Nitrogen is responsible for producing leaf growth and green leaves. A deficiency results in yellow leaves and stunted growth. An excess of nitrogen produces over-abundant growth of foliage with delayed flowering. The plant is also more susceptible to disease, and bears poorer-quality fruit. Nitrogen-rich organic fertilisers are: •poultry manure
•blood and bone (this can be contaminated by chemical residues).
Nitrogen undergoes many changes when associated with organic matter. Proteins in organic matter are decomposed and finally the nitrogen is changed into a nitrate that higher plants or soil micro-organisms can use. Legumes also have the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil from the vast quantities of atmospheric nitrogen available.
Poultry or duck manure should be applied at the rate of 33 to 50 kg per nine square metres of garden area.
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