If you’re even slightly interested in gardening, you’ll know that fertilizer plays a big part in the welfare of plants and crops. Walking into a gardening store can be overwhelming due to the enormous selection of fertilizers.
So, how are you to decide on just one? Luckily, gardeners have been using trial and error to test domestic fertilizers for years, so we have a pretty good idea of what to look out for to find the best one.
To make your selection even easier, we’ve found the best nitrogen fertilizers depending on different wants and needs, such as natural properties or brand assurance. Once this article is through, you’ll be one step closer to your picture-perfect garden that you’ve always dreamed of.
What Is A High Nitrogen Fertilizer?
Before we look into the best of the best, first we must make sure that a high nitrogen fertilizer is the correct one for your needs. So what exactly is it?
A high nitrogen fertilizer is a source of nutrients for plants, crops, or lawns. Gardeners use them to enhance their plants and allow them to thrive all year round.
Nitrogen is the active ingredient, which is where this type of fertilizer differs from others on the market. Nitrogen has been shown to play a vital role in the growth and development of vegetation, so it’s an important ingredient to have in fertilizer.
There are a number of macronutrients that are featured in fertilizers, as they play a vital role in plant growth and development. High nutrient fertilizers simply have nitrogen as the main ingredient over the other macronutrients
What Are The Other Macronutrients In Plant Fertilizers?
There are three main macronutrients of fertilizers – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They will all be found in most fertilizers, although the quantities will vary depending on their main uses.
Fertilizers that include nitrogen in them will include a NPK value on the label, so you know exactly what you’re getting. The NPK will read something like this – 10-2-3 – which displays the ratio of active ingredients within the fertilizer.
NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. The numbers in the ratio highlight how much of each ingredient is within the formula. So, 10-2-3 would indicate that there was 10 parts nitrogen, 2 parts phosphorus, and 3 part potassium.
Each of these ingredients is important to the health and wellbeing of your plant. Just like we need macronutrients to thrive, so do your plants. But what exactly do they do for the vegetation? Let’s find out.
Nitrogen plays an essential role in the growth of plants, so much so that it is often considered the green growth of a plant material. Nitrogen is a great help to immature plants that are just beginning to grow, offering them the best start to their lifecycle.
Not only does nitrogen help in the early days and weeks, however, but it also supports the plant as it matures and beyond. Using nitrogen on your plants encourages larger and fuller blooms, getting you the most out of your garden.
Phosphorus ensures that flowering plants offer healthy blooms, and lots of them too. Using a fertilizer including phosphorus will encourage a more bountiful fruit and vegetable yield, so it’s good if you’re mainly growing crops.
Phosphorus also helps roots remain healthy so that your plant can keep thriving for longer, year after year.
Potassium’s main role is to encourage good development for the roots and stems of your plants. More often than not we’re too focused on the flowers, leaves and crops of our plants, that we forget the importance of roots and stems.
Luckily for us, potassium in your fertilizer does not forget the vital pieces of plants and keeps them thriving so that they can support the rest of the plant. Potassium also helps towards bloom production, although it is not its main role.
As you can see, each macronutrient plays its own important role in the production and maintenance of plants. You can decide which is the most important nutrient for your garden and choose a fertilizer accordingly.
However, it is important that all macronutrients feature within your fertilizer so that your plants can reap the benefits of them all.
What Types Of Nitrogen Fertilizers Are There?
Now that we have stressed the importance of all three macronutrients in plant fertilizers, let’s get back to nitrogen. There is more than one type of nitrogen fertilizer, making your choice even more difficult.
Not only do you have to pick which active ingredient you want the most of, but you then have to decide which type of fertilizer you want! Here are the most common types of nitrogen fertilizers out there.
General Plant Fertilizer
Generalized plant fertilizer will often come with a varied macronutrient ratio to other nitrogen fertilizers, with a higher phosphorus quantity. The NPK ratio might look something like this: 15-5-8.
This type of fertilizer is manufactured, meaning that there are countless possibilities on the market for different types of plants and crops. You can find almost any blend of micronutrients that you need in general plant fertilizer, making it a commonly used umbrella term for lots of choice.
General fertilizer not only can be tailored to lots of different plants and uses, but it also comes in a variety of ways. For example, you might choose to purchase general fertilizer granules for slow growing plants, while using liquid fertilizer for seasonal crops.
