Asked May 16, 2020, 12:04 AM EDT

My soil test said I needed to add 5 pounds/1000 sq ft of 46:0:0 fertilizer. Soil test said I did not need to add P or K. I purchased urea. My garden area is only 50 sq ft so I have figured I only need .2 lb of Urea. Is this safe for the garden? Does it need to be applied when temps are 60 degrees or cooler? How long will the Nitrogen be in the soil? How long should I wait to plant after applying the Urea? Or should I return the Urea and purchase a different fertilizer? Thank you

Eaton County Michigan

1 Response

Thank you for your question. 5 pounds/1000 sq ft sounds more like an annual rate. Urea can be a good source of nitrogen for application where large nitrogen requirements are required. With a smaller garden, is would be difficult to apply evenly. Urea can be safe if applied appropriately, This would mean incorporating it into the soil by watering it in and or mixing it into the soil. If improperly applied, significant amounts of nitrogen can be lost due to volatilization. Lower temperatures can reduce those losses and prevent volatilization that could damage young seedlings. The nitrogen will stay in the soil until the plant consumes it or it leaches out. This can change with weather, and soil condition. As with any fertilizer applied incorrectly, a pre-plant application might result in poor germination and injure seedlings. Once incorporated and watered you should be able to plant. Depending on your anticipated crop and soil conditions other nitrogen sources may be more suitable. PLease let us know if you need additional assistance. Check out the following link.
I hope this is helpful,