Okay, those queasy ones maybe can pass on this blog. Maybe not your cuppa tea, but here’s the little wee truth of it. Urine is great for your garden!
“Wait,” I hear you say with alarm, “did you say urine is good for the garden??” Nope, I said it’s GREAT for your garden! Call it urine therapy. But let’s break it down a bit more….if you’ve read up till now, why stop now? Let’s explore this wee fountain of truth.
Now most gardeners will already be familiar with poo therapy. You take the poop of herbivorous animals, and spread it all over your garden with gay abandon. This fertilises all aspects of fruit and vegetable production and allow you to harvest great nutritionally dense foods. But mention human urine and the people run in the opposite direction. Sheep poos is okay but human wees are not? Did you know that farmers buy urea (factory made fertiliser which resembles urine) to use on their soil?
So we need to get away from the squeamishness of this little wee subject and focus on the benefits:
- Urine is the by product of everything that has passed through our body…from liquid intake and foods consumed
- The kidneys act as a great big filtering system and produce a yellowish liquid (the lighter the colour the better….shows a good water intake)
- This liquid passed through the human body is a veritable liquid gold for the garden…it contains all the undigested nutrients not utilised by the body.
- Urine is a good source of nitrogen (all plants need nitrogen for growth and wellbeing, for synthesising chlorophyll and proteins0.
- Always dilute urine 1:10 for fruit trees, and up to 1:20 for vegetables. Always apply this around the base of the veggies, never on the leaves or parts of the plant itself.
- Urine is a great soil enhancer. It replaces minerals (phosphorus, potassium and of course, nitrogen) that have been taken up by previous growth.
- Urine is a compost activator. The acid (Uric Acid) helps to break down plant material quicker. This does not need diluting, and can be added directly to the compost pile in neat form.
When NOT to use urine therapy in the garden:
- If you are on pharmaceutical drugs, do not collect your urine for garden use. You will simply be doubling up on your meds as you recycle the spent drug residues into your crops.
- If you eat toxic, lifeless foods your urine is not going to be the Pinot Noir of garden wines!
- If you have an infectious disease don’t even consider harvesting your urine (I mean, why would you?)
Urine has been used by gardeners and farmers for centuries. Ever heard someone say if you need to pee while in the garden, go do it under the lemon tree? There is wisdom to this little directive. Citrus trees love nitrogen, and our wees are a great source of nitrogen! And it costs absolutely nothing at all. Ever heard of NPK? Basically, it’s a fertiliser you buy which consists of a ratio of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). And it is exactly what your urine therapy is….NPK without the packaging. I remember telling another gardener this wee story, and she said it made much more sense to her. She had applied store-bought NPK dust under her fruit trees, but given that we have had a bit of a drought over summer, it seemed to “burn” the undergrowth. When diluted urine is applied, it is directly bio-available to the plants.
How to harvest your urine:
- It’s pretty easy to do this. Use a 8-10L bucket as your potty. Add water, estimating the ratio as you go. The paper wipe can be added to your compost pile, thus eliminating the amount of paper overload on the whole toilet system.
- Go and apply it to your garden as soon after the event as is possible. Fresh urine is sterile. The longer it sits in contact with the air, the more likely the bacteria that comes into contact with it from the air, will colonise it and slowly it will start to become less sterile and if left long enough, may begin to smell.
- Aim to do this at least once weekly. I try to set a record of thrice weekly. At least. My wee contribution to the garden.
So now if you have stayed this far with me, I hope I have managed to change your mind and you have a newfound respect for your own NPK manufacturing ability. Isn’t our body an amazing miracle? Isn’t this planet so perfectly created to work in harmony with it’s inhabitants? I hope you will put this wee theory to the test, and I look forward to some feedback from y’all in due time. Perhaps we can have a wee chat.