You can find general plant fertilizer for lots of different plants, such as roses, tomatoes, and all-purpose. This type of nitrogen fertilizer is popular as you can tailor it to your exact needs.
If you’re more interested in growing a thick and luscious lawn rather than fruit and flowers, a lawn fertilizer might be more tailored to you.
A typical lawn fertilizer will have an NPK rating of approximately 20-1-5, so it will be much more concentrated with nitrogen than a general plant fertilizer. It will also contain almost no phosphorus, which makes sense since this macronutrient is for vegetative growth.
There will be a moderate amount of potassium for root development, but not as much as plant fertilizers which depend more on the root system.
Lawn fertilizers will have a number of different micronutrients added to the formula to enhance your greenery, which often won’t be featured in general plant fertilizers. Chelated iron is a common additional ingredient in lawn fertilizers, as well as weed killers and sometimes even grass seeds for encouraging a thicker lawn.
Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer
Organic fertilizers use no manufactured materials to enhance the amount of nitrogen within the formula. Instead, they contain ingredients in which the nitrogen content is naturally high or created through a natural process.
You could try and get the raw material and use that on your crops, although this won’t be the ideal solution in a lot of scenarios. For example, blood meal is naturally high in nitrogen. Blood meal is a dried powder made from blood.
Blood meal is usually found in slaughterhouses, which is why it can be quite unattainable and some people might not want to use it in its raw form. However, you can purchase fertilizer with blood meal mixed within it to get the benefits from the nitrogen without having to handle raw blood meal.
Blood meal is not the only type of natural material containing a lot of nitrogen. Here are a few other examples to look for within your fertilizer if you’re looking for an organic formula, along with their NPK ratios:
- Blood meal 12-0-0
- Feather meal 12-0-0
- Silkworm cocoons 9-1-0
- Bat guano 7-3-1
- Rabbit manure 7-2-0
- Tea leaves 4-1-1
- Poultry manure 3-2-0
- Worm castings 1-0-0
Most naturally high nitrogen fertilizers come blended with a number of other nutrients tailored to its use. So, some natural nitrogen fertilizers aren’t completely natural at all. However, they are more organic than manufactured nitrogen fertilizers.
If you have one or more of these raw natural ingredients lying around your home, then you can use them to your advantage and fertilize your plants for no additional cost.
However, most people don’t have enough of these raw materials to use as a fertilizer. You’d need more than you think to fertilize your plants effectively. This is why it’s usually easier to purchase an organic fertilizer from your local gardening store or online.
Manufactured Nitrogen Fertilizer
A lot of manufactured fertilizers on the market are not organic and are instead made by controlling the NPK ratio depending on their specific use. For example, the amount of nitrogen within the fertilizer can be determined by the amount of ammonia within the formula.
Ammonia is made by processing hydrogen and nitrogen, so adding it to a fertilizer increases the amount of nitrogen that your plants are getting.
Manufactured fertilizers are very convenient and effective for their intended use because they have been specifically made to be the best they can be. For example, they can be tailored to specific plants with the exact nutrients that will allow them to thrive.
Best 7 High Nitrogen Fertilizers
Now that we know a little more about nitrogen fertilizer and their uses, let’s look at the best seven on the market. We’ve considered their different uses as well as other key factors that might influence your decision, such as brand reputation, so that there is a product below for everybody.
Miracle-Gro is a brand that almost every gardener has heard of before, due to their great reputation and brilliant products. The performance of this fertilizer has many people swearing by it and saying that it is the best option on the market.
With a NPK ratio of 24-5-16, you can rest assured that your plants will be getting plenty of nitrogen. This is a liquid fertilizer, meaning that it is perfect for quick absorption needs and can be sprayed or watered onto any plants, indoors or outdoors.
Use 1.5 pounds of this fertilizer to cover a 600 square foot area, every one to two weeks during the growing season. As this box contains 10 pounds of the fertilizer, you won’t need to worry about running out too quickly.
This fertilizer comes in a granular form that you mix with water to create a liquid. The manufacturer suggests using every one to two weeks, although you can decide what’s best for your plants.
Remember to use less feed during the non-growing months as not to over-fertilize plants. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution.
- Many people agree that you’ll see clear results.
