Veggie Gardener Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! New here, and I have an out-of-the-box question....

I have been gardening for a few years now, we live in a subdivision where the topsoil was pulled off and sold before construction of houses began (nice, huh?!). Our soil is pure clay, it's rock hard when it's dry and just awful to work with.

I put raised beds and added topsoil in our back yard. The soil is workable now, and we have been amending it every year to try to make it good for veggie gardening. Still, when we tested it this year it has almost NO nitrogen at all.

SO.... being "green", and wanting to enjoy organic veggies, I ran across some articles about using diluted human urine for fertilizer to replace nitrogen. Apparently human urine has a perfect balance of electrolytes and nutrients for food production (isn't the human body AMAZING?). It sounds very appealing.... except for the pee part.

Has anyone heard of this before, and has anyone tried it?

There is an "ick" factor, but as a registered nurse, I am aware that urine is sterile under normal circumstances, and I can overlook any ickiness, if the benefits are there. So "EEEWWW GROSSS!!" is not really a factor for me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
580 Posts
are you still tilling the soil? for me I have gone with the (back to eden) method,no tilling just layers of stuff. It helps balance the soil much better also if you can get your hands on composted chicken manure it is also loaded with nitrogen. as far as using human urine you don't use it straight but watered down considerably.collecting it you have to be either very creative or use a composting toilet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
We did turn the raised beds and mixed in compost again this year. The veggie garden soil is soft and drains well. Have you ever run into anyone on here or IRL that has tried that? I think we are going to go for it, I love the fact that it's free. And the more I read about it, the more I am convinced that it is just another example of how we were designed to survive.

One article I read said that one person produces enough fertilizer through urine per year to adequately fertilize something like 80% of their own veggie needs for 1 year. The number 1 ingredient in commercial liquid fertilizers is Urea.... which is the nitrogen compound in urine.... only it's from processed animal urine. And in commercial liquid fertilizer, it's in the exact proportions that are naturally produced by humans. So I can pick between something I produce for free in my own home, or purchase bottled animal urine that has been packaged in plastic and carted in trucks to the store. I am truly surprised that I have not heard more about this in conventional forums!!

Maybe I'm weird.... Actually, probably I'm weird. But I just think it's kind of nifty. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
We use our urine to keep the critters away, but what the heck-give it a try. What ratio do the articles tell you to use? I think I'll try it also. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have been using a 10% concentration (approximately). We pee into a grape juice jug, and then I take it once a day and dilute it in a plastic storage container and use a plastic pitcher to distribute the "fertilizer." Our family of 2 adults and 2 kids produces and catches approximately 2 liters of undiluted urine per day, which translates into about 5 gallons of the good stuff. If I have extra, I put it on the yard, and the grass in those spots is looking absolutely marvelous. My husband (who is also a nurse) went from EWW to OMG. He's a total convert now.

I will try to attach a picture of the growth from the past 2 weeks. It's RIDICULOUS. We retested the soil after a week of daily distribution, and it's gone from almost no nitrogen to a normal level of nitrogen. The plants directly reflect this. We are still getting lots of blooms and fruits, and no signs of any fertilizer-related problems. Some places stated that salt from urine created problems, but we have very quickly draining soil, and lots of rain the past 2 weeks, and it doesn't seem to be an issue for us. Still no detectable smell, and my nose is very keen.

I also have been diluting to 5%, and have tried it on a few of my potted plants. They also love it.

Fabulous, yes. Socially acceptable, perhaps not. But the more we see, the more we mourn all the yellow gold that we have flushed down the toilet (haha). Imagine the water savings from not flushing every time you pee! I just don't see a downside to this.

IMG_9577 by erinsparin, on Flickr
IMG_8231 by erinsparin, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Here's another update. 1 week later.... Click back and forth in Flickr and you can see the AMAZING amount of growth. The Zukes and tomatoes are out of control!!!

And when you go to the 1st picture, and realize that all this has happened in just 20 days.... And it sat dormant in low-nitrogen soil for 3 weeks before that with barely any growth at all. I'm blown away. BLOWN AWAY! This is thanks to diluted human urine fertilizer. I think that in a perfect scenario, we would have perfect soil that did not require multiple applications of any fertilizer.... but we are stuck with what we have got this season. So we are just having to work with what we were given. Our goal is still to get the soil more permanently situated. This is a bandaid. And a freaking fabulous one, at that.

image by erinsparin, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
We are still on fire here. The tomatoes are a good 10 feet tall now, and EXTREMELY productive. The cucumber plants are thriving and are still lush and green and throwing off cukes faster than I can use them up (fridge pickles are my friend!). The kale has been continuously producing enormous amounts, and we full harvested all of our beets and carrots, which are both replanted.

Comparing this to last year, it's 50 times more productive, the plants are huge compared to what they were last year. Same dirt, same seeds, same location...... plus urine.

Very pleased.

Garden 8/8/14 by erinsparin, on Flickr
Garden 8/8/14 by erinsparin, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I've tried it but can't remember to be consist enough to notice results. There's always next year! I wonder if I can store it outside and let it freeze over the winter so that I'll have a jump start on the garden beds. hmmm
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top