Urine as fertilizer (Human Urine to be exact)

June 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Compost/mulch, Soils

Tuesday 6-12-2012

I am not a fan of buying any type of fertilizers for my garden. There are many ways to improve your soil fertility without buying and spreading fertilizers. You can make compost, grow nitrogen fixing cover crops, you can mulch, and add manure from your animals. There is another very simple way to improve soil fertility that I think most gardeners don’t think about. You can use human urine in the garden for fertilizer.


Human urine is actually very high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the three major elements that you find on bags of fertilizer. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually sterile when it is fresh. If you are looking to be a self-sufficient gardener, recycling your urine as fertilizer back into the garden is a good way to close that loop. This takes a “waste” stream, and turns it into an asset.


Using human urine as fertilizer was a widespread practice in ancient times, and is still used in some parts of the world today. I know some of my readers may think that this is really disgusting, but I would just ask that you open your mind a little, and think about it.  


Now there are a couple of things to know about doing this.

1. I recommend that you dilute your urine in a 10-1 ratio of urine to water. No need to get exact, just estimate. This will lessen the chance of burning your plants. The reason why your dog burns spots in your lawn is because his urine isn’t diluted.


2. Don’t dump the urine mixture on your plants. Spread around the roots. It should not touch the leaves or stem. Don’t freak out if it does though. You are just more likely to get fertilizer burn if you put it directly on the leaves.


3. A good indication of nitrogen need, is if your plant leaves look yellow. If so, these plants would be a good candidate for a shot of urine fertilizer. On the other hand, if you fertilize, and you get a flurry of lush vegetation, but no fruit, than you may be fertilizing too much.


4. If you have any leftover urine, that you don’t need, it is not a bad idea, to spread it around fence posts, to help to keep predators out.

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