- Miracle-Gro guarantees that the fertilizer won’t scorch your plants.
- Very easy to use.
- Quick results.
- The price is higher than other fertilizers, although you are paying for the guaranteed results and trusted brand.
We love the Jobes nitrogen fertilizer sticks as they are just so easy to use. All they require is that you stick them into the soil and forget about them! They are only for houseplants so you can forget about them and focus more on your garden plants.
If you are finding it too much to make up a batch of liquid fertilizer every month for your houseplants, these sticks are the way to go. They are perfect for busy people who still want to maintain beautiful greenery within their homes.
The NPK ratio is 13-4-5, which is better for nitrogen than Miracle-Gro’s alternative spike which holds a ratio of 6-12-6. So, if you’re looking for a spike high nitrogen fertilizer, Jobes is the best on the market.
Push the spike into the soil and leave it to work its magic. You can use between one and three spikes per plant depending on how large it is. The spikes will last for the majority of the growing season, although some might require an additional spike as a top up.
- Perfect for busy people who tend to forget about fertilizing houseplants.
- Completely scent-free.
- Incredibly easy to use with the correct dose already administered.
- Only used for houseplants, won’t work for outdoor plants.
If you’re looking for an organic fertilizer, blood meal is an excellent way to go. With an NPK rating of 13-0-0, this is the highest you’ll find on the market for a completely organic fertilizer.
This feed uses a TruBiotic formula which is a biological soil inoculant. This means that the fertilizer contains additional fungi and microbes that enhance plant growth and development.
For planters, use three tablespoons of fertilizer per plant. Mix with the soil before introducing the plant and mix so that the plant can benefit from all angles. For plants in borders, use 21 cups per square foot and mix to form a bottom dressing.
- 100% organic fertilizer.
- The TruBiotic formula further helps your plants from the soil.
- Ideal for planters and beds.
- Dogs are attracted to the bloodmeal, which might pose a threat to your plants.
The clue is in the name – this is one of the simplest fertilizers on the market. It comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle, so you can use it right out of the box. The NPK isn’t the highest at 6-0-0, but it works well for keeping your lawn full and luscious.
You can use this fertilizer on all grass types, so don’t worry if you don’t know which you’re working with. The entire bottle will treat a lawn of up to 3000 square feet.
Screw the hose attachment onto your garden hose and start the water. Release the thumbscrew and apply an even layer over the entirety of your lawn.
- Professional-grade lawn fertilizer.
- Incredibly easy to use.
- Trusted brand with a catalog of impressive products.
- Lower NPK ratio
Another blood meal feed, this fertilizer comes in a powder form which is great for either top dressing or bottom dressing your soil. The NPK is 12-0-0, so you might want to use another fertilizer to top up the phosphorus and potassium.
This is a great fertilizer for vegetable beds housing crops such as broccoli, corn, and leafy greens. If you’re looking for an organic fertilizer, you can’t get much better than this one.
There is an issue with animal-based fertilizers, which is that they attract other animals. So, take precautions so that you don’t find your crops being eaten by unwanted wildlife.
Use 3 pounds per 100 square feet of your garden and sprinkle over the soil. Either leave as is or work into the soil to provide a bottom dressing. For planters, use no more than two tablespoons per gallon of soil.
- Easy to use.
- Completely organic.
- Won’t harm animals if ingested.
- Might attract animals.
- Higher price point.
With the brand having such a high reputation, it’s no surprise that they’ve featured again on our list! This time, though, it’s their lawn food, with a NPK ratio of 30-0-6. This feed has a great track record of offering pristine results time after time, and it’s easy to use too.
This lawn feed is made specifically for turfgrass, and the added chelated iron enhances your lawn even more. It is absorbed both through the roots and the blades of grass, so you’ll see results over the entire garden.
Use the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder to apply this fertilizer as easily as possible. It’s so easy, in fact, that you can cover 1000 square feet in just 12 minutes.
If you don’t want the additional purchase, however, you can also mix one tablespoon with one gallon of water and apply with a watering can.
- You’ll see results in just one week.
- Ideal for every grass type.
- Option to use a spray kit or your own watering can.
- Higher price point, especially if you opt for the spray kit add-on.
Lastly, we have a slow-release granular fertilizer that is perfect for top or bottom dressing. These granules can be applied to the soil before winter and left until they start working at the beginning of the growing season.
