Dear gardeners, would you like to beautify your vegetable garden? Hold on tight, because we have important information to reveal to you for a successful and abundant harvest! Here are the valuable tips of Laurent Courtade, an expert gardener: in addition to the proper care of your plants, do not neglect the addition of organic fertilizer at this time of year! Explanations.

Our advice for the care of your vegetable garden in February and March

February and early March have a reputation for being unpredictable for gardeners: The days become milder, inviting you to uncover the vegetable plants that were previously covered by winter veils. However, it is important not to forget to cover them at the end of the day to protect them from night frosts.

If you want to protect the seedlings, it is important to put the mulch on the surface of the soil but be careful not to spread too much! In fact, too thick a mulch will prevent the soil from dissipating the cold, and there is a risk of burning the roots of the plants. To improve the quality of your soil, you can further improve your plots and vegetable beds by using manure, compost or even green manure. This approach will add nutrients to your soil and improve the texture of your soil, which is often compacted by winter rains and cold weather. However, during these times, you also need to think about providing your plants with a very special fertilizer: urea.  It is a combination of chemical and organic substances that has managed to attract the attention of gardeners and farmers!

The properties and composition of urea (46% nitrogen formula)

In case you do not know, dear readers: Urea is an organic fertilizer that has a positive effect on soils and plants because it improves them by supplying nitrogen. Although it is sold in dry, granular form, it is important to understand how to use urea properly to avoid potential drawbacks and take full advantage of its benefits. But don’t you think it would be more useful to know the properties and composition of this fertilizer first? Let’s discover it together!

  • Urea is a chemical compound with odorless white or yellow crystals.
  • It is a concentrated mineral preparation with a high nitrogen content of up to 46%.
  • Urea offers optimum solubility with low risk of leaching.
  • Its slow degradability coupled with high mobility make it a very effective fertilizer.
  • 2 lbs urea is equivalent to 6.5 lbs sodium nitrate or 4.40 lbs ammonium sulfate.
  • Its acidifying effect is significantly lower than that of ammonium sulfate and is therefore ideal for sandy and clayey soils.
  • Without sulfuric acid salts, the chlorine contained in urea even has a beneficial effect on microbiological processes.
  • Urea is suitable for all types of crops, dissolves easily in water and releases volatile chemical elements that ensure healthy growth of your plants.

When should urea be used as a fertilizer?

Although you can apply urea to your vegetable garden in the fall, its effectiveness can be compromised. Indeed, if it is used during this period, the nitrogen released decomposes very quickly under the action of microorganisms. In addition, during the winter, some of the nitrogen is washed out or seeps into deeper soil layers, leaving few nitrogen compounds available for plant growth in the spring. However, many gardeners use urea in their vegetable gardens in early spring. For effective application, we recommend that you apply it at a depth of 6 to 8 inches 7 to 10 days before planting. You can even use this method in a closed environment (in a greenhouse or in your home).

However, for optimal effectiveness, we recommend applying it on slightly acidic peat soils with optimal humidity. Nevertheless, it is important to dig it carefully in soils with neutral and alkaline reaction to avoid nitrogen losses.

How to properly apply urea as a fertilizer?

When you apply nitrogen fertilizers such as urea to your plants, you must also consider different ways of fertilizing:

Urea, agricultural fertilizer: instructions for use

To determine the correct amount of urea, it is essential to take into account the structure of your soil, its moisture content, the method of fertilization and the condition of your plants. We recommend that you follow the dosages given below:

  • For vegetable crops, pour 1 tsp of fertilizer into the hole when planting.
  • To feed plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, strawberries or even cucumbers, dilute 1 oz of urea in 10 quarts of water (use 1 quart of solution per plant).
  • For currants, use 0.7 oz of urea per 10 quarts of water until the buds swell, while for gooseberries, 2 tablespoons are more than enough.
  • For flowering plants such as hyacinths, hippeastrum, roses, irises and calla lilies, use 0.3 oz for each 3 feet.
  • For fruit trees and ornamental shrubs, spread the fertilizer in a circular pattern close to the trunk along the entire crown projection. Then finish by embedding it in the soil and watering well. Young apple trees, on the other hand, require 5 oz of carbamide, while plums and cherries need only 2.5 oz. Mature fruiting apple trees need about 9 oz, while mature plums and cherries need up to 4.5 oz.
  • For fruit and berry crops, fertilize 5-7 days after flowering ends, followed by a second application after 3-4 weeks (1 tablespoon per bucket of water).
  • Perform foliar fertilization in the morning and evening with a sprayer. For the solution, dissolve one tablespoon of the substance in 10 quarts of water.

How to dilute urea to use it in liquid form in your vegetable garden?

To overcome the eggs of the overwintering stages of the pests and at the same time obtain a weak fungicidal effect, here is our practical advice for you, dear gardeners: spray your garden or vegetable patch in early spring, before the buds open, with this urea-based solution the rate of 28 oz per 10 quarts of water.

As you, dear readers, have understood, the use of urea is essential for the nutrition of plants and greenery indoors and outdoors. It allows for faster growth, more intensely colored leaves and a more abundant harvest.