Why and How to use Human urine in the garden?

How to use Human urine in the garden? - plants bank
cto Getty Images / WIRED

Human urine as fertilizer for plants becomes more and more discussed in recent days. Is it really effective? Can human urine replace the usual fertilizers? Doesn’t it bring disease? Let’s check it out in this article!

What is Urea fertilizer? a Nitrogen concentrate

Human urine is naturally rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and other minerals. For 1 liter of urine we have 6g of Nitrogen, 1g of Phosphorus, 2g of Potassium, 0.3g of Magnesium. But, This composition can be different depending on the person’s diet. Indeed, many recent scientific studies have shown urine is a safe and very effective fertilizer for cabbage, beets, cucumbers, and tomatoes, and pretty much anything else you want to grow. So, it is totally possible to use it as a fertilizer instead of industrial fertilizer. 

How does it work? 

It is well known that Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth. In this urea fertilizer watering process, urine contains urea which is transformed by reduction into ammoniacal gas NH3. The latter can, depending on the temperature and the biology of the soil, be reduced again to ammonium NH4 +, which is good; or oxidize to nitrate NO3-, which is less well. But these two chemical compounds can be directly assimilated by the roots of plants. That proves that human urine transformed by the action of bacteria in mineral fertilizer has incredible benefits for good plant growth.  

Is urine safe for plants? 

Urine is naturally sterile in a healthy person. So, it is absolutely safe to use, but if only we respect some rules: 

  • Avoid using the urine of a person with a bacterial infection in the vegetable garden
  • Avoid using the urine of a person on medication, especially on antibiotics.
  • Salts accumulate in the plant’s leaves, potentially causing leaves to drop off, so limit the salt intake in food which will ultimately have a positive effect on your health or just dilute urine to an average of 20%. 
  • Don’t apply to edible plant parts
  • Avoid excess urine in the same place because it can burn the vegetation (Nitrogen burn).

How To Use Your Very Own Garden Gold? 

How to use Human urine in the garden? - plants bank
via pxfuel

Use fresh urine

Urine smells bad especially in hot weather because of the decomposition of the urea into ammonia. On the other hand, fresh urine doesn’t stink. However, the smell disappears very quickly in a well aerated soil rich in organic matter. So, it will be preferable to use fresh urine so as not to have storage problems and therefore the smell of protein decomposition. 

Dilute before use

Urine is a very strong fertilizer that must be diluted to be safe. So, always use a solution of at least ten parts water to one part urine or simply dilute at a rate of 100 ml in 1 liter of water. 

Choose plants in need

Give this “fertilizer” to growing plants and not to seedlings or too young plants because these will produce stems and foliage at the expense of the root system.

Use in combination with compost

Compost will improve the microbial life of the soil and thereby promote the mineralization of urine and then the assimilation of the nutrients by plants. The principle is to feed the soil with compost and the plants with urine.

How to use urine as fertilizer? 

As already mentioned, use diluted urine to water the foot of plants during their growth phase. Then wait 2 to 3 weeks between two waterings. D’ont apply to edible plants parts. It is also advisable to stop fertilizing with urine 3 to 4 weeks before harvest. 

Now that you know more about this free sustainable fertilization, will you pee on your plants?

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