The Q&A Archives: Increasing Nitrogen In My Vegetable Garden

Question: I had my soil tested by an extension service last fall. They tell me the nitrogen level is low and to apply dried blood, 20 lb for 500 square feet or urea 1/2 pound per 100 square feet. Which would you recommend? The dried blood is much more expensive, but is organic and will last longer, but I was advised that if applied this spring, the dried blood would not increase the nitrogen level until next year. Would you please advise me which way to go as I plan on applying one or the other by mid April.

Answer: In my experience, dried blood is a fast acting supply of nitrogen as is urea that has not been coated for timed release. If you would prefer to stay organic, then you could also look into using compost and/or composted manure as a source of nitrogen. Soil preparation and "feeding" is an ongoing process; you may also want to add some organic matter to help build better soil structure.

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