If you want to know, what is 34-0-0 fertilizer used for, you will love this in-depth guide.
But first, let me tell you what this number shows.
This number is the N-P-K ratio. In simple words, it shows the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
So here’s what this fertilizer contains:
- Nitrogen (N): 34%
- Phosphorus (P): 0%
- Potassium (K): 0%
Important Note: Ammonium nitrate is a fertilizer with an N-P-K rating of 34-0-0.
What is Ammonium Nitrate?
In terms of Chemistry, ammonium nitrate is the ammonium salt of nitric acid.
Here’s why this fertilizer is popular in agriculture.
This fertilizer provides half of the Nitrogen in the ammonium form and half in the nitrate form.
Note that the nitrate form quickly reaches the roots with the soil water. In the same way, ammonium is also converted to nitrate by soil microorganisms.
Over here, I want to introduce the nitrification process to you.
Nitrification: In this process, ammonia is converted into nitrite and then to nitrate by nitrifying bacteria.
The simple equation below will help you understand its industrial production.
Nitric acid + Ammonia → Ammonium nitrate
HNO3 + NH3 → NH4NO3
Note that this fertilizer (34% Nitrogen) is less concentrated than Urea fertilizer (46-0-0).
What Does “34-0-0” Mean?
As I mentioned earlier, this shows the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
Here’s how high nitrogen in this fertilizer is useful.
Nitrogen provides plants energy for metabolic reactions.
Note that respiration, photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation are some of the metabolic processes in plants.
It is also important for leaf growth in plants because it is a major component of chlorophyll.
Now you might be wondering, what is chlorophyll?
This green pigment inside the leaf of a plant is necessary for photosynthesis. It absorbs sunlight and produces food (glucose) using water and carbon dioxide.
This food is what the plant uses to make energy and grow.
Secondly, nitrogen is used for making amino acids, proteins, DNA, and nucleic acid. Now let me you how a plant absorbs nitorgen.
A plant absorbs nitrogen in form of ammonia. Note that fertilizers, animal wastes and dead bacteria can be a source of nitrogen.
Usually, a plant takes up nitrogen in the form of NH₄⁺ and NO₃⁻ ions. It may also take up nitrogen in form of nitrates.
Remember that a plant can also absorb nitrogen when it is absorbing water from the soil.
- In short, Nitrogen is a key component of amino acids. This basic unit is what forms proteins and enzymes.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Now let’s talk about the uses of this fertilizer.
What is 34-0-0 Fertilizer Used For?
Here are some uses of ammonium nitrate as a fertilizer.
Overview: The 34-0-0 fertilizer is a great source of nitrogen. It contains 34% nitrogen and can be used to grow grass, corn, potatoes, barley, oats and wheat as well.
- Due to a large amount of Nitrogen, it promotes the healthy growth of foliage (leaves).
As I mentioned above, nitrogen is a part of the chlorophyll molecule. This makes your plants green.
- This fertilizer is well suited for foliar sprays or making solutions for fertigation.
Let me explain.
Let’s say that your plant is suffering from nutrient deficiency. We can use a foliar spray to overcome this.
Using a foliar spray, we apply fertilizers directly to the plants’ leaves (instead of adding them to the soil). Now let me introduce fertigation to you.
Fertigation: In this process, of fertilizer application, we deliver fertilizer through irrigation water. If used properly, it can greatly improve your yield.
This happens because ammonium nitrate is highly soluble.
- In the ammonium portion, there is no considerable loss of Nitrogen.
It can only be lost if it is oxidised to nitrate. This is the reason why 34-0-0 fertilizer can be easily handled.
When talking about its uses, we often compare ammonium nitrate fertilizer to urea fertilizer. So here’s what you need to know.
Ammonium nitrate vs Urea:
Here’s a fact. Urea has more Nitrogen content than the 34-0-0 fertilizer. But here’s a thing.
If you over-apply nitrogen, the ability of your plant to produce fruit and flowers can be reduced. So you have to be careful when applying urea.
- Urea has a lower cost per pound of nitrogen.
As we discussed earlier, a kilogram of urea contains more nitrogen than a kilogram of ammonium nitrate.
In short, ammonium nitrate costs more per pound of nitrogen than Urea.
But in some cases, “AN” is a better option.
To understand this, move on to the next point.
- The urea fertilizer can lose nitrogen more rapidly in the atmosphere.
Quick fact: If applied incorrectly, up to 40% of Nitrogen can be vaporized and lost as a gas. So, the 34-0-0 fertilizer is more stable.
Finally, you can apply the “AN” fertilizer easily with your hand or fertilizer spreader.
Generally, the use of fertilizers helps to prevent disease and pest damage.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
How and When to Apply 34-0-0 Fertilizer?
