A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Final Gardening Frontier - Human Urine as Fertilizer

I've started reading articles with increasing frequency about utilizing your own "liquid waste" as fertilizer in the garden.  Perhaps this is because I'm reading more extreme gardening publications than ever before, or maybe it's because the idea is starting to go more main stream (yeah I deliberately made that two words so that it's also a potty pun).  Either way I've been reading a lot about using human urine as fertilizer. 

Even though human urine is almost completely sterile and is easily the most innocuous thing to come out of the human body, there is still the ick factor of peeing in your garden, especially if it's around plants you plan on eating, like ever.  Urine is a rich source of nitrogen, so rich in fact that they recommend watering it down 20:1 with water so that it doesn't burn your plants. And even if you don't want to use it directly on your plants, adding it to just your compost pile could really boost the activity in your compost pile.

Mother Earth News had an article about liquid fertilizers recently and included using urine as a fertilizer, Popular Science has written about it before too.  In this regard human urine has the potential to be a great organic fertilizer, but can I get over the fact of using personal human waste in the garden?

And for reasons that probably don't need explaining, I don't have pictures for this post...

So would you ever use this liquid fertilizer in your garden?  If you did, would you tell anyone?  I'm not sure that if I ever did this I would tell Alycia about it. 


Anonymous said...

I doubt I would ever go that green, but don't the articles suggest watering it down?

El Gaucho said...

Yes, if added directly to the soil it should be diluted at between 10:1 and 20:1. I'd probably err on the side of caution and over-dilute at 20:1. Or you can supposedly add directly to your compost pile as is. I'll see if I can work up the nerve to try this out this year.