Nitrogen is a constituent of proteins, nucleic acids and chlorophyll. It is used to encourage vegetative growth and is therefore important in lawns and leaf crops. Easily leached from the soil[1].

Most of the nitrogen in manure is in the organic form and essentially all of the nitrogen in compost is organic. Organic nitrogen is unavailable for uptake until microorganisms degrade the organic compounds that contain it. A smaller fraction of the nitrogen in manure is in the ammonium/ammonia or inorganic form. The ammonium-nitrogen form is a readily available fraction. Other inorganic forms such as nitrate and nitrite can also exist, but their quantities are usually very low.[2]

Symptoms of deficiencyEdit

Main article: Nitrogen deficiency

Slow, spindly growth, yellowing of leaves (chlorosis) – old leaves first, small flowers and fruits[1]


  1. a b "Plant nutrients" - "piskieinboots"
  2. Rosen, C. and Bierman, P. (2005), "Using Manure and Compost as Nutrient Sources for Vegetable Crops", Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota
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Mineral nutrients
Primary macronutrients Nitrogen · Phosphorus · Potassium
Secondary macronutrients Calcium · Magnesium · Sulphur
Micronutrients Boron · Chloride · Copper · Iron · Manganese · Molybdenum · Zinc