Last Updated on April 8, 2022 by Fabiola L.
You can find ammonia in common fertilizers, but how potent is it, and will ammonia kill grass? Grass is known to be tender, and too much of an inappropriate fertilizer can quickly burn it. But ammonia is found in household items, so how dangerous could it be?
It’s essential to understand that there are several types of ammonia, and not all of them are beneficial for your grass. So, to answer will ammonia kill grass, we first need to define what kind of ammonia you’re using.
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Ammonia is a gas with a pungent smell. It occurs naturally and can be found even in our bodies. It’s a key component in producing many products we use daily like textiles, plastic, and even as refrigerant gas. You probably have iceblocks with ammonia in them if you have a cooler!
Now back to the ammonia in gardening. Ammonia is not a dangerous substance when used safely. However, will ammonia kill grass if not used properly? Very likely, so it’s crucial to rely on fertilizers instead of reaching for any ammonia.
Ammonia As Fertilizer
The primary goal of ammonia in fertilizers is to release nitrogen into the soil, helping the plant thrive.
Nitrogen is a big part of chlorophyll, essential in feeding and sustaining the plant. It also serves as a building block for proteins, another vital part of the plant’s life.
When we introduce ammonia into the soil, nitrifying bacteria convert it into nitrates, which the plants use in building tissue. So how will ammonia kill grass, when it’s feeding it?
Ammonia Toxicity – Will Ammonia Kill Grass
Does ammonia burn grass if not converted into nitrates? There’s a condition called ammonium toxicity. It can reduce seed germination and destroy the plant’s roots and stem. We can’t be sure will ammonia kill grass, but there are some precautious measures you can take.
Don’t reapply ammonia fertilizer if your grass or other plants are in a spot that doesn’t receive much light. Or if you’re suffering dreadful cold and cloudy weather for a while. This automatically excludes fall as a season to use ammonia fertilizer.
Ammonia releases nitrogen, but the plants need chlorophyll to incorporate this nitrogen into their tissue. Without light, the plants barely produce enough chlorophyll. So will ammonia kill grass if there’s not enough light? In most cases, yes.
Ammonia To Kill Weeds
If it’s used in fertilizers, how will ammonia kill grass and weeds? Well, there are different types of ammonia. Household ammonia that you might use to clean your bath is a mighty weed killer. However, it is a non-selective killer, which means it might kill your flowers; if you apply it close enough. Will household ammonia kill grass together with your flowers? Yes, so you must apply it cautiously and away from your favorite plants.
Household ammonia is used with water in a ratio of 2:1. When applied, ammonia makes the soil alkaline, but it turns it acid in a few days. As a result, you might kill unwanted weeds, but you won’t be able to plant new ones soon.
Types Of Ammonia
We know ammonium hydroxide as household ammonia and part of many cleaning supplies. However, you might not know that you can effectively kill ground ivy, poison sumac, dandelion, ragweeds, and crabgrass with a single application.
How does it work? You need to dilute ammonium hydroxide with 1/3 water spray the whole plant and the surrounding soil. The plants absorb the solution, the ammonia makes its way to the cells and dehydrates them. But how long will it take for ammonia to kill grass? If you manage to apply it correctly, it can dry out the plant in less than a week.
Ammonium sulfate is rarely used as a fertilizer. Its primary use is in regulating the pH of the soil. If you have plants that thrive in acidic soil, you may use ammonium sulfate to make the soil more acidic. If the soil is too alkaline, ammonium sulfate can make it neutral.
However, will ammonia kill grass if it’s in the form of ammonium sulfate? We can’t say for sure, as grass thrives in neutral to slightly acidic soil. If you apply too much and bring the soil’s pH level below 6, it will make it too acidic and kill the grass.
Ammonium Phosphate Sulfate
Will ammonia kill grass instead of fertilizing it? Not if you use ammonium phosphate sulfate. This is the most gentle version of ammonia used on dehydrated or stressed crops.
There are minimal chances for ammonium phosphate sulfate to kill or damage your plants. But if you want a more significant result, you need to use a larger quantity. You need 6 pounds of the solution for every 1000 square feet in order to provide 1 pound of nitrogen.
Ammonium Nitrate – Will Ammonia Kill Grass
Almost 90% of the global production of ammonia is used in fertilizers. This is where ammonium nitrate comes up; it’s a potent fertilizer that releases nitrogen back into depleted soil.
So, can I spray ammonia on my grass if I’ve just planted it? Due to its potency, ammonium nitrate shouldn’t be applied to seeds or new plants. It’s best used on established crops or grass; otherwise, it will dry out and kill the grass.
To release 1 pound of nitrogen in 1000 square feet, you need to apply 3 pounds of ammonia nitrate.
Bottom Line: Will Ammonia Kill Grass And Weeds?
So, will ammonia kill grass? There are several things you need to pay attention to first. The type of ammonia you use, the way and time of application can determine will ammonia kill grass or feed it.
Household ammonia, together with ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate are potent solutions that you must use cautiously. On the other hand, ammonium phosphate sulfate is gentle fertilizer that can’t damage your grass. Different ammonia suits different needs; the correct type will kill stubborn grass effectively.
How long will it take for ammonia to kill grass?
Ammonia can dehydrate and kill the grass with one application if it's applied correctly. Make sure to spray the whole plant, including the surrounding soil.
Can I spray ammonia on my grass?
You can spray ammonium nitrate to feed your grass or ammonium hydroxide to kill it. To kill the grass, dilute the ammonia with water in ratio 2:1 and apply to the whole plant.
Does ammonia burn grass?
Ammonium nitrate can burn new grass as it's a potent fertilizer. Household ammonia is not a gardening solution, but it can also burn the grass.
Will household ammonia kill grass?
Household ammonia will kill grass and most weeds. Once the plant absorbs it, the ammonia dehydrates the cells leading to willing and complete drying.
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Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.