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emgardener

Urine fertilizer results

14 years ago

This message was posted on the Containers forum, but people here may find it interesting.

Somebody ask for pictures so here goes.

This year I decided to see what I could do with no store bought gardening supplies, both for container and ground vegetable planting.

Used human urine for fertilizer.

Used leaves and dirt for the container mix/soil.

Did 2 containers of bush beans and only used diluted urine as fertilizer:

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This one used 100% leaves for the mix. And added a layer of clay dirt on top after planting the bush bean seeds.

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This one used a mix of 3:1 leaves to clay dirt. Added a top layer of clay dirt both before and after planting the bush bean seeds.

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Here are the plants producing beans. Did quite well. The 3:1 mix seemed to do better, but not a great deal better. However, the 3:1 mix was easier to keep watered.

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Also only used urine for this 3 year old dahlia plant in a 4:2:1 turface:bark:peat mix (also 3 years old). The plant did fabulous. Been blooming profusely for 3 months straight now.

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Here's where the urine only fertilizer really shined. This in-ground Kentucky Wonder bean pole is over 8' tall. It has produced lots of beans, the most every I've every gotten from well over 15 years of planting beans. When the plants were about 1-2 feet tall, I added about 10 cups of urine and diluted it with a hose. The plant leaves had been pale green, but after they turned dark green and the plant grow quickly. Produced massive beans for about 6 wks straight. Then I applied another 10 cups, and the plant took off growing again, producing new flowers, so 2 weeks later the plant is again producing massive bean harvest. Next year I'll add a 2nd tower. The main challenge it to keep picking them before they get to big.

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These Kentucky Wonder pole beans in a SWC, didn't do so good. I used urine for the 1st half of the season and then switched back to chemicals. I believe the 2:1:1 peat:bark:pumice mix which was 2 years old kept the soil too wet and the bacteria couldn't consume organic nitrogen properly. Still got an ok bean harvest though. Won't be putting beans in containers any more, now that the in-soil ones do so well.

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Basil and eggplants did fine with all urine fertilizer. They used the same 4:1:1 2-year-old mix. I believe that the higher bucket design allowed the mix to drain better and allowed the bacteria to do its work compared to the shallower containers that the beans were planted in.

Also I didn't take picture, but in-ground tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash all did well with urine-only fertilizer.

All the in-ground vegetable plants were planted in small holes filled with city compost. Next year I'm going to try in-ground planting of a bean pole, tomato plant, & cucumber plant in just clay dirt with lots of leaves mixed in.

A few notes on using the urine:

I just looked at the plant leaves to determine when to apply some. The beans only needed 2 (large) applications. The rest of the plants needed more frequent applications to keep the leaves a nice green color.

I looked at using ash, but when I tested a urine & ash mixture the pH was over 8. So gave up on that.

The urine I used has a pH of about 6.2, not really acidic.

Also used urine on my fruit trees, they loved it. The orange trees are dark green now, grew the most in any season yet, and have a good fruit set.

Also the container roses we have are on an all urine diet and doing the best ever.

The amount of urine one produces was much more than I could use. Read somewhere that it is enough to fertilizer all your wheat and corn needs. Interestingly it took about 2 weeks for me to get over the yuk feeling. Now, instead, if I miss saving some urine, I feel guilty, like I'm short-changing my plants. And you start to feel somewhat closer to your plants.

I was concerned that this high-N fertilization would lead to lower fruit sets, but just the opposite has been my experience. I was going to use some solid organic fertilizers for PK nutrients for the in-ground plants, but didn't and it they didn't seem to need them.

Posting all this so that people can see that, should they need to, you can grow vegetables, simply and with completely "home-brewed" supplies.