When applying fertilizers, you have to be extremely careful. Note that over-applying can badly damage your plant.
So, here’s the step-by-step guide.
- Firstly, you should perform a soil test.
As the word suggests, soil testing tells the expected growth potential. Let me explain.
By doing this, you will be able to identify the levels of nitrogen in your soil. In this way, you will be able to identify the amount of fertilizer your soil needs.
- Apply 157.5 – 315 ml for 1000 square feet of ground or soil.
Depending on your soil condition, you can add 3 pounds per 1000 square feet as well.
- If you are applying the fertilizer in granular form, spread it evenly by hand.
You can also use a fertilizer spreader. When applying, spread it in a circular manner (away from any exposed roots).
- After application, water it properly so that it merges into the soil.
This will ensure that the nutrients reach the root system of the plant.
As I mentioned above, ammonium nitrate is a colourless crystalline solid that is highly soluble in water.
Now you might be wondering when to apply ammonium nitrate? Here’s what you should know.
When to Apply?
Let me tell you that the 34-0-0 fertilizer lasts up to 3-4 weeks.
So you should re-apply the fertilizer after every month during the growing seasons of the plant.
The fertilizer should also be applied when the nitrogen intake of the plant is high.
For your reference, the intake of nitrogen is high during the late vegetative and early reproductive stages.
To summarise, use this fertilizer after winters. Depending on your soil condition, you can use it in spring or early spring.
Can I use 34-0-0 Fertilizer for Grass?
Quick answer: Yes, you can use the ammonium nitrate fertilizer for your lawn. Here’s why.
If we talk about lawn grass, it needs a steady supply of nitrogen. This fertilizer is an excellent source of nitrogen.
Can you recall the percentage of nitrogen in this fertilizer?
Since nitrogen promotes foliar growth and colour, it makes your grass greener. But here are some things that you should consider as well.
Your lawn grass requires other nutrients as well.
Phosphorus: It promotes root and flower growth, and early establishment as well.
Potassium: It enhances your plants’ ability to use nitrogen.
In the same way, nutrients such as copper, molybdenum, zinc, manganese and boron are essential as well.
So the overuse of nitrogen without providing other nutrients can make your soil infertile.
Plus, if you over-apply this fertilizer, you may face “chemical burns” and an acidic environment. In short, this fertilizer can fulfil the nitrogen requirements.
But you should be careful when applying it.
Note: The ideal time for fertilizing your grass is when the temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This time is usually from March to April but can vary according to your location as well.
Can I Use 34-0-0 Fertilizer For Potatoes?
Quick answer: During the first two months, this fertilizer can be a good choice.
As you know that growing potatoes is challenging. They need well-draining soil, full sun and a temperature between 50-70 ℉.
We use different fertilizers at different times for the best growth. So here’s what you should know.
The potato plant requires around 3 to 4 months to develop.
- During the time of plantation: You should use a balanced NPK fertilizer such as 15-15-15 or 18-18-18 fertilizer.
- During the first two months: The potato needs more nitrogen. So you should apply the 34-0-0 fertilizer because it has high nitrogen content.
- A month before harvesting: The crop requires more potassium. So you should can 12-12-17 or 14-7-21 fertilizer as well.
Can I Use 34-0-0 Fertilizer For Corn?
Before talking about this topic, here are some things that you should consider when growing corn.
It requires well-drained soil and high sunlight. You should also conduct a soil test first to find out the pH of your soil.
This can determine the amount of fertilizer you add to your soil.
Note: The soils with pH 6 or 7 typically perform best for corn.
The NPK ratio of pre-planting fertilizers is ideally 1-1-1, 1-4-0 or 1-3-1. The point is that you should not provide a high amount of nitrogen at this point.
During the growing period, when the nitrogen requirement increases, you can use the 34-0-0 fertilizer to fulfil the requirement.
Now you might be wondering, how often to fertilize corn? The answer is simple.
During its growth cycle, it should be fertilized 3 times:
- Before planting.
- When the plants are 4 weeks old.
- When they are 8 – 10 weeks old.
Over here, recall that corn must be watered properly due to its deep roots. During its growth stage, you can also water it deeply once a week.
Apart from nitrogen, corn requires other nutrients as well:
Calcium: To build healthy cell walls.
Phosphorus: For fruit and flower production.
Potassium: It helps to retain water and nutrients.
So this was all about growing corn.
So, there you have it.
Our topic about “what is 34-0-0 fertilizer used for” is covered. To recap, this fertilizer is a great source of Nitrogen.
But you should be careful when applying it. This is because applying more than required can lead to stunted growth.
You can use this fertilizer to grow corn, wheat, barley, potatoes and grass as well. And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.
Do let me know which part of this topic you enjoyed reading the most. Stay tuned for more.