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Urine as Fertilizer

Posted by gooseberryfool Zone 6b (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 5, 11 at 11:44

I am looking into this and would love for those who use urine as fertilizer to join in. Please, if you have nothing good to say about it, don't bother posting, I just want to talk with those who are familiar or interested in it to participate.

We are already adding it straight, to the compost pile.

We have begun applying it to the empty garden beds this winter. The garden beds are thickly covered in straw, and we are applying it gradually over the beds so that the straw will break down a bit to be ready for spring planting.

I have used it in a 1/10 ratio for potted plants to green them up.

Specifically I am wondering right now about how to use it for blueberries.

I have alkaline soil and need to amend it well to plant them. I wonder if I can make my clay soil, 6.5 PH, hospitable to blueberry bushes by mixing sawdust, which is free for our taking down the road, into the soil, using additional sawdust as thick mulch on top, and applying urine to keep the nitrogen levels good.

But I'm finding no information yet on how to do that exactly.

I would appreciate any discussion on the subject of urine as fertilizer.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I am in the same boat. I have been using urine partly as a fertilizer for a few years and had great success - especially with tomatoes! I have just gotten through planting 10 blueberries and mulched them with horse manure and sawdust mix. I think the ph of urine is basically neutral so I am not too worried about it. There is also a quick simple test for ph not requiring test strips!

I have the breakdown of different natural fertilizers (including urine) posted on my gardening website below

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural fertilizers and plant foods


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

What was the PH of your soil before you planted, and did you use any soil amendments to put them in?

You are in zone 9 - I am surprised. I thought blueberries needed more chill time than that. Are you experimenting, or are there varieties that do well down there?

I really need to find something cheaper to amend 30 plantings with than lots of bales of peat. Sawdust, I'm not sure whether that changes the PH when it's buried, but I'm stumped on how much urine it would take to overcome all that nitrogen if I incorporated sawdust into the soil.

As for mulching with it, I plan on doing that. I still need to know how much urine to apply to overcome the lesser N deficiency of that.

Plenty of info on urine as fertilizer... plenty of info on sawdust as mulch... just can't find the combo. LOL

I will check out your link. :o)


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Will be following this thread with interest. I'm a gal who has been collecting urine for many years. Use a 16 oz. plastic cup. The opening is about 3 1/2". Don't dilute it usually, just pour around the base of plants, or if it's rainy, I just throw it onto the grass. Use a cup or less of water to rinse the cup, then back under the sink it goes. Gals, I promise this is easy-peasy. I have free fertilizer and save an incredible amount of water that would be used in flushing. This summer I'll do some trials. Know cucumbers love it, also jalapenos, basil, tomatoes.

Rosie


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I keep a few (6) blueberry plants here in northern Louisiana. I simply mulch with oak leaves (which I have in abundance) and add alot of regular compost. Plus a fair amount of vermicompost/castings.

I generally do not use urine as fertilizer except when I am outside letting the dogs do their thing. Then I add something to one plant plant or the other myself. I do pour a fair bit into my compost piles though.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I have been throwing it on my limequat tree for over a year. It had never made more than a dozen limes. It put out a lot of growth, this past year, lots of blooms and fruit. We have been eating Limequats since October and still have plenty left. I also put coffee and coffee grounds on it. I know nitrogen in the urine is good for green growth, so as an experiment I poured some around 2 brussels sprouts plants, and didn't apply any on other Br Spr plants. Those two (urine-treated) plants died immediately. The others are flourishing.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Bumping. OP not getting the answers to his questions. Hope he will. We're talking FREE fertilizer, boys and girls.

Rosie


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I have used my urine (and that of others) for years and it works well. In my home garden it makes up a large part of the total nitrogen input.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

One thing about urine (being a liquid) is that it doesn't last long in the soil - though it is highly bioavailable to plants. I also put it in my compost bin and I think this probably locks the nutrients in better because of the micro-organisms. As to the chill question, we get plenty of chill here in NE Fl. As to the varieties question, I just planted bluebell, emerald, spring high, and a couple of others - all that I got discounted at Lowes when the first freeze hit. I also mulch with oak leaves and pine straw (which I fortunately have in abundance in my yard). Of course, these help assure acidity of the soil.