Comments (76)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Plants do not absorb toxic materials from their surroundings though some manufacture them internally (Nightshade and Hemlock for example). So if properly washed in clean water they will be safe. My parents and grandparents lived into their mid to late 80's after using horse, cow and chicken manures on their gardens and powdered arsenic to poision the insects.
    I ate a few fruits and vegetabls fertilized with human urine and feces when I was in Japan in 47 & 48 and am now 81.
    Yesterday I peed into a two gallon bucket, filled it with water and watered some tomato and cucumber plants that I had set out the day before, but because of the odor I refuse to use feces. Lol

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love posts like this, its amazing what people find Uckky, I put tubes from toilet rolls ripped up in my heap and I guarantee those will harvest a whole lot of nasties, as they are used before hand washing and we have all needed to wipe again!
    I personnally haven't used the urine method and earlier today my hubby saw this post and said whats the problem? do you do it, I explained no as our heap is away from the house and garden area at the mo, I am moving it in the fall to the garden area, put we are over looked there and the bucket in the bathroom with my 2 children, would end up being the empty bucket in the living room and urine on the floor!! so he has offered to do it for me, it must be in the genes see above post, hehehe!

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  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Heather, your toilet paper rolls are not likely a problem.

    Microbial life doesn't usually live long on a dry, nonliving surface. The dry, nonliving surfaces to watch out for are the ones used in such rapid succession by a large number of people that germs don't have time to die before the next person comes in contact. Urine, although it's less prone to microbes than other fluids because it's acidic, still probably supports more microbial life than dry cardboard. The article I linked above talks about how the length of time that the microbes spend in the full-strength urine is a significant factor (urine is not acidic enough to kill many microbes on the spot, as, for example, stomach acid might. It will kill them slowly, over a period of about a week for the microbes discussed in the article. If the urine is diluted, it will not kill them as quickly, because the resulting diluted urine is a more hospitable environment for the microbes). I'm not sure how long microbes sit in urine in the body before the urine is excreted, but the article shows that they are still living when we urinate, and die off slowly thereafter.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If urine is added to soil (fed to the roots, not folirary fed), There is no risk at all. The urine formula (urea and other stuff) will be broken down first and plants will up take whatevere they need.
    With the fece, it has to be fully composted before use just like com manure. Composting is a certain way of decomposition and breakdown. Here again, plants will up take whatever they need. Only if bacterially infected fece comes into direct contact with greens/ fruits/roots and it is eaten raw without proper washing, then it can transfer that bacterial disease. In the third world countres when there is a brek out of certain bacterial epidemic, affecting digestive system, people are advised to wash/soak fruits and veggies in permanganate solution.
    In our time and world the use of fece is not practical anyway.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Not practical? Why would it be more or less practical at different times?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Not practical because:
    At different times and places people did not have indoor plumbing and city sewer. The farmer will have a pee room outside the house. Once in a while he would empty that well and use the contents as fertilizer (after mixing it with soil and letting it to decompose).

    Also, at differen time and places there were a lot more farmers than city dwellers.

    o

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    No risk at all??

    That's never a scientifically valid statement. You might say "no riskier than prevailing methods" or "low risk", but I'm not sure either of those statements is true here.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Vanishingly low risk in temperate climates.

    It's an odd logic to say that using feces for plant fertilizer is less practical if one has a flush toilet than if one doesn't. It's the same in either case. Flushing into a septic tank vs aerobic composting are mutually exclusive. The only thing one is 'fertilizing' with a septic system is the groundwater and/or ponds, lakes, and rivers and resultant algae and other undesirable growth..

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use the 2-liter plastic bottles. It does require darn good aim, but the cool thing is that you can still put them through the return machine after using them to store urine many times and they've gotten too stinky and get your deposit money back!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ....Dogs love to eat human feces.....

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sounds like you've done your homework, Em. Glad you're one of the careful ones.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL!
    You all need to wiz over to the pet forum, on the "pet friendly store" thread. this thread is a few years old but I refertilized it.
    Some pet lovers there object to Fifi going into the store because he may pee in the store or leave hair on a pair of slacks, (before someone with creeping critters tries them on before you try them on, [my note]).
    I wonder how they would react to this thread. I don't object to fertilizing veggies this way. You are probably right about urine being benign; but if human urine is safe, the bodily fluids of another species is safer, because as noted above, most bacteria specialize per species. It is a remarkable event when a disease jumps from say, swine, to humans.
    Besides, My spouse and I both have deep, life long scars from people biting us: none from dogs.
    :0)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    wow. I started doing this ,late this summer. mostly hoping to keep out critters.
    I kept the "pot" from an old potty chair.prob close to 35 years old. lol
    I try to take the the urine directly outside cause i would spill it if left in bathroom long. My garden is outside the front door .the front yard , some in the back and side yard
    I couldnt are less if neighbors see. Though I do carry out little pot .usually no one is outside at the time anyway.
    this is reycling to its best. keep it up yall right on
    So I will dilute it with rainwater from my tanks If I could get by with it I would use my old septic tank and disconnect from city sewerrs. My water bill is a few buck like 10 dollars and rest 60 dollars is sewage and drainage charges. I use not much water. It is mostly just me. I have lowflow plumbing fixtures. long before popular and Euro style appliances
    Take care all
    Jean

