Nitrogen is one of the major elements needed by all life on earth (Nitrogen cycle) for plants nitrogen is one of the main elements responsible for chlorophyll production (Green pigment) which allows photosynthesis.
It is also a component to amino acids, the building blocks of protein, nucleic acid which dictates genetic messaging information and assists in the production of enzymes and co-enzymes.
Plants cannot directly consume the nitrogen from the atmosphere, the nitrogen is fixated by nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobia) which in turn obtain carbon from the plant.
Dead matter is decomposed by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and fungi, which is then converted into ammonia.
Plants uptake nitrogen in the form of:
Nitrogen is best available to plants between the pH of 5.5 and 7.5 with the perfect range for absorption being 6.0-7.0
If your plants experience nitrogen deficiencies it is usually early on in veg, and generally a cue for the grower to start feeding correctly or more intensely.
Nitrogen is a mobile deficiency and shows itself in the older growth as yellowing and is a consistent depletion of the chlorophyll pigment, that is being translocated to the parts of the plant that need N to continue photosynthesis (newer growth). To correct this problem, a nitrogen deficiency is generally solved by increase your base nutrient strength, therefor you should slowly increase your base nutrient by 0.25> per/ml and remember to feed every day, problems generally subside approx. 2-5 days.
While increasing your base feed to your plants should generally solve your deficiency, if a grower has a need for additional nitrogen than contained in their base nutrient, for plants with a higher N demand, there is several products that can be supplemented into a feeding schedule for a boost in Nitrogen, such as:
Nitrogen toxicity is quite easy to identify and generally presents itself on the leaves as a dark green colour and the fingers of each leaflet will hook under toward the stem of the plant, this is commonly referred to as the “clawing” effect. If nitrogen is in Excess the most common approach is to flush your plant with plain pH’ed water once the run off has ceased, re-buffer your pot with 50% strength nutrients, after the leaves have “straightened” that’s the plant telling you it has corrected the issue and it is now time to increase to food again, or a sign that you could have been overfeeding.