People will have problems with urine if they don't dilute it, and if they have high salt intake.


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I wonder if there is significant phosphate in urine. It would appear that phosphate fertilizers are disappearing from the pads in our big box stores, presumably for good environmental reasons, but we still need some phosphates for our flowers.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Oh Also, check out the link below (and click on the pic). These are tomatoes of which the only thing I added was compost and urine - they ended up at 7'. Note: for some reason, iron was getting leached out, so I filled a bucket with water and added some nails - and then mixed with the urine/H20 mix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato plants with natural fertilizer


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

..
I thought coffee grounds were supposed to be good for blueberries. At least I can get lots of free coffee grounds but not everyone is in that position. They are slightly acidic.

A bucket of water with nails for iron. That hadn't occurred to me. Thanks for the tip.
..


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About phosphorous.: Urine as Fertilizer

..
About phosphorous. I found this on another board recently and went to wikipedia to copy it over here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine

Urine typically contains 70% of the nitrogen and more than half the phosphorus and potassium found in urban waste water flows, while making up less than 1% of the overall volume.

two cents
..


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 8, 11 at 23:06

Hi gooseberryfool, I do not use Urine because I do not need it.
I have 10 tons coffee waste to process. I respect your right to use Urine!
I post only to ask about a post on goose berries.
Thank you for your time.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I've not experimented much with urine as a direct fertilizer though I've used it extensively in my compost piles. I produce about 10 yards a year worth that I make from restaurant vegetable scraps, leaves and shredded paper.

All of that material is tossed into a large pile and I pour almost all of my urine collected during the year on it. I keep old orange juice jugs underneath the bathroom sink in a cabinet to collect the urine. The pile cooks, breaks down and then I add red wiggler worms to it to begin eating through the material. The process can take 6 months or more but I produce low maintenance high quality compost that beefs up the poor soil here around Austin.

I think the worms add their benefit but the N boost from the urine makes a huge difference. I've grown great vegetables with it particularly lettuce and swiss chard. I think N waste is a horrible waste product in waterways and streams and sequestering that N in the compost pile is the way to go.

Even if you only had huge piles of wood chips and C material pour your urine on it. In time it'll break down and make for good compost.


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I also add urine treated compost to my worm bins - and some diluted urine occasionally. I think this is a good practice because worms are able to lock these nutrients into the soil (and as we know, nitrogen will turn into ammonia pretty readily otherwise). Once again, do not use urine with much salinity especially with compost worms.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

According to the Journal of Earth and Environmental Science (see link for article), the amount of plant nutrients excreted via urine per person per year in Kg is as follows: N = 2.5 - 4.3, P = 0.7 - 1.0, K = 0.1 - 0.2.

A look at what that means in pounds/ sq. ft. of N is interesting. 4.3 Kg of N on 1000 sq. ft. = 414 lb/A N applied to the 1000 sq. ft.. Unless one stores up urine for more than a day, every day <= 1.1 lb of N per 1000 sq ft. equivalent are available for fertilizer. Of course one must keep in mind that if applied daily in small amounts to a soil surface, a crop's roots may not ever get access to it unless it reaches the root zone. Also, keep in mind that different crops have different nutrient demands and that those demands are not likely to mirror your personal output.

Please check my math, it's late and I'm tired.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pee paper


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I don't see the harm in using urine under blueberry bushes, in moderation.

Regarding blueberry bushes and soil; I would not bury wood chips in the soil. That would cause problems with unfinished 'compost'. I would only mix woody humus or old spruce needles into the very top of the soil. I have blueberry plants in Idaho, pH 8, and they are responding best to heavy woody mulching. Same for raspberries; mulching, especially with conifer needles.

