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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:


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



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.

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