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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Mix Urea Fertilizer with Water for Effective Application


Urea fertilizer is perhaps the most nitrogen-rich (46 per cent nitrogen) but very inexpensive and an excellent way to enhance plant growth and fertility: ‘Urea generally delivers very high nitrogen for vigorous growth, especially in vegetables or gardens,’ says Dr Sophia Grant of the Agricultural Improvement Centre. The fertilizer is easily absorbed by plants because it dissolves easily in water to ‘run and be available where needed.’

Still, if it’s not properly prepared and applied, it won’t work properly. Mixing errors can lead to volatilisation, a term that describes when instead of penetrating your plants’ roots, the nitrogen escapes into the air. Getting things right means learning how to mix urea fertilizer with water in just the right proportions, so that plants get the right amount and the rest doesn’t get wasted without giving plants a taste of wellbeing.

Preparing to Mix Urea Fertilizer with Water

Before you begin the process of mixing urea fertilizer with water, it is recommended that you collect the right equipment and review the conditions necessary for the mix to work optimally. ‘We need to make sure urea dissolves in the water, and the plants absorb nitrogen,’ says the soil scientist Dr Lisa Franklin.

Necessary Tools and Safety Equipment

Tools: One needs to use a scale or proper measuring cups to get the proper ratios of urea to water.

Container: Plastic or stainless steel, clean and non-reactive with urea.

Safety Gear: Before handling freeze-dried urea granules, protect your skin and eyes with gloves and goggles. These chemicals can cause skin irritation and eye damage if you come in direct contact with them.

Factors to Consider Before Mixing

Temperature of the water: Urea dissolves the best in the warm water. The water temperature could be cold and slow down the dissolution process, making it inefficient.

urea quality: Look for the urea without impurities and clumps. Good quality urea is dry and free-flowing.

Environmental Conditions: Do not mix urea in strongly windy or extremely hot conditions to reduce the risk of volatilisation.

Dr Franklin advices that ‘Always measure your water, temperature and Urea, crystals’ physical attributes because, guess what?? they have a huge impact on your water solution being as strength, upon putting it to your plants.’

When mixing, he says, by accounting for these factors, you will come out significantly ahead both in the quality of nutrients in your urea solution ready to apply and in the nutrients delivered to your plants.

mix urea fertilizer with water
mix urea fertilizer with water

Step-by-Step Guide to Mixing Urea Fertilizer with Water

If done right, mixing of urea fertilizer into water is not difficult. If you follow the procedure properly, the urea will completely dissolve so that the nutrients become available for the plants. Urea contains 47 percent nitrogen and, when used by plants and animals, gives off up to 57 percent nitrogen as a waste. This provides an opportunity to recycle the nitrogen. Here is how to prepare the best mixture for easy application:

Step 1: Measuring the Correct Proportions of Urea and Water

The ratio is 30% urea: mix 30g urea with 100ml of water. Adjust the amounts according to your requirement, but always maintain the same ratio if you want a saturated solution that is readily absorbed by the plant.

Precision: Weigh urea on a digital scale – urea is hygroscopic and so not weighable by ordinary screens, and urea that’s been opened needs to be reweighed. In order to achieve the desired results, water volume must be exactly measured, either using a graduated cylinder or a measuring jug.

Step 2: Mixing Process Tips to Ensure Complete Dissolution of Urea

Stir: When using a stir stick, stir the urea until fully dissolved. This is best accomplished if the stick is pushed up to the base of a funnel and rotated around. If using a mechanical stirrer, refer to the mechanical stirrer operation instructions and test a small amount of water with your stirrer before proceeding with the larger volume.

Temperature: warmer water ions more easily, so try water between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F).

Step 3: Adjusting the Mixture for Specific Plant Types and Growth Stages

When farming a larger area, it may be necessary to add additional sets of balls to the winder. These balls can be attached with wire coat hangers. For young or sensitive plants, a further dilution of the urea solution may be considered (there is a risk of nitrogen burn if the plants are too young).

Time of Application: Spray the urea solution in early morning or evening to reduce losses by volatilisation and to allow plants to take up the ingredients contained in the spray.

According to Alan Harper, an expert on plant nutrition, ‘You need to make sure the urea is totally dissolved in the water. If it’s not, then the urea particles will end up in select patches of your garden, which could result in some plants over fertilised, some toxic and some not getting enough.’

With this recipe in hand, the student worker can either use gradient tubes or a length of glass cleanly broken at each step to deliver up to 13 pipets of an ideal and nourishing urea solution for the plants.

Best Practices for Applying Mixed Urea Fertilizer

You need to take some measures right after you have mixed the urea fertilizer with water to ensure the best result of plants growth and health. Here are some techniques suitable for different type of plants and advice on how often you should apply the fertilizer at the best time.

