Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Liquid Gold

Ceridwen asked me if I could wrote some more about the natural fertilizers I wrote briefly about in the last post. And who am I to turn down a chance to learn as well as write? Here is the first post in a miniseries on free and natural fertilizers.

Urin is one of the best fertilizers known to humanity; in liquid form, concentrated, clean and freely available. The fluid is better than many synthetic ferts and simple calculation shows that you flush away 20-30 kronas (1,5-2,5£ or 2.5 - 3.5$) every time you go to the toilet.


it sometimes smells. I remember the smell around the house on the allotment were my parents emptied the potty. It is possible to create odourless garden beds if you handle the piss right. I haven't tried yet, but the rules are simple; use fresh urin and dilute it. If you want to be extra sure you can cover the fert with soil. If smell does occur anuhow it should go away after a day.

If you're using your own pee you don't have to worry about contagions. The urin in itself is sterile. The bacteria of the body are disposed of via the faeces (poop). If the urin has been in contact with poop (or if you are harvesting the fluid from a cluster of separator toilets) you should take the precaution to store the urin for up to six months before using. If you're on some kind of medication you should think a bit, especially if you had to cure any kind of worm infection - this kind of chemicals affects the worms in the ground too, and we want to keep them. Personally I'd refrain from using my urin if I'd been on heavy painkillers or something against parasites, and I'd use it if I was on common painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

So, exactly how do you use urin. Well, the recipe for "gold water" is as follows

1 part uring
9-10 parts water

Water it out close to the soil to avoid stains and burns on the vegetables. This is also a method to avoid smell. At least a month before harvest you switch to another fertilizer to be on the safe side - this is especially important if you are growing sallads.

I've mentioned the smell, and if you are growing edible stuff outdoors it isn't necessarily a bad thing. The odour is said to scare off roedeers. You can allow yourself to some slack in the handling of the fluid. Indoors you have to be more careful, not only because the smell is annoying, but it has a habit of klinging to the walls. Good thing is it's possible to use it without releasing any odour, I've found two examples of this.

The sum of it all is that urin is an excellent fertilizer that is possbible to use indoor, but is perhaps best in outdoor gardens.

Some more on the subject:
Guidelines on the Use of Urin and Faeces in Crop Production from EcoSanRes

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