15 Easy Ways To fix too much nitrogen in soil

Too Much Nitrogen In Soil? Do you know it is possible to cause damage to your plants rather than good by simply working too hard?

The overuse of nitrogen in plants is a typical example in which gardeners that are overly enthusiastic have subjected their plants to more damage.

For varieties of vegetables and crops such as tomatoes, it’s quite easy for their soil to possess excessive nitrogen. The nitrogen present in the soil makes it easier for these plants to thrive, just like calcium, and copper but when there is excess nitrogen found in the soil there arise a few side effects.

With too much nitrogen inside the soil, plants will focus their efforts and energy on the development of their roots, stems, and foliage instead of directing the necessary energy into the blooming of their flowers

Mistakes could happen in the process of giving nutrients to your plants.

Don’t get scared, these mistakes are fixable and some of the remedies will be discussed in this post. In this post, the following nitrogen-related concerns will be addressed:

What Causes Too Much Nitrogen In The Soil

  • Crops are supplied with nitrogen and phosphorus which are essential for them to thrive and generate the food we consume.
  • Farmers put nutrients (nitrogen) into the fields through the most prevalent sources of nitrogen, which are, chemical fertilizers, plant leftovers, sewage, and also animal manures.
  • The rate at which each farmer puts nutrients into the soil differs. Excessive application of nitrogen-containing fertilizers into your soil will result in the accumulation of excess nitrogen for plants.
  • When these fertilizers are applied, the crops absorb the soil nitrogen. However, when the nitrogen has been absorbed totally by the growing crops.
  • If it is still abundant or if excess nitrogen is left, it will linger inside the soil and severely damage the growing crops.

Signs Of Too Much Nitrogen In Soil

1. Leaf Burn

When the root systems of your crops are parched or dehydrated, excessive nitrogen available inside the soil will harm their foliage by causing discoloration (yellowing or brown), then get your crops burnt.

This sign of too much nitrogen in the soil is not visible in the early days following fertilization. It often takes several weeks before you can notice the burn signs on your crops.

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2. Too Many Leaves

Your crops can create the impression of being strong, thriving, as well as healthy when they absorb nitrogen in excess. They show the sprouting of fresh leaves.

However, during a drought period, crops like this will find it difficult to survive.

This happens because their freshly developed leaves are frequently frail, sappy, and even delicate due to the excess nitrogen fertilizer for plants.

More so, the new foliage becomes more appealing to pests. If your plant is an aromatic plant, over-accumulation of nitrogen will make it lose a lot of its scent.

3. Crops with a Bitter Taste

Sour, nitrogen-rich vegetables and fruits are developed due to the plant’s inability to acquire sufficient levels of essential nutrients.

Soil with excessive organic nitrogen for plants blocks off the plants from absorbing other nutrients which in turn alters the vitamin contents and sugar contents of the plant.

4. There Will Be No Yields Or Blooms

Fruits and Flowers cannot thrive inside soil having high concentrations of nitrogen, it is too challenging for them.

It is a fact that natural nitrogen for plants helps plants to develop fresh, green leaves, it typically just produces leaves.

Although, it is quite possible for fruits and flowers to develop in such soil, however, such fruit will appear deformed or not fully mature and any sign of flower buds will become distorted or just break off.

How To Neutralise Nitrogen In Soil

Just like too little or excess iron is bad for the plant’s growth.

The very first step is to evaluate the kind of soil you are dealing with. Conduct a simple soil analysis to know whether your soil has acidic or alkaline contents.

Too Much Nitrogen In Soil
Too Much Nitrogen In Soil? ways to balance

When your soil pH equals 6.0 or even lesser, it signifies acidic contents with high concentrations of nitrogen.

  • Utilize other sources of nutrients such as natural manures and mulch. They are ideal options once you discover the pH value of your soil to be 6.0 or lesser, they are both lesser in nitrogen compared to nutrients with excessive nitrogen.
  • Nitrogen can also be neutralized in soil via cultivating cover crops, and plants that fix nitrogen inside the soil. These crops have root systems that the excess nitrogen could cling to.

Such suitable alternative crops to grow in such a location having too much nitrogen include fava beans. The excess nitrogen is extracted from the soil once the fava beans are harvested.

The ideal period for cultivating these crops is during the fall. Depending on your environment, you could cultivate them when it’s spring period too.

  • Boosting your soil pH is effective in counteracting the excess available nitrogen in soil present in your cultivating areas.
  • Putting crumbled marble, oyster shell, hardwood ash, even bone meal, and other organic items into your soil will be highly essential in boosting the pH of your soil and removing nitrogen from the soil. However, this technique demands patience.

Usages Of Sugar To Reduce Nitrogen In Soil

It’s necessary to keep in mind that while sugar isn’t a fertilizer, it does a good job of lowering surplus nitrogen within the soil.

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Unwanted or too much nitrogen on the lawn can be counterbalanced by sugar. Studies and experts have revealed certain microbes as an efficient strategy to decrease surplus nitrogen.

The Lifespan of these microbes includes absorbing nitrogen in a natural manner. Encouraging these microbes to develop by using sugar to nurture them is a good option to effectively decrease surplus nitrogen.

Will Lime Reduce Nitrogen In Soil?

Crops’ food intake is influenced because of lime’s ability to raise soil pH. With the lime nitrogen fertilizer increasing the pH, it is also reducing and removing the excessive nitrogen within the soil.