BTW, blueberry plant require a mycorrhizal fungi in order to thrive. Do not use sulfur under the plants because it prevents fungi growth. I killed blueberry plants trying to change the pH with sulfur.

I had been using a 5 gal bucket with shredded leaves as a urinal and when the leaves were completely wetted, I would dump that bucket into the compost pile and fill another bucket with shredded leaves. Seems to work well.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Oh my, Thank you everyone. I thought I was going to be notified of responses and I wasn't, so I didn't know anyone had replied.

:o)

So far, no one has actually applied sawdust as a mulch, then used urine to balance out the nitrogen deficiency?

I read an article written in the 1950s, I think, entitled "Sawdust is my slave". He used it everywhere and had tremendous success. But he did not combine with urine, he used other things.

Someone already mentioned, but it bears repeating, that urine cannot be applied directly to growing plants without watering it down to about 1/10 of it's strength. The only exception seems to be citrus. LOL I hear of people applying it quite liberally. I wonder if it's a
tropical-growth-rate thing.

Idaho Gardener - I'm so sorry about your blueberries dying from the sulfer. That's what I just bought, to apply to the beds in preparation for spring planting.

Has anyone else had trouble with sulfer preventing the blueberries from surviving? I read on several sites that sulfer was the way to bring PH down for blueberries.

Great idea with the iron deficiency - soaking nails. I talked to a local blueberry farmer this week and he plants a few nails in each hole, along with the blueberry bushes. I should have thought of that, I already knew to throw in bones and shells and things, for decades-long leaching into soils.

I am female, and I use a quart plastic container which I leave near the porcelain throne. So easy to use. I pour it into a two quart jar and carry it down to the garden once a day. I am having my son use a half-gallon canning jar with lid. He uses the direct method. When company comes, it all gets tucked away under the sink.

I had to explain to my son, who was quite taken aback by this new way of fertilizing, all about anabolism and catabolism, how his own cells came to be and where all those particles came from, etc. Combing that with the high school biology course he is taking, finally has eased his "ick factor".

There are so many people who do this, just not in our culture. Sort of like childbirth. That "horror factor" that people get when they hear of someone having a child at home rather than in a hospital. They are not thinking things through.

Well, I wandered. But still hoping to hear more information about the combination of sawdust and urine. I have both available to me for free. And free is going to be very, very important if things continue on as they have been lately.

Thanks!


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This site is making me neurotic...I thought you were all freaks using urine, then last summer I set out to prove you all wrong by sneaking pee on my ornamental plants around the house at night and low and behold they grew like I used triple miracle grow. The neighbors want to know the secret to my success, but I wont tell them. Now I sneak out, even in the snow (blame the dog) and pee....I feel like if I pee in the toilet I am wasting it, but if I go out side I feel kinda dirty (Pun intended). Perhaps with the landfills and city septic systems being over run, there will be wide acceptance of this practice and I can be thanked and lifted up for this shady deed I have been doing.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

A quick search found your article.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sawdust is my Slave


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Why is urine beneficial to growing crops, please do not bother with antecdotal evidence, that's all over the place. Can someone post the information (including it's source) indicating the amount (by wt., % or volume) of urea in human urine, can't seem to find it anywhere for some reason other than my posted link. As with any fertilizer source, it is important for me to know how much of a given nutrient is being applied with urine.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Urea is an endogenous product of protein and aminoacid catabolism, and consequently
20-35 g of urea is excreted daily in human urine.

The majority of fluid output occurs via the urine, approximately 1500 ml/day (approx 1.59 qt/day) in the normal adult resting state.

So I would assume that, depending on your size and metabolism, you can figure out approximately how much urea you are dealing with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Long scientific verbage writeup.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

According to the Wikipedia article referenced above, urine has 9.3 grams/liter of Urea. Since urea is 46% nitrgen, that would place 4.3 grams of N in a liter of urine, giving it an N component of 0.43. I assume P and K are significantly lower, so liquid urine is basically 0.4-0-0.

