’t bring the greatest value.

Pros

  • Additional phosphorus and potassium
  • Easy to use with the feeder kit
  • Great for all plants
  • Various weight options

Cons

  • Not cheap for an inorganic product
  • Need to feed often

Verdict: Like other Miracle-Gro products, this plant food is easy to use and effective for all purposes, especially if you have shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.

How To Choose The Best Nitrogen Fertilizer

Choose The Correct Label

Fertilizer labels can’t only tell you the type of nutrients your plants can receive, but they also indicate the exact amount of those elements.

Labeling standards vary across countries. But in most places, off-the-shelf products use the NPK ratio convention. Getting a firm grasp of it will help you pick up only nitrogen-rich products with the right concentration.

Almost all labels have three numbers separated by dashes. They correspond to the percentages of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in that specific fertilizer.

Take a 20-lb bag of 20-20-20 fertilizer, for example, which contains 20% of nitrogen, 20% of phosphorus, and 20% of potassium.

This means each bag like that has 4 pounds of each macronutrient (4 pounds equals 20% of 20 pounds). The remaining ingredients are usually other nutrients and filler.

The example above is a balanced fertilizer or a blend of all three main nutrients with similar amounts.

For high-nitrogen fertilizers, you should focus on the first number. You may see a lot of products that display grades like 46-0-0, 33.5-0-0, or 30-0-0. Those products are truly nitrogen fertilizers, containing no potassium or phosphorus.

A high-nitrogen NPK label
A high-nitrogen NPK label

Still, not every situation strictly requires you to avoid those two nutrients. A large quantity of nitrogen and small amounts of phosphorus and potassium can make a great blend too. After all, they’re all essential to your plants.

When you only need to lower amounts of phosphorus and potassium rather than avoiding them entirely, labels like 24-5-16 are a great idea too. They bring a high amount of nitrogen while providing other nutrients too.

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Organic Or Synthetic

Synthetic

Common pure nitrogen fertilizers of synthetic origin are ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) and urea (46-0-0). They’re a cheap yet excellent source of nitrogen and readily available in most markets.

However, due to the high nitrogen amount, those fertilizers can damage plants if applied neatly. Many lawn and garden fertilizers contain NPK in ratios of 10-8-6 or 12-6-6 if mixed formulas are what you’re looking for.

Organic

Commercial organic fertilizers are directly derived from animal or plant sources, such as bone meal, compost, or manures. Most of them have to be transformed into organic forms by fungi and soil bacteria so your plants can absorb them.

Blood meal, feathers, and urine can break down into urea, which contains a significant amount of nitrogen. Generally, they pose a smaller risk to the soil quality than inorganic ingredients. In fact, they can even improve the soil conditions.

composting feathers
Feather meals are a great organic nitrogen-rich source.

As you may well know, organic alternatives are typically sold at a premium. Storage isn’t simple, and you may have to stomach their foul smells.

Form

The physical form of a fertilizer determines how you should apply it and how your plants are going to absorb its nutrients.

Granular

Many synthetic fertilizers are available in granular form. After the manufacturing process, ingredients are blended together and made into dry particles or pellets.

Granular products are easier to make and store, while retailers sell them for cheap in bulk. The application is straightforward too. Depending on the product and your plant, you only need to sprinkle the granules over the surface or mix them into the soil.

A lot of granular fertilizers are water-soluble, meaning they’re fast at releasing nutrients and can provide nitrogen immediately. However, these quick-release products can only last for a few weeks.

When applied heavily, granulated fertilizers can burn stems and leaves. They can’t break down without sufficient water and even damage roots if left too dry.

Manufacturers try to solve this problem by putting out slow-release products. They are usually coated in a polymer or sulfur to avoid fast leaching and volatilization.

Those fertilizers are more stable and only release nutrients in a steady manner. Burning is less of a concern, and you don’t need to apply them as often, making slow-release products a simple means to help shrubs, trees, and house plants thrive.

Spikes

Many slow-acting fertilizers are called plant food spikes or stakes. They have a stick form, which you need to drive into the soil so they can dispense nutrients over time.

Those sticks are easy to use with no measuring or guesswork required, and when applied, you should not worry about your plants for about several months. Their formulas are usually for specific uses, like ornamental fertilizing.

Remember that spikes may only dissolve around a small area of the soil. Without adequate watering, nitrogen can become concentrated and burn the plants.

Liquid

This type of fertilizer has captured the attention of novice gardeners and hobbyists. It doesn’t require complex tools or preparation. Some products even come with a spray-on bottle for convenience.

liquid fertilizer
The liquid form is easier to apply.

Liquid nitrogen fertilizers work well for potted plants, which can absorb nutrients quickly through roots or leaves.

These products usually cost more than their dry competitors. Storage can be a problem when you have several plants to take care of.

Compost

Some organic commercially-prepared fertilizers are actually compost, such as worm castings. Many of them are very rich in nitrogen and carry most of the benefits of homemade compost.

You have virtually no risk of burning your plants. On the other hand, the amount of each nutrient is harder to control exactly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Identify A Nitrogen Deficiency In Plants?

When plants don’t receive enough nitrogen, their growth takes a toll, depending on the severity.

Common symptoms include pale or yellowish-green, spindly branches or shoots, reduced flowering and fruiting, as well as general stunted growth.

How To Apply Nitrogen Fertilizers?

If you aren’t confident, carry out a test on some soil samples to know exactly their conditions first. It will give you an accurate idea of how much nitrogen you need to apply,

Spring, right before the growth season of most plants, is generally the best time to feed them nitrogen. But when possible, follow recommendations for each species.

Use sufficient water and avoid over-fertilizing, or you may kill your plants and contaminate the groundwater.

What Is The Fastest Way To Add Nitrogen To The Soil?

Use fast-acting products, such as urea. They don’t have the “slow-release” line on the label.

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What If Too Much Nitrogen Is Added?

The abundance of nitrogen can lead to salt concentration, burning, stunted root development, and polluted groundwater.

Can I Make My Own Nitrogen Fertilizer?

Yes, there are plenty of ways to make homemade organic high-nitrogen fertilizers. Common ingredients are feathers, fish, meals of blood, and field hays.

Are There Other Ways To Improve Nitrogen In The Soil Rather Than Fertilizing?

Some plants, such as peas and clover, are known as nitrogen-fixing crops.

They can convert nitrogen from the atmosphere and store it in the roots. When they die, those plants release nitrogen into the soil, making it available for other plants.

Many gardeners take advantage of this and rotate their crops to naturally improve the nitrogen level in the soil.

nitrogen to soil
Some crops can add more nitrogen to the soil.

Final Verdict

Getting the best nitrogen fertilizer can help you prepare the soil for heavy feeders or fix the deficiency. Unlike green manure crops and homemade organic matter, it is a quick solution for various problems.

For most homeowners and hobbyists, the Simple Lawn Solutions product offers a strong formula with a high percentage of nitrogen. It is compatible with most plants, making it a reliable method to revive the lush green of their lawns or gardens.

If you prefer a natural option, the blood meal from Down To Earth is great too, while people with a large garden may find the Cesco urea fertilizer appealing. It requires more care and attention, but the storage is easy, and its price is unbeatable.

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