As pointed out initially in this post, soil with a high pH value makes it simpler to get rid of unwanted nitrogen present within the soil and also encourages optimal plant development.

For better penetration of the lime into your soil, the cultivating areas must be well aerated. It also improves its uptake. You can pick either fall or spring for introducing lime into your soil.

When Does Your Plant Need Excess Nitrogen?

The uniqueness of each plant species is a thing to keep in mind because different unique combinations of nutrients work for the survival of each plant species. Nevertheless, common similarities in nutrient combinations exist between the plants.

  • When your plants begin the phase of the root system, branches (stems), as well as leaves, develop, and soil with high nitrogen is essential for them.
  • Just about any hydroponic fertilizer will work effectively in this phase. This phase is known as the vegetative phase.
  • Therefore, increasing nitrogen in soil when your plants hit their blooming period will have a negative influence on their growth.
  • At this phase, your plants concentrate their resources on the production of fruits and buds(flowers).

How To Reduce Nitrogen In Potted Plants

  1. Take your potted plant and pour filtered water or distilled water on it until it reaches its upper edge. Ensure that the filtered water or distilled water is at room temperature.
  2. Soluble salts that are absent in both the filtered water and the distilled water make them a suitable option for this process.
  3. Following the pouring of the distilled water, be patient and leave the water to drip out of your plant’s pots or containers completely.
  4. As the water is dripping or flowing out of the plant container base, so will the excessive nitrogen present in the soil also get flushed out from the soil.

What Plants Like Nitrogen?

1. Kale Plants

Kale’s energy is provided through its green-colored chlorophyll pigments. These chlorophyll pigments are maintained by getting adequate nitrogen.

Kale leaves’ nutritional fiber quantity can be enhanced by feeding them nitrogen-based nutrients.

2. Mustards

Do you know you can improve your mustard plant yields by over 30% by just supplying nitrogen to your plant on a constant schedule?

This nitrogen-loving vegetable plant’s foliage will drop and turn yellow due to insufficient nitrogen.

3. Lettuce

Amongst the best-potted plant and simple-to-cultivate vegetables is lettuce. Would you like your lettuce to develop flavored and large leaves? Feed nitrogen-based nutrients regularly to your lettuce.

4. Spinach

Spinach just like lettuce is also one of the nitrogen-loving plants. Spinach, with sensitive, soft, and earthy-taste leaves is a simple vegetable to cultivate.

Cultivating or propagating spinach demands excess nitrogen inside the soil as this will encourage them to sprout their leaves.

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What Vegetables Don’t Like Nitrogen?

1. Sweet Potatoes

A rich soil filled with organic materials is the ideal soil for sweet potatoes. They demand less feeding or nutrients.

When sweet potatoes are cultivated inside nitrogen-rich soil, they concentrate their resources on their foliage development instead of tuber formation.

2. Watermelons

Watermelons prefer phosphorus-based nutrients for maximum melon development once they begin their blossom phase.

Watermelons don’t follow a nutrient routine. It’s also good to mix phosphorus and potassium for their nutrients.

3. Carrots

An overabundance of Nitrogen present inside a soil will trigger fractured roots and forking in Carrots, as with each root crop.

The suitable feeding for cultivating carrots is a lot of potassium-rich organic nutrients.

Too Much Nitrogen In Soil Tomatoes

Are there robust shoots of healthy tomato plants inside your yard and yet no tomatoes?

This is most likely due to too much nitrogen in the tomato plant’s nutrients. The nitrogen overload will make your tomato linger in its vegetative phase.

Once you notice that the leaves of your tomato crop have become brittle and thickened, more so, the upward rolling of your tomato leaves till the opposite edges contact, are all indications of the excess nitrogen feeding of your tomato plants.

When your tomato plants are under nutritional stress, it will trigger the drooping of fruits on your plant. Nutritional stress is an indicator and is also caused by an overabundant presence of nitrogen in your plant’s feeding.

How To Test Nitrogen In Soil

The definitive way to be sure of the concentrations of nitrogen in the soil is by carrying out a soil analysis test. When you conduct this test, you will find out just how acidic or basic your soil is.

You can purchase a great soil analysis tool that is low-cost, effective, and quite useful for testing nitrogen in the soil and verifying that your soil is healthy.

FAQ on Too Much Nitrogen In Soil

Q1: What Organic Matter Has A Lot Of Nitrogen?

Urea in the soil is a natural source of nutrients that seems to be heavy in nitrogen.

Q2: When Is The Safest Period To Grow After Removing Surplus Nitrogen From The Soil?

Early fall is the right opportunity to replant having removed large amounts of nitrogen.

Q3: Is It True That Coffee Grinds Contribute Nitrogen To The Soil?

Yes. Along with moderate phosphorus plus potassium, Coffee grinds incorporate a significant quantity of nitrogen.

Q4: Fixing The Soil Overabundance Nitrogen Will Take How Long?

Nitrogen-neutralizing substances require weeks instead of days to provide a visible impact.


In order to grow fresh green foliage with fresh sprouts, plants need nitrogen but not Too Much Nitrogen In Soil or excessive nitrogen as that can be harmful.

Verify that your soil contains the right quantity of nitrogen by analyzing your soil. Feed necessary nutrients to your plants as necessary according to the result of your soil test.