Fertilizers may help increase plant health and output in a variety of ways. Each kind of fertilizer provides a different set of nutrients. But which should you choose? A recommended fertilizer is diesel exhaust fluid. Is it okay to use on plants? We did the research and have an answer for you.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is an excellent fertilizer that is safe to use on plants. This chemical used in automobiles is non-toxic and non-pollutant. DEF is high in nitrogen which plants need.

Yet, this is not the sole nutrient that helps plants develop. Potassium and phosphate are also required. These nutrients may be found in a variety of fertilizers.

To flourish, plants need more than simply air, water, and sunshine. They, too, need nutrition. Continue reading to learn more about how fertilizers may be an useful source of nutrition.

Gardener adding fertilizer to her plants, Gardener adding fertilizer to her plants, Can You Use Diesel Exhaust Fluid For Fertilizer?

How Does Fertilizer Work?

Fertilizer supplies nutrients essential for plant development and production. Soil is naturally fertile, but adding fertilizer will make it a better plant breeding ground.

It may also replace nutrients depleted by harvested crops.

Farmers and home gardeners use fertilizer not just for crop growth. Moreover, it helps plants adjust to the soil and different weather conditions. It also corrects plant nutritional deficits.

Spraying pesticide to the plant due to disease

These are either naturally or chemically made.

What Nutrients Are In Fertilizer?

Different fertilizers combine the three main macronutrients to make soil favorable for plant growth.


Plants need nitrogen (N) because it is better absorbed by plants than other nutrients. The use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers encourages leaf growth and healthy foliage.

Nitrogen is required for the chlorophyll synthesis. It aids plants in obtaining energy from the sun in order for photosynthesis to occur. Nitrogen is also essential for the roots to maintain moisture and aid in nutrient absorption.

As plants mature, their leaves begin to become yellow or light green. lack nitrogen. It also slows down the growth of plants as well.


Phosphorus-rich plants have strong roots. This facilitates the uptake of nutrients and moisture from the soil. Young plants and seedlings will benefit from phosphorous (P) as this encourages root growth.

The leaves are dull when plants lack phosphorous. In addition, the tips and edges yellow or brown.


Crop production is increased with potassium (K) fertilizer. Potassium assists in the formation of plant food. As a result, the quality of the seed and grain rises considerably.

Plants may also survive during droughts because potassium inhibits water loss.

Potassium deficiency This causes slower growth and decreased crop output. Also, plants will be less resistant to plant disease and pests. When plants lack potassium, the tips of their leaves become dark and curl.

What Are Chemical Fertilizers?

A chemical fertilizer Manufactured plant nourishment, sometimes known as inorganic fertilizer. It undergoes a chemical process and contains different nutrients.

The use of chemical fertilizer promotes root development, healthy leaves, and high-quality produce.

Generic photo of man holding plant and chemical and nutrients inside a plant

What Is Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

Diesel Exhaust Fluid ( DEF ) is a chemical fertilizer made of of synthetic urea and de-ionized water. DEF is stored in a separate tank in diesel vehicles. Its purpose is to reduce nitrogen oxides.

This harmful gas emitted by vehicles can cause heart and respiratory disease. DEF, when sprayed into the exhaust system, decreases nitrogen oxides by up to 50%. 90%. It is decomposed into nitrogen and water, which are less harmful to the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA In order to be ecologically friendly, diesel engines must have a selective catalytic reduction system.

For this system to work, it needs a chemical fluid to break down harmful gas. It use DEF because it is non-hazardous to the environment.

Since DEF is 1/3 urea, a standard fertilizer, and the rest is water, it is safe for use on plants. DEF is a non-hazardous and non-flammable combination with no odor or color.

Can I use diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) as fertilizer in my garden?


A pile of Urea pellets

One of the most popularly used fertilizers is urea. This is a byproduct of urine which has nitrogen content. This is a commercially made synthetic substance.

Urea has a high nitrogen content and readily transforms to ammonia. Ammonia helps release nitrogen into the soil to encourage plant growth.

This is not toxic to humans.  Exposure It may irritate the skin and eyes and impair breathing, but it is not fatal.

On Amazon, you can get this urea 46-0-0 nitrogen fertilizer.

What Are Organic Fertilizers?

Natural fertilizers, such as animal dung and compost, may also help plants. Organic fertilizer may take a little longer to work its magic on the plants.

It does, however, help the soil become healthier by providing minerals that promote plant development.