Not clear from that number why people are so excited about it. It certainly doesn't seem that it needs to be diluted because of the N content, but maybe to reduce the sodium.


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Josko: No to be picky but you are thinking of fertilizer urea as being 46% N. Actually, urea is CO(NH2)2 with a molecular wt. of 60.03. mol. wt. of N = 14.01 therefore, 14.01/60.03 = 0.23. So urea in urine is 23% N.

I'm not all that excited about the tiny fraction of N in urine. Even if I had a 1000 gal carboy of it, that would still only be 20 lb of N in it. Besides, at 1.59 qts. of whiz/day, it would take me 2,516 days to pee that much. Guess I better drink a lot of water and beer:)

On the brighter side, every gal of pee would have about 0.02 lb. of N in it. If the gal. of pee were run through a drip injection system over a 1000 sq. ft. garden it would deliver about 0.87 lb/A N. Not bad for 3 days worth of pee, I guess.

Disclaimer check my math and please report any errors; otherwise, use at your own risk!


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Very quick estimate assuming: 20 lbs of N per 1000 gallons of urine (from michael357), goal ratio is 30:1 C:N, sawdust is not completely fresh at 400:1.

My back of the envelope math gives roughly 12 gallons per pound of sawdust... it sounds way off to me but then again I'm not sure how much volume there is to a pound of dry sawdust.

( 12*(20/1000) + 400 ) / 13 = 30.8


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I am excited about it because it is free and plentiful. No, it's not the apply a couple of times a year and walk away method, but I don't have to buy it.

I may be taxed on it at some point, but so far it's free.

Anubis - great math. I had no idea how to go about that!

I'm assuming that the quick figures you entered would mean to completely change the sawdust into a balanced mixture of carbon and nitrogen. That would make it compost very quickly, but as that is not the goal, I can figure on contact area.

Soooooooooooo... How deep does the pull of nitrogen extend as the sawdust is decomposing? If we say 1/4 inch deep into the soil, and generously give 1/4 inch of sawdust doing the pulling...

One square foot of sawdust in soil contact would be 36 cubic inches of sawdust. That seems high... Am I figuring incorrectly?

OK, let me go about it differently. If I were to weigh a square foot of 1/4 inch thick dry sawdust, how much would it weigh? Maybe 3 ounces? Which would be roughly 3 gallons of urine to completely decompose it.

Man that can't be right. LOL Can you imagine 3 gallons of urine poured over 3 ounces of sawdust? It would completely overwhelm the carbon.

I'm getting to the point of just throw down sawdust for mulch rows along the bushes, leaving a few inches clear area around the trunk, and pour some diluted urine near the trunk on a weekly basis.

I just hate wasting money that I don't have right now. I've killed so many blueberry bushes in my life. I'm like the evil nemesis that blueberries go to see on horror flick nights in Blueberryville.

I guess I'll have to write the book if/when I figure it out, since no one else has done it yet. LOL


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Here is my experiment (that I tried to use to prove the PEE People wrong), though it was a home trial.
I added the Urea to a gallon of water twice last summer to three hosta's. And by "added Urea" I am meaning fresh from the source what ever came out at that time. The plants were next to each other, 10 feet away in the same line, same types of Hosta, same soil, same planting date on all plants, same size. The ones I used urea to, doubled in size.
I know I could cut back the water because it was more like 50:1 or higher but I just wanted to try and it and not burn anything. Well I don't need any more convincing and The point brought up earlier that its a gallon of water not wasted down the toilet is a good one.

I just wont use it on vegatables or compost going to any thing edible. I cant get past the ICK factor.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I don't see why you would worry about using it on veggie compost. The critters we rely on to break it all down are tiny little chemists and they take all this stuff and break it down to the basic elements that plants use to grow strong and healthy.

I say; Don't worry about your compost; Piss on it. ;)


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Whether urine is good nor not doesn't really concern me...I love peeing outside and I'm not worried that it will harm my compost at all. On top of that, my water bill decreases even further by not "leaving it mellow."

