Want a Great Garden? Pee in It
We know that it sounds weird and depending on where your garden is located it may be illegal, but hear us out.
Permaculture News says that human urine is great for plants, providing nutrients that plants need. And, it's safe.
Yes, it sounds gross but, once it is explained, it makes total sense.
According to the Permaculture News website:
Human urine provides an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and trace elements for plants - Permaculture News
The National Institute of Health lists the components of urine:
Human urine is composed primarily of water (95%). The rest is urea (2%), creatinine (0.1%), uric acid (0.03%), chloride, sodium, potassium, sulphate, ammonium, phosphate and other ions and molecules in lesser amounts - National Instutue of Health
Here's what happens when we plant vegetable gardens: the vegetable plant's roots grow into the soil and fan out, sucking precious minerals from the soil.
When we pull out the plants at the end of the season, many of those nutrients will not be replenished naturally for a long time.
And what do we do with the vegetables when we pick them? We eat them, using the nutrients for our bodies.
And what happens when there are more nutrients in our food than our bodies need? We pee it away. Down the ol' flusher. What a waste, right?
If the idea of having human urine fertilizing your garden scares you or grosses you out, I assume that you have no clue what birds, snakes, rabbits, cats, dogs, and hundreds of other insects and varmints do in your garden.
The average American can fill up to 3 bathtubs with urine every year, about 130 gallons' worth. That's a lot of wasted nutrients!
So how do you apply human urine to your garden? You can do it in a few ways.
USE IT FRESH
Earlier in the story, we joked about peeing directly into your garden and how that might break some obscenity laws if your garden is in plain view. It is not recommended that you urinate directly into your garden, because the urine needs to be diluted with water. Read on.
If you are to use urine directly in your garden, you should use it as soon as it is available. After about a day, fresh urine will turn into mostly ammonia, and that is when urine begins to smell not-so-good.
You should also not use it full-strength; it is recommended you dilute your urine with water at a 1:10 or 1:15 ratio for use in an outdoor garden.
For indoor potted plants, use a 1:35 urine-to-water ratio, as potted plants are a little more sensitive than the plants in an outdoor garden.
Permaculture News says you can also use urine in your composting process.
Since urine is high in nitrogen, when used in a composting process, make certain that there are plenty of carbon-rich ingredients in your compost, including cardboard, dry leaves, hay, and wood shavings.
BALES OF HAY OR STRAW
The website also says that you can use bales of hay or straw. Just pour the urine into the bale(s). The addition of the urine will speed up the decomposition process and, once the bale(s) become mulch, plant directly in the mulch.
I'm certain that there are other ways to get your pee into the ground, so be creative, but please respect your municipality's obscenity laws: a delicious eggplant isn't worth jail time!
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