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have been reading comments on this thread for the past few days. Then ran across an article on ABC.com on same subject. It's an informative, easy to understand article. If you haven't read it already, some of you may find it interesting.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Food Crop Features Human Urine

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks opal52 for finding this link.

    I had considered mixing in ash with urine at the beginning of the season, but I measured the pH of the mixture and it was >10 and my soil and tap water are alkaline, so I decided against it.

    But if they get significantly better harvest with ash, I'll probably try it next year.

    Just did a quick google on Finish soil, it is acidic.

    "In Finland the natural buffering capacity of the mineral soil is rather low. The precambrian bedrock is poor in calcium and consists mainly of acidic rocks."

    So part of the Finish results could be just from the rise in pH the ash caused. I wish these recent scientific articles were free, you usually learn important details from reading them not apparent in the summaries printed.

    Anyway, thanks for posting. This has incentivized me to try ashes on one plant next year.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I feel that in the minds of some of the contributors here are some elements of taboo. OH!NO! urin?!!(LOL).

    Let me tell you a story. Actually it is based on a documentary that I have seen many years ago on public TV.
    They had this multi-stage sort of septic system that they treated sewage. Down the stream a clear water was running.
    The guy in charge of this system/design who was being interviewed, took a glass of that water and drank it in front of the camera, to say that the water is safe to dring.Now the water was originated from the sewer.

    Come on! give me a break! Addind urin to soil (not foliar feeding it) should not be harmfull for all practicall purposes.
    Sure, there is an element of minute risk in all aspects of our daily life. Should we stay away from driving a car? Eating chicen meet, beef, walking on the street?
    Just think about it!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Em, I don't think that a high natural ph needs to preclude the use of urine. Diluted and applied as a foliar drench during the growing season will not increase soil ph, or it can be used to increase the rate of break-down in compost piles.

    I think you are right to be careful with wood-ash application.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "foliar drench"? You are watering down your urine and dumping it on the leaves of your plants? That seems like almost as good an idea as forcing a bunch of people to drink your urine so you can save a nickel!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful, babe.

    BTW, plastic bottles - quite intelligently - do not get refilled with liquids for sale (because in addition to the possibility that some fringie put urine in the bottle there could be just about anything had been in there, huh?). So I save a dime at no cost to anyone.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pn, I wholeheartedly promise not to hate you because you're beautiful.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You're going to need a pretty large household or a lot of patience to make using urine as a fertilizer feasible.

    Organic fertilizers are pretty low in nutrients as it is and diluted urine is pretty low on the list.

    For most people it's going to be a useless endeavor. It'll save money off your water bill from toilet flushing, though.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In fact, each person's yearly production of urine can promote the growth of a significant percentage of said person's food. Well over 50% IME, and probably more like 75 to 90.

    As far as collecting and saving, it's not patience (we all have to whiz, after all) so much as discipline. Sequestering the urine through the non-growing season requires a lot of containers and/or plenty of appropriate carbonaceous material to soak it up. Like the piles of urine-soaked hay or pine shavings that build up over the winter outside horse-barns.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    1 litre of urine = a bit less than 1 gram N at best.

    A human can make about 500 litres a year.

    I cannot fertilize 1/2 the food I consume with that unless I happen to be at home to collect it all and eat pretty light.

    Urine soaked hay is some great compost material f'sure.