Techniques for Applying the Urea Solution

Spraying: For bigger areas such as fields or extensive gardens, mount the urea solution in a sprayer or watering can and evenly spray the solution over the area; the solution should be sprayed over the top of the plant where the root absorbs the nutrients.

Foliar Application: In this technique, we spray urea solution directly on to the leaves of the plant. This is useful to provide nutrients especially when plants show their symptoms of nitrogen deficiency through their yellow leaves.

Drip irrigation: direct application of urea solution into a drip irrigation system means nutrients produce a better effect to the plant roots, thus minimises the effluent in production and prevents high nitrogen volatilisation.

Timing and Frequency of Application

Growth Phase: Apply only during the period of more vigorous plant growth, usually during the spring or just before anticipated growth peaks.

Environmental conditions: You can apply it when cool in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation of water, keeping more urea where you want it in the soil.

Frequency: Depending upon the crop, reapplication might need to be made every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season to keep soil nitrogen levels optimised.

Emily Clarkson, a hydroponics specialist and formula innovator at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth, says: ‘Once you have developed a nutrient solution for your application, you monitor plant response after application and adjust concentration and/or frequency with response to growth and environmental conditions.’

Adhering to these best practices allows you to enhance the ‘value’ of the urea fertilizer input, resulting in stronger and greener plants.

how to mix urea fertilizer with water
how to mix urea fertilizer with water

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When you’re mixing and watering your urea fertilizer, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across some problems. If you’re aware of these problems and how to deal with them, you’ll ensure no waste or damage occurs to the plants that you’re interested in fertilising.

Handling Undissolved Particles

Poor Mixing: If you see that your drink has particles that didn’t dissolve, it probably means you haven’t mixed your drink long enough or the water you are using is too cold. Make sure the water is warm enough and stir it until all ingredients are well combined.

Stale or Moist Urea: This is urea that has been exposed to moisture. It can cake up and be hard to hydrate. Again: always use fresh urea, dry and uncompromised.

Adjusting Mixture Ratios Based on Observed Plant Response

Symptoms of Over-Fertilising with This Mixture: If plants respond with nitrogen burn (yellowing or burnt leaf tips) reduce the urea ratio in the mixture to 30 parts compost to one part urea. Also, increase the water, and reduce the frequency of feeding.

Under-Fertilization: If the plants continue to display symptoms of nitrogen deficiency (ie, general yellowing of leaves, stunting), try increasing the percentage of the urea solution slightly or applying it more often.

Expert Advice

Marcus Young, a plant pathologist, suggests checking your soil’s pH every few weeks after applying urea. ‘Over time, urea gradually tends to make the soil more alkaline, which could reduce the absorption of other important nutrients.’ To keep nutrient levels more balanced and plants healthier, he suggests you can amend the pH of your soil by adding sulphur or peat.

If you stay alert and attentive to the condition of your plants and the health of your soil, these common problems associated with urea-fertilizer use can be successfully managed. This means testing your plants and the environment frequently, and consistently making adjustments to your growing practices. In the long term, you will ensure better growth for your garden or crop and a positive impact on environmental sustainability.


If you follow this general guide for mixing urea with water prior to use, all the way from preparation to the fine details of preventing white dusting, your application of urea fertilizer will maximise its potential, getting the most out of this great nutrient for your plants.

Recap of Key Steps

Correct dosage: Making sure urea gets completely dissolved in warm water helps the application to be effective.

Methods of Application: Methods of application, such as broadcasting, foliar application, drip irrigation, can be used to deliver nutrients where plants can best absorb them.

Monitor and Adjust: Continued observation of plant performance and soil conditions after application will guide you in adjusting your programme to meet specific environmental demands and plant reponses.

Encouragement for Ongoing Care

‘Use of urea fertilizer is most beneficial but must be managed with care – taking into account local conditions and plant requirements – to sustain its benefits to agriculture and minimise its impact on the environment,’ adds Dr Linda Fielding, an agricultural sciences professor at the University of Technology, Sydney. We too need to continue to learn and adapt to changing or unpredictable conditions and plant needs so that urea is applied most effectively and sustainably.

These practices will help you to accomplish your goals of having a great-looking lawn or garden – and of doing so in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. The quest for accomplishing and improving a landscape is never-ending. It requires keeping up with new information, being open to evolving your style, and constantly making improvements.

Here are three references :

  1. Plant4Harvest: This resource offers a practical guide on safely and effectively mixing urea fertilizer with water, including the recommended ratios and application tips to ensure the best results for your plants.
  2. Krostrade UK: Provides a step-by-step process on mixing urea fertilizer with water, including specific tips for ensuring the urea is fully dissolved and ready for application. This guide is particularly helpful for gardeners looking to use urea in their home gardens.
  3. IFFCO Nano Urea: This source discusses the benefits and methods of using urea in a more efficient form, including detailed information on mixing it with water. The guidelines are aimed at maximizing plant uptake and minimizing loss.
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