I don't recommend storing large quantities of it in plastic jugs in your house though, unless you loosen the cap every couple days...otherwise it can gain some pressure and cause a mess!


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I've been reading this since you posted, immediately thought of a local blueberry grower who annually puts down several inches of oak sawdust as mulch/pH adjustment. The soil here is acidic, liming to neutralise is a standard treatment. Blueberries want the acid.

"I have alkaline soil and need to amend it well to plant them. I wonder if I can make my clay soil, 6.5 PH, hospitable to blueberry bushes by mixing sawdust..."

6.5pH isn't alkaline.

Anubis' calculation of C/N for sawdust is probably correct- using urine to break down sawdust will essentially require soaking, and there are factors regarding species and what constitutes "dry" sawdust that impact time involved.

I see blueberries growing wild in the most godforsaken looking barren rockiness...have you ever had a soil test done?

As for your general premise, yeah, it's a good fertiliser though I'd be leery of those taking meds, B.C. or undergoing chemo.


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Yes, I've had soil tests done. 6.5 is alkaline for my blueberries.

You are right though, it isn't alkaline in general, though it is standard procedure around here for the farmers to lime the hay fields. I imagine the grass must like a less acid soil, and that helps.


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I have used urine in garden/farm for many years (20+ years). It's a precious fertilizer because it contains not only N/P/K,but also the "other" elements necessary for plant growth, as we are at the top of the food-chain.

However, I have used very different methods applying urine in my garden from most of the posts in this forum.

1. I DO NOT dilute it with water.
2. I DO NOT put it in the compost pile.

I'd first put urine in milk jars and store the jars in my shed (especially in winter). Check the jars frequently for signs of leak (especially in winter, not summer).

In gardening season, I'd dig holes 1' apart along the rows about 6" deep and 6"~8" away from the root. Feed urine from jars to the holes (do not allow over-flow). As soon as urine disappears into the bottom of the holes, cover the holes by dirt and lightly compress it. Do not delay.

The reason I don't like diluting with water is that urine becomes unsterile very quickly. I wanted to eliminate all the mid-steps as much as possible.

The reason I don't like to put it on compost pile is that it may leach/vaporize quickly if one puts too much urine and/or not cover it by dirt.

Hope my experice helps

chaff


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Very interesting. Nope, I have not heard of anyone else doing it that way.

How wide are the holes?


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

To gooseberryfool,

Depending on the plants, the size of the holes can be that of a coffee mug or twice as wide but same depth. Tomatoes or corns may require larger/deeper holes. For cucumbers the holes should be smaller. A full 1g milk jar of urine can distribute evenly to about 20 holes.

Using this method allows me to put fresh urine into the holes as well. Just be careful don't let urine in direct contact of the roots.

Hope you can try it out and see the result.

Chaff


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Berryman: for the sake of brevity, just type, "PEEple" :)


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Perhaps You PEEple should have your own forum, with ICK factor warnings, I will join, but under a different alias.


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I got this kind reply in the mail in response to some questions I sent out to random victims. :oP

"As far as I�m concerned, you can start obtaining piles of sawdust and peeing on it. Keep a shovel handy in case it starts to smell, and cover it up. The sawdust will turn black as it rots. When it's black you can use it as a soil conditioner. Using urine straight, as a fertilizer, is too salty for most plant roots (two different salts are involved), but by using the abundant N to balance the C in the sawdust, you should get good results and the excess salts will leach away. I once built a garden using blackened sawdust from a horse stable. My thought is that you will use rotted sawdust as a soil conditioner for your planting sites, and then mulch with your endless supply of fresh sawdust."