    I'm not advising against it's safe use, but it's not too useful unless you got plenty of patience for it or small plots/containers to tend.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's plenty to get my compost cooking.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As an organic gardener, I've found that urine is much easier than store bought organic fertilizers and a huge savings in cost. Obviously if your just buying ~23% N chemically derived Urea fertilizer for 25-50 cents/pound, then using urine doesn't save much. But if you compare it to a 5-5-5 organic fertilizer for $1/pound then the savings are quite substantial. I calculated that I saved about $5 every 2 days of "collection". And being in liquid form, the plants responded much more quickly to it then solid organics.

    There are a bunch of different N% estimates of urine. I've read about from 7% to 15%. At the 11% estimate cited below it means 11grams N per litre.

    http://www.ecosanres.org/pdf_files/PM_Report/Chapter_10_The_usefulness_of_urine_a.pdf

    The proportion of useful plant nutrients in urine will vary a little. According to Wolgast (1993) one litre of urine contains 11gms nitrogen, 0.8 gms. phosphorus and 2 gms. potassium. That is a ratio of NPK of about 11:1:2. If 500 litres of urine are produced by each person per year, that amounts to the equivalent of 5.6 kg nitrogen, 0.4 kg phosphorus and 1.0 kg potassium. The actual amounts of these minerals will vary from one person to another and also from country to country depending on the national diet. The more protein consumed, the more nitrogen is excreted.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thought I jump back in, as the Finnish Study was interesting, but "the first to mix ash and urine"? I wish they had put a reference, as I imagine the paper would actually say the first to conduct an experiment! on this, My pop and dad kept our ash separate adding about half to the compost heap and the rest used neat, I imagine as this was behind a hedge, and I was under strict instruction not to go there when they where gardening and My dad or pop shouting "stay there I will be out in a minute" means that they where having a wee.
    I am not worried about urine as a nurse I understand that urine is pretty sterile and my husbands, generous offer to pee on the compost makes me more confident as he is a microbiologist, by training I feel he would know.
    on the nursey side it is more likely that a lady would transmit e-coli than an gentleman just due to anatomy on 2 fronts (oh er misses!) firstly woman's anatomy for the rectum and urethra are closer and women need to wipe! whatever! front to back ladies! :-) secondly men have 2 sphincter's in the urethra compared to 1 in women which protects them better, from the upward passage of bacteria, which is why women suffer more from urine infections, but in the main, urine infections are real easy to tell, pain, burning, smell, cloudy, and some times particularization, (this is different to sedimentation which you may see, as it is observable on micturition (peeing)) you don't need all of these to have an infection, but they are the general rules of thumb.
    My fave teaching session, I did for Junior nurses was on urine and the power of the nurse to diagnose and report their findings in a concise manner(doctors have no interest mainly)
    if you want I will find the power point and bore the tears out of you, hehe.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    For those of you who want to have ballpark numbers, human urine will have about 10 gr/liter of urea (46/0/0), so 5gr/liter of N, and about a liter per day. Numbers vary depending on protein intake.

    That is 1.8 kg (4lbs) N per year, and certainly more than enough for a 1000 sqft garden, which in turn easily provides all vegetables for a family of three for the whole year. Most of that N, of course, comes from grains, dairy, eggs, and meat that you ate, so it is continuously input in the garden from outside.

    Now for the proper proportion urine-wood ash. Urine is about 0.5/0/0.2, wood ash is about 0/1.5/4 dry weight. Wood ash, of course, contains every micronutrient except S. Most vegetables have requirements in the proportion 2/1/2 to 4/1/4, so a reasonably balanced mix is one liter of urine with about 70 gr of ash (about 2.5 ounces).

    Obviously assuming that you properly dilute everything, and apply ash separately long before planting, or mix in the compost pile, etc. This tallies with my empirical experience, I use about half a trash can of wood ash in the garden, every year.

    Note ash has extremely high pH (10.4), and is about 50% calcium. Its nutrient content varies with the carbon content (basically, hot burning wood will have less char). It varies also with the quality of the wood (less nutrients in dead wood, more in solid, live hardwood) and with the soil in which the tree grew. It can be as low as 0/1/3 and as high as 0/3/8. In the latter case, use only half (1.25 ounces) of what I recommended before. My wood is all local and I know it is at the lower end of those ranges.