This allows your lawn to get a head start on growing as spring rolls around, with strong roots and thick blades.
Sprinkle 3.2 pounds over 1000 square feet of lawn. For cooler climates use twice a year, and for warmer climates use four times a year.
- Slow release.
- Inexpensive for how much it covers.
- Give your lawn a head start before the growing season.
- You need to remember to apply in the fall.
How Do You Use A High Nitrogen Fertilizer?
Now that you’ve chosen your high nitrogen fertilizer, how do you apply it in the best way so that your crops keep growing and thriving?
How you use your nitrogen fertilizer will depend on its form, as well as how the manufacturer has created it to be used. Always read the label of your fertilizer to ensure that you’re not missing a vital step in the process.
Having said that, here are the most common ways that you might use your fertilizer.
You can either use your fertilizer as a top or bottom dressing. The former is where you apply a powdered or granulated fertilizer over your plants or lawn during the springtime, right before your plants are about to bloom.
Spread an even layer across the soil without hitting too many leaves or blooms. Top dressings offer slow release of the fertilizer so you don’t need to top up too often.
Base dressing is where you put the fertilizer into the soil rather than just on top of it. You can do this by applying a top dressing before digging down into the soil so that the fertilizer falls below the surface.
You can also mix the fertilizer with the soil before placing it in the planter. Again, bottom dressing is to slowly release the fertilizer towards the roots.
Watering applies to liquid fertilizers as they usually require you to dilute them with water before using. Rainwater is ideal but any can be used in a pinch.
Mix the correct amount of fertilizer with water and pour it onto the soil. Thanks to its liquid state, the fertilizer will be absorbed faster.
Many gardeners use liquid fertilizer to give plants a boost of macronutrients when they’re not looking so good. You will need to top liquid fertilizer up more regularly than granules.
Another use for a liquid fertilizer is to spray it onto the plants. If your plant is showing signs of a nitrogen deficiency, you can spray the most delicate parts for quick absorption.
Spray the leaves so that the nitrogen can be absorbed and put to use as quickly as possible. This should only be done with diluted organic fertilizers as chemicals will often be too strong for delicate matter.
When Should You Use A High Nitrogen Fertilizer?
Nitrogen fertilizer is most commonly used for lawns, plants and vegetables. It can spruce up your lawn and give it a new lease of life, as well as helping plants to grow strong and hardy.
It’s important to remember that nitrogen absorption is most rife at the growth stage of the plant, so it’s always best to use it just before or during the growing season.
However, the different applications do differ slightly in timeframe, so let’s explore these now.
Using On Grass
Nitrogen fertilizer on grass will typically be applied in the form of granules or another slow releasing state. This means that the fertilizer will last throughout the growing season, which is usually March to November.
Some fertilizers should be applied right before the growing season while others will need to be applied right after the growing season, ready for the next year.
Using On Plants
Plante has a shorter growing season than grass, starting in summer. So, springtime is the best time to apply these fertilizers.
Bear in mind that too much nitrogen before and during the blooming season might force too much foliage to grow rather than flowers or fruit.
You can also use nitrogen fertilizers on houseplants to give them a boost during their growing season. However; they don’t require as much fertilizer as outdoors plants, so only use them once or twice a year.
How Often Should You Use A Nitrogen Fertilizer?
How often you use your fertilizer depends on which type you’ve gone for. Slow-release fertilizers such as granules and powder can last for months, so you will only have to use them a couple of times a year.
However, liquid fertilizers need to be topped up more regularly. It’s important not to over-fertilize your plants, so always check the manufacturer’s guidance.
We hope that you’ve learned some valuable insight into nitrogen fertilizers and how to use them. There’s a product above for everybody, so we hope your plants will be thriving in no time.
We think that the Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food is the best overall high nitrogen fertilizer, and many gardeners agree.
However, if you need a more slow-releasing alternative, Jobes High Nutrition Fertilizer Spikes are an excellent choice to target the roots.
Our favorite lawn nitrogen fertilizer is the Simple Lawn Solutions Iron, as it’s so easy to apply and you don’t have to wait months to see the results.
Once you have determined the type of fertilizer you need, consider what’s most important – cost, brand loyalty, or something else. No matter what you decide, keep you and your plants happy with a high nitrogen fertilizer!