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This cracks me up....
When I was a kid, people said don't take Acid or you'll get flashbacks...
of course as a kid, I thought
" cool.... Flashbacks for free" as though I was getting a "two for one deal"

Now I am hearing don't use your urine for edible plants if you are taking medication .... hummmmmm

Would that mean,I could be getting a free low dose of my prescription, with each cucumber ;-)

two for one....if you will ;-)


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Jon, you may have a point... I take the Flo-max generic. Finesteride I think its called...
Anyway, I cannot give blood anymore.. If a pregnat lady gets it by blood transfusion it will/can affect the baby very negatively. Hate I cannot give blood but I also don't make this fertilizer 3 or 4 times a night anymore ...


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Only recently discovered that Urine could be used as a fertilizer and accelerator to composters so found this blog very interesting. I also found the attached which some of you might find interesting although it does not give any info on dilution, still confused about that bit.

http://www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download/2-1084-08-urineuseenglish.pdf

Here is a link that might be useful: ROSA


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Is beer induced urine better? ;)


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A couple of weeks ago I came across this discussion of some place in China where prized hard boiled eggs were pickled in the urine of prepubescent boys. I studied clinical urinalysis as part of my university program and I see no reason why it would not be an ideal way to preserve boiled eggs. I intended to save the link for all you here with a urine fetish but right now I have misplace the link. Should I find it I will come back to this thread.


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What about diseases in urine like Hepatitis B? Especially if using someone else's pee? And once again using someone else's, is there any issue with like antibiotics, acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc. or anything that can be passed on through.


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I would also like to draw attention to the small matter of how effing gross it would be to soak your food in some kid's piss.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

... by gargwarb ... small matter of how effing gross it would be to soak your food in some kid's piss.

Could Urine-Boiled Eggs Be China's Next Big Food Export?

Eggs boiled in children's urine a Chinese delicacy!

There are more references. Many, like the second link above, feel the way gargwarb, quoted above.


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You are what you eat. Thats what I am told. Same thing goes for the plants. Think about it.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

So....vegans are going to become vegetables?? I better start eating 2x4's cuz a wanna be a stud. lmao!


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I have just recently discovered the concept of using urine as fertilizer. Being a passionate composter, gardener, and sustainability enthusiast, I would like to try it.
Diluting 1:20 seems to use a lot of water. What do you think about adding lime to either straight urine or urine diluted say 1:5 to lessen the acidity and/or salt? I cannot really find anything helpful on the web about this, and certainly cannot ask anyone in my small-ish Midwestern town.
Thanks for your input!


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

  • Posted by rokal LongIsland/z6b (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 12 at 10:16

So....vegans are going to become vegetables?? I better start eating 2x4's cuz a wanna be a stud. lmao!

That is funny! Thanks for the laugh. Running to Home Depot to pick up some lumber...


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RE: RE: Urine as Fertilizer

  • Posted by rokal LongIsland/z6b (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 11, 12 at 10:29

According to the Wikipedia article referenced above, urine has 9.3 grams/liter of Urea. Since urea is 46% nitrgen, that would place 4.3 grams of N in a liter of urine, giving it an N component of 0.43. I assume P and K are significantly lower, so liquid urine is basically 0.4-0-0.

Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine#Agriculture where they approximate urine to have an N-P-K around 11-1-2.

Also, not sure I would put straight urine around my plants. I would think it would burn them. I know peeing on the grass would cause it to die rapidly.


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Thanks for the link. I agree, putting straight urine on grass or plants is a bad idea. I do not want to do that. All of the sources that I found in my research recommended 1:10, 1:15, or 1:20 dilution ratio.
I was just wondering if anyone had any practical knowledge about possible ways to cut the salinity and/or acidity of the urine so that the water dilution ratio could be a bit smaller. Possibly lime? Or something better? I was hoping to conserve a little water and fert organically, but this is probably a pipe dream. If there was an easy way, everyone would be doing it! Or at least there would probably be more information available. Thanks


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The simple and elegant solution is to pee in the compost while it is in the early stages of creation, and not in the garden or in water that is added to the garden.

Having eaten jellyfish, pigs eyes, grilled horse, sea urchin, and bull testicles, and very likely some rather stringy dog in Viet Nam, I hope I don't have to go all the way to China to get me some of those eggs.