    My acid soil takes large amounts of the stuff without a problem. I do use applications of straight ash to kill vegetables that have not been winterkilled in the spring (beats weeding, and I have to fertilize anyway).

    People in the western US will have to be more careful. Also, some veggies take more and some take less of the stuff. Greens like the urine/ash mixture best, but most vegetables like it, beans and carrots are happy with ash alone if they are in good soil, and I never give ash or urine to potatoes (just some compost and mulch).

    You can also compute ash needs from herbivory (what you harvest). If all your veggies and fruits come from the garden, you are taking out about 3gr of K per person per day. Family of three for the year, that is 3-4 kg of K just due to herbivory, or 100 kg of wood ash. I use a third to a fourth of that because much of my K comes from fruits, and also because mulch and compost add significant amounts of it.

    Calculating the N cycle is more difficult, due to bacteria fixing atmospheric N in brown materials, growing or not beans and favas, and thunderstorms. But generally, if you have a wood stove and a used milk jug, no need to ever buy fertilizer.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I understood, but can you do that in English? I am sure some people struggled with my post, the good nurse thing is to use the scientific jargon then translate, in fact for some families our best service, hehe, I imagine most people get K+ but S what is that? sulfer??
    Very good post by the way, what are your qualifications? as this is very technical, so interested? us nursies are pretty quick on the uptake (RN)
    a better ball park for Urine is 1.5 litres as a normal kidneys produce conveniently 1ml a minute as a ball park (unless you are on the beers or ill).
    insensible loss, is ball park, 1 litre a day (insensible= sweat, tears, breathing ect) I am working on UK norms! never sweated as much as I have here, in the summer in the UK

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I find that thriving potato vines quite appreciate a good foliar dose of strong dilute urine. And I have read that it was common practice to dust around potato-rows at planting time with ash to make it harder for CPB to crawl in (I've tried it and did not notice any difference).

    I agree with glib, between ash and urine the eaters can maintain the fertility cycle. We are the livestock.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    S is sulphur, which typically goes up the chimney when you burn wood (some P also goes). S deficiency are rare, and have in fact disappeared from the East Coast due to the constant spewing by coal-fired electric plants.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL, following this discussion reminded me that a google search for info about urine as fertilizer was what brought me to Garden Web in the first place a couple of years ago. I've learned alot here since then...and most has not been about urine. However, it is fun to see this topic discussed again.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "It's all yur'un, P-P".

    When I was a kid a friend's dad would always say that whenever he handed anything to anybody.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is a bit OT - but thought I'd toss it about, as it does relate as far as urine's "useability" is concerned.

    We live about 200 miles from the Anza Borrego Desert State Park - which is a great place in winter to warm up old folks bones - as the winter temps during the day are very pleasant, not to mention the nice clean air, and a "billion" star at night.

    Anyway, I get the local paper from a town in the middle of the desert there - and an article recently brought to my attention the value of "saving ones urine" -

    A Mexican National trying to cross into the country, became lost in some of the most arid and inaccessable part of the desert a few weeks ago. Normally, the park is pretty well patrolled for such cases, but due to "cut-backs" in the budget the patrols are less. A lone patrol did happen to see the man waving to the helicopter from below, the pilot messaged him to stay put, help on the way, and a 4-wheel drive vehicle was sent to resuce.

    The man was resuced and air-lifted to a local hospital, but probably the reason for his survival was that he was carrying a water bottle which contained his own urine.

    Water bottles are placed throughout the desert in summer - with blue flags marking their location - for just such emergencies. Apparently, the man had already used up his ration, and was surviving on his own excreted urine.

    I recall reading somewhere that urine is not contaminated when first excreted from the body.

    By the way, I do use diluted urine on my fruit trees, also chicken manure - but water both in well when I do.

    Just my 2 c's.

    Bejay
    .

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If I was lost in an arid climate without knowing when I'd find water I would start urinating in the water bottle immediately at that point. Better to drink diluted urine the whole time than straight urine at the end when one is in tough shape....

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Good point! But most of us don't think about the end - until the end, I'm afraid.

    However, I'll keep in mind - for awhile anyway.

