Your Pee: The Secret to Garden Success?

It’s not something you probably bring up in polite conversation with your gardening friends, but did you know that human urine can be a great fertilizer for your garden? Here’s why your garden is missing out if you’re not peeing on it!

Okay, well, not exactly on it, but adding urine to your compost pile can give it a great nitrogen boost, encourage decomposition, and add some good minerals to your soil to make your garden extra healthy and vigorous.

And yes – it’s safe, unless you have a serious infection of certain types, and it’s safe for the plants too – just make sure to dilute it with water if you are using as a liquid fertilizer so it won’t burn the roots, and water the soil – not the leaves.

Adding it to your compost may be a better option, or if you utilize straw bales in your garden, you can “innoculate” them by peeing on them for a couple of months before planting to help them decompose, and build up nutrients in the straw for your plants.

Here are a few tips for using your pee to help you grow a great garden:

Using urine in the garden can help you cut your water use (less flushing) while also cleaning up the environment downstream (no water-polluting fertilizer runoff).

Your #1 Choice For Fertilizer

Recent scientific studies have shown urine is a safe and very effective fertilizer for cabbage, beets, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and pretty much anything else you want to grow. Urine boasts a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 10:1:4, plus more modest amounts of the trace elements plants need to thrive. The nutrients in pee are highly available to plants, too—an extra plus. One estimate suggests a family of four can produce the equivalent of more than 100 pounds of all-purpose garden fertilizer every year. Oh, and the best part? It’s free!…

But ewwww…yuck! Is it safe? Yes! Unless you have a serious infection, urine is usually sterile, and the chances of disease transmission from it on the household level are very, very small….

How To Use Your Very Own Garden Gold (Free Deliveries Daily!)

Depending on your personal plumbing arrangement (guys have the edge here) and the privacy of your garden, you may be tempted to deliver the product to the soil directly. But in most cases, the concentration of nutrients could be too great, which can damage soil microorganisms and burn plants. Direct application is fine, in moderation, for compost piles (especially if you have loads of dry brown, high-carbon materials like fallen leaves, straw, or shredded paper that are crying out for nitrogen) and for straw bales being conditioned for use as planters.

Otherwise, it’s best to collect the raw product in a container with a lid, perhaps with the help of a funnel or a “nuns cap” (a plastic contraption hospitals use to collect samples, which makes it easy for gals to contribute while sitting on the toilet as usual). Experiment until you find a system that works easily for you. Once a day or so, empty the accumulated urine into a watering can, dilute it with 5 to 10 parts of water, and sprinkle the mixture onto the soil around your plants, avoiding getting it on the plants themselves—especially the parts to be eaten—as much as possible. Rotate where you’re applying golden irrigation so that all your plants get a turn every so often.


Add Ashes For More Flowers, Fruits, + Roots

The high nitrogen content of urine makes it perfect for seedlings and leafy crops, but the low potassium content leaves it a bit skimpy on the stuff that flowers, fruits, and roots need. But we can fix that for free, too: Finnish researchers discovered that adding wood ashes to urine fertilizer for tomato plants resulted in sweeter fruit—and four times as much fruit! Adding wood ashes also boosted beet root size. This makes sense, since wood ashes have an N-P-K ratio of about 0:1:3, plus a lot of calcium. A handful of sifted wood ashes…will boost the potassium level in a bucket of liquid gold very nicely.

You can also sprinkle a handful of wood ashes over every 2 to 3 inches of new organic matter in the compost pile. But don’t go overboard….

Read the full article at Rodale’s Organic Life


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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