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Is beer induced urine better? ;)
===============

My compost pile sure does think it is

I've been able to make brown gold this winter from grass clippings and this past year's leaves and what I call, "filtered" beer :-)

My pile is pitch black and teaming with worms.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

It's mostly a myth that urine is acidic.

It has a pH of about 6 - 7 for morning pees. It goes up after that. You can buy pH strips to test it yourself.

But if you store it for a week the pH goes above 8.

So it is really alkaline if you just store it for a few days.


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Thanks Emgardener, that is good to hear. Any thoughts on how to ameliorate the salinity? Also, I thought as it sits, the nitrogen (the fertilizer bit) turns to ammonia, is that wrong? Wouldn't that be too caustic? Wikipedia said of ammonia,
"Approximately 83% (as of 2004) of ammonia is used as fertilizers either as its salts or as solutions. When applied to soil, it helps provide increased yields of crops such as corn and wheat. Consuming more than 1% of all man-made power, the production of ammonia is a significant component of the world energy budget."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia
Hhhmmm... These are the things that I am trying to figure out.


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I found this re ammonia and pH article:
"Use of Human Urine Fertilizer in Cultivation of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)--Impacts on Chemical, Microbial, and Flavor Quality"
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2007, 55, 8657-8663
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/jf0717891
"Urea is rapidly degraded by urease to ammonium and water, which may elevate pH values up to a pH of 9; this can also reduce the bacterial population, although ammonia evaporation is also higher at higher pH values."

It also recommends storing the urine for 1-2 months and diluting with water. Too bad it did not specify water ratio or mention salinity.

This article has useful data on salinity values and dilution:
"Making Your Own Liquid Fertilizer"

http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploadedFiles/articles/issues/2011-02-01/Liquid Fertilizers - Full Report - Woods End Laboratories.pdf

The Walden Effect Homestead Blog talks about salinity too, they said,
"Carol Steinfeld recommends using urine as fertilizer only in regions with regular rainfall to wash salt away. A high tech option consists of buying a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter from a hydroponics store to monitor salt content of your urine, then diluting the urine down to 1,700 ppm salt before using it as fertilizer. Alternatively, just spread urine around a lot, never focusing on one part of the garden, and salt buildup will probably be minimal."

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/What_is_in_urine__63__/

I think that I will try Bill's elegant suggestion (thanks Bill!) and also try diluting 1:20 for the perennials and lawn and see how it goes. Thanks everyone!


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I've been using urine for a few years now.

For garden annuals and perennials I don't dilute at all, just pour it straight on.

I did experiment on a small tomato plant (1 foot high) to see how much direct urine would kill it. It took about 2 cups poured directly on the stem. I had poured 2 cups about 1 foot away the plant and the plant enjoyed it.

Just pick a "volunteer" plant and try to kill it with urine. You'll get a good feel for how much is too much and up to what volume the plant enjoys.

About salt, I just stopped using the salt shaker at home.
I did compare the salt in urine to a normal dilution of chemical fertilizer. (I evaporated equal volumes of urine and chemical liquid fertilizer in separate cups and compared the residual salts). Chemical fertilizers applied at a normal recommended rate seem to contain much more salts than urine, so I stopped worrying about it.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I found this link below which has some additional elements found in urine. Also, lets not forget that many trace elements are eliminated via urine like moly, magnesium, ca, copper etc. There were probably too many to mention in the article, but I have researched and found that they are contained in varying degrees in urine, so it can also provide the valuable trace elements. Finally, I don't think the ratio numbers are set in stone, so for example, if your diet is higher in K from eating fresh vegetables and fruit, you will eliminate more of it etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: urine as fertilizer


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Salinity: I don't really think there is a practical way (in the home garden) to remove salinity while keeping the NPK. It's theoretically possible but way too complicated to do at home. So you have to manage the process with that in mind.