    Bejay

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks much, emgardener, for the post. I haven't learned this much, this quickly, in one place in a long time. Regards.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here I was sitting on my own little garden secret for the past couple of months, and I find today when I happened on this post that it's not a secret at all. For the past several months, because of a health issue I have been urinating in a bedside urinal to avoid the nuisance of opening the light several times a night, walking to the bathroom, etc. At one point I decided to conduct an experiment. Out of three hot-pepper plants growing in buckets one was much taller and fuller than the other two. I poured a little urine next to the shorter plant and watered it in. Within 2 weeks it was as tall as the tallest one and deep green. I then did the same with the little squirt. Before I knew it, that plant caught up to the others. I then moved into the rest of the garden, and I'm astonished by the results. Nothing fancy. I just pour a little urine alongside the plants and water it in. My broccolis, getting close to picking, are huge. Bush beans, growing in buckets, have been picked numerous times, and still forming new beans while the foliage is trying to die off. In 30 years of gardening I've never seen such vigor. I regret that my age will prevent much future experimentation because there is a lot to be learned here.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    By puting all the information that I have learned here , I know that I do not have the discipline to age my urin fo 3 months(Grin!) and then use it. So here is what I will do:

    In the winter my fire place keeps burning fo at least 8 hours a night. So I get a lot of wood ash.I cut and split my fire wood so its free source on excecise and enjoyment to me.
    I will store the ashes in a trash can, with lid/cover and add the urin to it, to soak it. I may add some hay too.
    Because my soil is generally on the acid side (5.7 to 6.1), this combination should be like hitting two birds with one stone: 1- Raise soil Ph, and 2- fertilize.
    This combined with composting lots of fall leaves, green, kitchen scraps,(with the help of earth worms) should take care of my gardening needs for soil amendment, ph control and fertilizing.

    I do not know about you folks, I am all set and found a way that suits my situation.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Cyrus, I'm not a chemist so I don't know what all happens when urine is stored in wood-ash. My gut feeling is that I wouldn't store a whole winter's worth of urine that way, I'd use sawdust or rotten hay. Then in spring apply ash to the ground and use the urine-soaked material for a slowly nitrogen-releasing mulch.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've always wondered if a good-working, active worm bin might make a satisfactory waterless/composting toilet - but I may never get around to researching it.

    Just my 2 c's.

    Bejay

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I simply cannot wrap my mind around using urine as a fertilizer. What if the urine is, unknown to the farmer, not sterile, in other words, infected?

    Urine belongs in the toilet with the other number.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What is the point of posting without reading first? It's a long thread and a lot has been addressed.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks, pnbrown, for the suggestion. It sounds good.
    I will just store wood ash dry.
    I do get some sawdust and hay too.
    cyrus

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    KNO3 - saltpetre ??

  • 9 years ago

    We live on the east coast (MA) and limestone is everywhere. Have been told by neighbors that everyone's soil hereabouts is too "sweet". Can adding wood ash or urine (or both?) work to acidify our garden area? Blight (especially "late blight") is an awful problem for everyone around here, too. Would using urine or wood ash hinder the blight???

  • 9 years ago

    Probably not, and no, respectively.


  • 9 years ago

    Wood ash is also "sweet" and will further raise the ph of your soil.

  • 9 years ago

    In response to a six year old comment on a very old thread, urine is actually quite sterile. What comes out the other end is not. That's the best thing to wrap your head around.

    I find that putting urine on my compost pile raises the temperature noticeably. It really does seem to accelerate composting.

    Urine sure won't do anything about the pH level of the bed, and wood ash is about the worst thing you can do about alkaline soil. My soil is alkaline, and I consider wood ash mildly toxic waste. (Though in very modest quantities, it is fine to put in a compost pile.) Per unit weight, wood ash is about half as effective in increasing alkalinity as lime.


  • 9 years ago

    emgardener - August 28, 2009, .....if you are still reading this thread just wanted to add that I use urine as a deer repellent and it seems to work well. I don't put it on or near my plants but just around the perimeter of the garden. Was wondering if you noticed that it keeps deer or other critters at bay too? Need to refresh after each rainfall.

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