Monday, September 21, 2009

I need to Pee

I pinched this from Tomato Casual, I think I'll have to experiment my self.

By Vanessa Richins

Many people are looking for natural ways that they can boost the production and nutrition of their plants.

In Finland, scientists have been studying the effects of using human urine on tomato plants.

Before you worry too much right off the bat about the possibility of diseases, I learned years ago in my microbiology studies that urine itself is naturally sterile, and no microorganisms are usually growing there unless fecal matter has been introduced.

Another benefit is that urine comes complete with the ingredients that are the basis of your standard fertilizers - N (Nitrogen), P (Phosphorus) and K (Potassium).

When they tested three different groups - a control with no fertilizer, one with standard fertilizer, and one with a mixture of urine and wood ash - they found that both methods of fertilizing made the plants produce 4.2 times as well as the tomatoes grown with no fertilizer.

As Popular Science explains, scientists in Finland “collected human urine during the winter of 2007-2008 from several eco-toilets in private homes. The urine was stored for about six months at 45 degrees F and tested for microbes and bacteria. The team mixed it with wood ash collected from a household furnace, and found the mixture was just as good as — or better than — conventional chemical fertilizer.

In taste tests, the urine-fertilized tomatoes tasted different from those fertilized with urine and ash, but tasters didn’t have a preference — “all tomato samples were evaluated as being equally good by the tasters,” the study says.”

It’s an intriguing idea, at least. Have you ever fertilized your tomatoes this way?


SP8 said...

Along with 'number 2s' it was one of the only fertilisers readily available for thousands of years. I'd have no problems doing it although the neighbours whose balconies look straight into mine might not agree with the practice!

Rosey Pollen said...

Next time my son is outside, I will tell him to pee on the tomatoes instead of the trees. :)
Are you sure you want the snow? I would welcome the sun right about NOW!

donna said...

I have a grandson that thinks it's perfectly okay to pee outside. He may as well be useful while he's out there. I'll send him over to my tomato plant. Interesting and informative post.

Tricia said...

I use my daughters potty wee on the garden. I have not yet had the courage to collect and use my own wee - but have been seriously considering it - given that it seems such a waste to flush away all that good nitrogen :-)

Stewart said...

Hi all. Diluted down to something like 10 to 1, I can't see why it can't be used as a general plant tonic. Anyhow I'll experiment and see what results I can come up with.

I don't think it would be wise to use it undiluted in case it burns the plants roots.

Jacqui said...

nope, but the lemon tree gets a regular 'watering' - so to speak - and you know what else it's supposedly good for? Mixing into clay - makes it more elastic to throw with, according to a bloke of dubious character but oodles of talent that I went to art school with. I never tried it in my clay but I think we might try it on the tommies this year though - good idea, thanks!

Pip said...

I compost my wee by mixing it with whatever carbon source I have lying around & spreading this on the surface of the soil, then cover it well with a fine mulch such as grass clippings, this filters the smell. It's a great way to give soil fertility a cheap & effective boost. The best soil I have ever built was wood waste + urine... boy that broke down to some sweet smelling black stuff... :-)

Stewart said...

Hi Pip, Of course, an excellent idea and one I think I'll be trying.Thanks

Pip said...

Thanks... I adapted it from the Humanure Handbook... seemed a bit less socially unacceptable than going the full monty! :-)

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