Farm Manure

A wheel barrow full of farm manure

Farm waste includes things like animal excrement and pee. Nonetheless, materials utilized as bedding Organic manure is also available for animals. Examples are wood shavings, corn cobbs, hay, hemp, and straws from grains.

Farm manure help improves soil quality because it has three primary forms of nutrients – nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. Farm manure also helps the soil retain moisture.

It also promotes the development of organisms that are beneficial to plants.


Another organic way to improve soil is compost The usage of compost improves the condition of the soil. It increases the fertility of the ground, making plants thrive better.

Compostable items include dried leaves, branches, twigs, vegetable peels, and other kitchen trash. Build a fence of chicken wire or bricks for composting in the backyard.

Layer the gathered materials starting with branches and twigs, to allow oxygen to circulate in a pile. Then throw in some food scraps and dry leaves. Cover with dirt or manure.

This will provide nutrients while also allowing the other items to degrade. Cover with sawdust or hay to keep the moisture.

Turn the pile every 2-4 weeks. When the pile is dry, add water. It will take two months to two years before compost will be ready for use.


Digging on the ground is another option to make compost following the same layering of materials. Nevertheless, compost containers and tumblers are also available.

The instructions for using the bin differ. So, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get good compost results.


Another nutrient that plants need is calcium. Eggshells are abundant in calcium, which promotes plant development. So do not throw away those eggshells, as these are a good form of fertilizer.

To eliminate residue, wash the eggshells. But, take care to maintain the membrane intact. Let the eggshell to dry completely before crushing or grinding it.

Using a food processor is the quickest method to do this. Crushed or powdered eggshells added to the soil will decompose faster.

Throwing eggshells to a compost

How Do You Read Fertilizer Numbers?

Fertilizer, as previously said, is a mixture of several nutrients. The mix is represented by three digits on the fertilizer box. This is known as the standard. fertilizer grade .

The first value reflects the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer combination. The second value indicates the phosphorus content. The last figure represents the quantity of potassium.

A fertilizer with the numerals 20-20-20 on the label, for example, includes 20% nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium.

Nevertheless, not all fertilizer bags will have all three macronutrients. The combination of numbers will also change depending on the purpose of the fertilizer or for specific plants.

On Amazon, you can get this 20-20-20 all-purpose fertilizer.

What Is The Correct Way To Use Fertilizer?

Fertilizers come in a variety of forms. One is a liquid, similar to DEF. It can also be in powder or granular form. These are directly placed on the soil or sprayed on the crops.

Liquid When utilized, fertilizer works quicker than solid fertilizers. Before using, dilute this concentrated solution with water. The leaves absorb fertilizer poured on the plants.

Its popularity has grown due to its simplicity of usage. You should apply it at the beginning of the growing season to see the best results.

Can I use diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) as fertilizer in my garden?

Solid fertilizer has more active chemicals. This makes it more cost-effective since you will need less for each usage. Distribute the powdered and granular fertilizers on the ground.

Also, water the plants after fertilizer application for better absorption. Granular fertilizer is even available in a slow-release form. The soil will absorb this over time, so over-fertilizing is avoided.

Can I use diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) as fertilizer in my garden?

In Conclusion

Gardener adding fertilizer to her plants

Depleted nutrients limit the growth of plants. DEF and other fertilizers will restore these nutrients, allowing the plants to grow.

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Related Questions

  • Can you use diesel exhaust fluid as fertilizer?

    Apparently the only ingredients in DEF are Urea and water, and it comes out to being a 15-0-0 fertilizer. It’s also quite inexpensive, costing roughly $4 per gallon at your local Wal-Mart.

  • Is DEF fluid toxic to plants?

    DEF is 32.5% synthetic urea and 67.5% de-ionized water. The good news is that DEF is completely nontoxic. Nonpolluting.

  • Is DEF safe for plants?

    Indeed, DEF may be used on plants (at the required amount of dilution to avoid turning your lawn brown), but why would you want to when bagged urea fertilizer powder is much, much cheaper than the pure urea in DEF?

  • What can I do with old DEF fluid?

    If DEF is harmful, avoid using it. Immediately dispose of it in an ecologically appropriate manner. Do not put contaminated DEF down the drain or on the side of the road. Each area has proper standards for disposing of DEF so check with your local government or DEF provider.

Lawn Care Rapid City SD

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

Welcome to the most trustworthy and best lawn service Rapid City Sd team! We have been working for a couple of years and we have proven how we manage different types of yard maintenance services that our customers may need. From grass cutting service to lawn fertilization, you can entrust everything in us.

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