Drugs: There is a lot we don't know about this, but a few things we do know:

1) All drugs do not go right through you into the urine untouched. Some are metabolized into other compounds, and some are excreted otherwise than in the urine.

2) While we don't know what dose of any given drug will affect soil or plants or people eating the plants, keep in mind you are taking milligrams at a time, and that a 20x20 ft. garden has about 40,000 lb of soil just in the top foot.

3) Some drugs and metabolites will further decompose in the soil or compost.

4) Plants don't take up everything they see in the soil, nor do they deposit what they take up evenly throughout the plant.

It's a crapshoot, but not something I worry about very much based on all this.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

So I was wondering about storage. I was trying to find a high N ingredient to break down wood chunks and sawdust faster and at first I tried to get large quantities of UCG, but found that they r difficult to acquire in my immediate area. so I said piss on it (pun intended). I have been using a gal. jug to collect the urine and then emptying it in the compost pile every night for the last several nights. I was afraid to keep it to long because I was concerned about it turning into ammonia and i thought that that was something to be avoided, but, like was said earlier, ammonia is is used extensively as a fertilizer. So the question is how long am I able to keep it around? and/or should it be aged? or should I just use fresh? I also want to thank the maker of this thread, EXCELLENT conversation. I was thinking that I was alone and crazy there for a while.


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Props: Urine as Fertilizer

Props to gooseberryfool!


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I wasn't about to read all the posts, but wanted to say I use it with wood ash and coffee grounds as my main fertilizers. I am not a eco nut, its just that they are free. Be careful to use urine when needed. It's good when you need the green spring development I try to pee at the root bases of shrubs, bushes, and veg more in the spring. I pee outside all the time, no need to collect. The trick is making sure you don't hit new growth or germinating seeds. I also use my dryer line for a couple of Boston ferns and some peppers "in 70% shade" and they outgrow/produce the standard veg that are in full sun.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I reread the whole thread, and for those who say it doesn't make much difference, I say there are 6 billion of us, and when humans do something it can have quite an effect on the planet. Sewage treatment plants are designed to remove nutrients from wastewater, and most of the N goes into the air. Phosphorus is extremely polluting for waterways and valuable for growing crops. If even 1% of pee was put back on the land...

BTW I noticed an error earlier in the thread where someone said urea was 46% N and someone else replied with calculations showing it was 23%. There was actually an error in those calculations. Urea is 46% N whether it's in a bag of fertilizer or dissolved in urine.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

I agree Tox, it would be highly significant if even 20-30 percent of urine were captured out of the waste stream to be used for edible crops.

There were some studies done in Scandinavia indicating that a person's urine can be used to fertilize crop growth nearly equal to that person's caloric consumption. I found and read about a couple of them on the web a few years ago.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Amazing. The biosphere is (was) more or less self-sustaining, before we starting mucking with it. :-]


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Higher-than-normal levels of estrogen in pregnant women's urine, scientists speculated, may stimulate the germination of seeds
-- From an unrelated news story, Slate perhaps.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Hello,,, I am interested in this, lately articles about using urine as fertilizer has crossed my path.. I dont know what all the fuss is. What is better urine, or poo from some animal.

Personally I think that using urine is very convenient, and possibly the plan all along... No need to haul in animal dung, when you can just pee...

I read an article about the porta potty companies recycling the waste deposited in them, into chemicals..

We use lotions that regularly use Urea, that urea my just come from your neighbors pee deposited in a porta potty.

What would be better?

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Yonder Soap


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 19:12

karen, the waste deposited in porta potties are chemicals. Those chemicals are just refined into more pure chemicals.

That refined urea will have less sodium than urine and that could be a good thing if you are growing on sodic soil.

urine is great. just dillute it to 5-10%.


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RE: Urine as Fertilizer

Karen, are you really interested in fertilizing with urine or are you selling soap?

Most of the 200 million tons made each year is produced by combining ammonia (sythesized using natural gas, btw) with carbon dioxide. It's certainly not made from porta potty waste.


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