How To Use Ammonium Nitrate As A Fertilizer

Garden shops carry a wide variety of fertilizers, which can cause confusion when you have no idea about what best fits your needs. Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer makes a perfect example of this.

Anhydrous ammonia makes another example as it brings some advantages but also carries potential dangers if mishandled.

Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer chemical structure

Many gardening enthusiasts use common fertilizers without even knowing about its contents and their specific uses. Always ask the shop owner or sales associate at your local garden center about which fertilizers fits your project.

One of the requirements for healthy plant development is nitrogen. Some of its great sources include liquid nitrogen, calcium nitrate, anhydrous ammonia, ammonia, ammonium nitrate, and more.

It ensures the verdant greenery of a plant and promotes general well being. Plants will consume nitrogen in the air, but this method may appear troublesome. Simpler types of nitrogen fertilizer delivered via the plant’s root zone system can help to provide larger gains.

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What Is Ammonium Nitrate?

The general public used manure with added nitrogen since the 1940’s. Manure with nitrogen serves as an straight forward compound, easy to make and reasonably priced, making it popular among agrarian experts. One of the main sources of nitrogen used on a large scale is ammonium nitrate, found in common fertilizers such as compost.

Ammonium nitrate is a scentless, almost transparent salt. Using ammonium nitrate as part of home or commercial gardening promotes healthy plant development and provides a steady supply of nitrogen your plants can draw from, giving them lush greenery.

This commercial fertilizer is made when ammonia gas mixes with nitric acid. The chemical reaction creates concentrated ammonium nitrate.

Applied as granules, ammonium nitrate is combined with ammonium sulfate to prevent instability.

Straight nitrogen compost contains around 34% ammonium nitrate, though that percentage may vary in manure mixes containing other plant supplements or with condensed forms of nitrogen.

Proper application provides your plants the nitrogen required to create lush foliage. Ammonium nitrate within the compost will be absorbed by your plants within four weeks, so it’s good to reapply in one-month intervals throughout the growing season.

How To Apply Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer In Your Garden

  1. Perform a soil test in the concerning areas to get accurate levels of nitrogen in the soil. This can be done by calling in professionals or through home-based testing kits.
  2. Once you determined the value of nitrogen in the soil, look up a guide chart to check the recommended measure of ammonium nitrate for your soil and the your growing plants.
  3. Fill a manure spreader with ammonium nitrate granules and set your spreader alignment to evenly distribute the manure.
  4. Open the spreader and push it over the planting area, applying the compost in a single layer.
  5. Make another pass of applying fertilizers in a perpendicular way to previous application to make sure you apply it at maximum.
  6. Water the plants well and gently so that the crystals can dissolve and enter the soil.

Dangers Of Using Ammonium Nitrate

  1. If handled normally, ammonium nitrate won’t cause harm. However, inhalation in large amounts and will result in chemical poisoning.
  2. Due to the ammonium toxicity, the reaction when swallowed in high concentrations include dizziness, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, convulsion and heart failure.
  3. Ammonium nitrate may cause fire or an explosion. It may ignite highly combustible materials such as fuel oil, wood, and paper.

Precautions To Take While Using Ammonium Nitrate

  1. This is a potent and dangerous substance used in explosives. Cover yourself well and stay away from ignition sources during use as it may cause an explosion if incorrectly handled.
  2. When applying ammonium nitrate to plants, always apply in a circular pattern away from any exposed roots.
  3. Always use gloves to avoid chemical burns.
  4. Store any unused ammonium nitrate in a cool, dry place.

Most Functional Alternatives For Ammonium Nitrate

For crop cultivation or other concerns regarding plant nutrients, the following will serve as great alternatives in the absence of ammonium nitrate:

With proper application of ammonium nitrate, it may serve as a boon to any plant, allowing it to grow healthy and happy.