Anhydrous ammonia sprayed on garden : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our neighbor has sprayed a section of our flower garden with anhydrous ammonia. We had nothing planted there yet. Can we still plant seeds and seedlings in this area? We've heard that nothing will grow there anymore. Thanks in advance for you help. Bev

-- Bev Carney (, May 19, 2000


Anhydrous ammonia is injected in the ground not sprayed--so, how did this happen ? ruptured hose ? If it is just the overspray from the injectors than you will be ok. No guarantees but it would take a fairly major rupture to cause severe problems to topsoil. It is a nitrogen fertilizer--not a pesticide or herbicide. It is the most dangerous of chemicals on a farm !

-- Joel Rosen (, May 19, 2000.

Dear Bev -

Anhydrous is very volatile and will escape into the atmosphere with ease. I doubt you will have residual nitrogen left in your flower bed (however it is very toxic to microbes and other beneficial soil critters - could have cut back soil bug activity, but they will return). At normal atmospheric pressures, anhydrous is constantly escaping into the atmosphere, though, and this is reason it is stored under pressure, then applied with an injection system. Best Wishes. N Mays

-- N Mays (, May 19, 2000.

Bev, I'm with the others, if this is anhydrous, your flower garden just got a big dose of nitrogen. Why are you thinking nothing will grow there anymore? The farmers wouldn't be applying it to their fields every year if that was true. If the spray was from normal application, won't be much effect. If the spray was from some sort of leak, most of it still won't be in or on your soil. Combat it by adding some good top soil or compost and making sure any fertilizer or additives you add to the area are low in nitrogen. You could also plant ornamentals known for their foliage production instead of flowering in the area.

If your flower bed was actually sprayed, are you sure it was anhydrous? Pesticides and herbicides are sprayed, not anhydrous. Then you've got a different set of problems that can be fixed with more time and attention. Generally areas that are sterilized with pesticides or herbicides have had a lot more happen than spraying (although there are a few exceptions). The dead spots are created by spills and massive leaks of liquids. And under current farming techniques, where nothing is done about it, yes, the land is dead for years. If you live in the country, you learn to spot those areas. But not all "dead" areas are from pesticide/herbicide over-application either.

If your flower bed was sprayed and you're calling it anhydrous ammonia because of the smell, you got liquid manure. Add good top soil or compost, low nitrogen additives and grow foliage crops this year.

Any good gardening book will explain the effects of excess nitrogen on plants. If this year's plants seem to be suffering from it, plant foliage crops again until it gets better. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, May 19, 2000.

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