What to do with urea?

michelle_co(z5 CO)April 21, 2008

Hi, I have a bag of urea fertilizer that has been in the garden shed which is now being cleaned out & renovated into a chickie den.

How do I use urea? It's little round pellets, about BB size. Could I put some on the lawn? Broadcast it into beds? I'd like to use it up rather than just trundle it around for the rest of my life. :-)



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meteor04(5-Northglenn CO.)

It boring as can be in my office today, so I googled up this for you...

Here is a link that might be useful: Clickable linky for above website

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 6:04PM
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david52 Zone 6

How much have you got? I've used it before in the green house and veggie garden to give a 'N' boost to stuff like spinach, chard, and other greens - every time you water, throw a tablespoon or 2 into gal watering can - makes the water turn really cold. Or carefully side dress plants. This stuff can burn plants relatively easily, so you have to be careful.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 6:20PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Meteor - thanks for the link. Good idea, googling.

David - I have a 50# bag of the stuff. Can't remember why I bought it originally?

I did some more googling and found this link that explains it rather plainly -

Sounds like it would better to apply it directly to the veggie garden or a new planting area, tilled directly in. I guess I'll try it first in the area that I want to covercrop.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 6:44PM
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Michelle, that 50 pound bag will cover a lot of ground.

Urea contains 46% nitrogen. May as well say 50%.

So your 50 pounds of urea is 25 pounds of N.

1 acre = 43,560 square feet

If you apply urea at 60 pounds N per acre, it will cover - 18,150 square feet.

If you apply urea at 90 pounds N per acre, it will cover - 12,100 square feet.

If you apply urea at 120 pounds N per acre, it will cover - 9,075 square feet.

(If'n I did the math right.)

digitS' on calculator keys

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Okay okay maybe this isnt an appropriate question to ask but I've been wondering...
In the soil and compost forum, several people talk about adding their own brand of early morning urea to their compost bins.
Am I missing an important ingredient in my compost by not making that part of my getting-ready-for-work routine? And... what would the neighbors think?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:17PM
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david52 Zone 6

Why, then, do they put so much urea in "winterizer" fertilizer? I ask rhetorically, since it all evaporates? I am pretty curious here, since everybody keeps telling me that the fall / winter fertilizer is most important, and that's the only thing I do for the lawn except pamper the clover, and it's is now getting pretty expensive?

We used to add it to fish ponds, it was the best bang for the buck by far. 50 lbs would do an acre, easy.

Azura, some are some far more fanatical than others. Time, age and wisdom also comes into play, and over the years, at least some of us guys get more intellectually *mature*. So I'm happy to report that these days, a google earth of my place won't show, like now in mid-April, my initials in bright, green grass 8" tall grass when the rest of the place is still really short and brown.

(but..... you may have wondered why my clematis are so spectacular.....).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:37PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

Sounds like urea would work fine in the winter as long as you applied it RIGHT before it snows. Dec. 1 of last year would have been perfect!

WHY did you add it to fish ponds, pray tell???

LOL - and I won't even comment on the initials in the grass! (Who knew I even had the Maturity Card?!) :-)

On a serious note, opening mouth to insert foot, isn't there a nutrient difference between male and female whiz? I thought whiz from the male of the species had a higher nitrogen content. Or something. Or other.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:49PM
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david52 Zone 6

Michelle, I spent a pleasant career in fish farming, and usually, at least in the northern temperate climates, potassium is the limiting factor for algae growth in ponds, algae is the basis of the food chain for the rest of the pond environment. In tropical climates, the first limiting factor is usually nitrogen. So when I was working in the Niger Delta with the mangrove tidal ponds, we'd dump a sack of urea into the ponds on a weekly basis. Turned the pond bright green in a matter of hours. It was hot, too, which helped. Those were big ponds. There was a urea factory within 50 miles and it was subsidized. They use natural gas to make urea, and in Nigera, they flare the stuff off, they have so much.

Elsewhere, we used manure from chickens or ducks or pigs or all three. That mammalian / avian classic combo that is the basic incubator of all things nasty and viral. But I didn't know that then-:-)>.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:12PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Uhhhh, this is an interesting discussion, but, uhhhh, regardless of nitrogen content, wouldn't it be sorta easier for a guy to "amend" the compost pile---or "write in the grass"??? In any event, you're NOT gonna find me squatting on top of my compost pile!!!!!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 12:11AM
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My only comment on the "free source of urea" is that in our arid climate, salt buildup can become a problem, so factor the salt content into your decisions. I think the male vs female N content is more relevant with dogs, and it's not because one or the other has more, but because a female dog will squat and let it all loose at once, but a male dog will run around and let it out in dribs and drabs all over the place (making sure every other dog knows its territory and acknowledging the territory of the other dogs).

Lawns should usually get about 1 lb of actual N per 1000 sq ft per application. So a 50 lb bag of urea is enough for 23000 sq ft once. If you have a 5000 sq ft lawn, I'd use the 50 lbs in 4 applications. I'd be wary about using it in the garden because it is so easy to over apply, and you could end up with a garden that has all leaves and no vegetables.

A quick release N source is great as a late season lawn feeding. The best time to do that is after the top growth has stopped, but while the grass is still green. If you apply 1 lb of N per 1k sq ft at that time, your lawn may well stay green all winter (even though you can't see it).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 12:30AM
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