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Using Diluted Urine as Fertilizer

 
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Hi all,

I'm looking into the idea of using diluted urine as a fertilizer for nitrogen-loving plants and was hoping to get some advice.

Firstly, I was thinking of doing something like a 5-1 Water-Urine ratio. That seems like it'd be weak enough to be no danger of burning the plants.

Secondly, how often should I apply? I had the idea of once a month. Also, should this be regular, or is at random intervals also OK?

Any help would be great.

 
pollinator
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Location: South Carolina 8a
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Personally, I fill 5 gallon buckets with compost and then fill these buckets with urine. I let the buckets age about 6 months before using the contents. I filter, and dilute the liquid about 100 times, and only apply when the plants are not yet fruiting. The solid waste can be used as a side dressing and to deter deer and rabbits.
 
pollinator
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I never dilute urine, I use it "as is".  I've heard people say that urine can burn plants but I haven't experienced it.
 
pollinator
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Hi Russell.

Glad to hear someone extolling the virtues of liquid gold. I would be careful at the 5-1 water-urine ratio; on some plants, that is hot enough to burn. I would make it more like 10-1, and I wouldn't do it any more than once a month, unless you're getting a lot of rain.

I wouldn't compost with urine, unless the pile is cold from winter and I am peeing directly into the pile to get it kickstarted (I have done this several times, and I don't know whether it's the heat or what, but when the daytime temperatures are regularly above zero Celsius, I can get my compost steaming hot while the surrounding ground is still blanketed in snow). Composting is a microbiological process, and fresh urine can kill delicate microbiology. I find that it's better to topdress with compost, and use urine as a spot-treatment, or as a regular fertility top-up. As with the compost case, if the soil is largely lifeless and I am seeking to improve it, I will use it as a starter, but not in the case of established microbiomes.

-CK
 
pollinator
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I'm with Trace: no need to dilute at all. I pee directly on plants in my garden all the time and have never noticed any ill effects. In fact, my garden is pretty crowded and some parts get pretty hard  to access, so I usually have only three or four spots that I use. I'll pee on one for a few days and then switch to a different spot and use it for a few days. We have no bathroom so all peeing happens outside. The only things I don't pee on are herbs and leafy greens that I'm going to eat.

Edit:
I should also mention that I don't water most of my garden (other than peeing) unless it's absolutely needed..
 
gardener
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I don't see any burn either, but I'm "applying" it full strength at the base of of mature citrus trees (read: taking a leak) and other nitrogen lovers.

With seedlings, I'll pee in the watering can, and then fill the can up to the top, so it's diluted 40 to 1 or more.  But day after day, those seedlings get this mild solution and they take off and grow really well.

Often, I'll just pee on the compost pile.  This helps speed decomposition and all that carbon captures the nitrogen as it soaks into the pile.  Then when I make potting soil with that compost, it's good to go.
 
pollinator
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There's all different ways to utilize urine. Via compost, as a foliar spray, pour on direct, or diluted via irrigation. I initially added urine to my compost. But this past year I've applied it via irrigation water. Example:
..... I'm growing certain crops in small greenhouses. There is 100 square feet of growing bed per greenhouse. When the plants are small, I found that I needed to apply 100 gallons of irrigation per week per greenhouse. As the plants matured, irrigation water was up to 100 gallons twice a week.
    Once a week I add urine to the irrigation water. 1 gallon urine per 100 gallons water.

I've found that this rate works just fine. The plants look robust and are producing well. If anything, the tomato plants are a bit too lush, but they are producing plenty of tomatoes, so there isn't too much nitrogen.

I've never found full strength urine to burn taro or sweet potato. I haven't seen full strength urine used on other crops. But hubby, who refuses to pee into a bucket or bottle, will pee in the taro or sweet potato patches. I've never seen observable damage.

As a note ---- my soils where I apply urine host a robust population of soil microbes. I make a specific point of feeding soil microbes. As a result, I never have any odor from the urine.
 
pollinator
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So, while not an edible crop, I've seen foxgloves die within hours of being peed on, but others things like blackberries don't care at all, they love it. I usually dilute it somewhat, and pour it on the soil, not the leaves.
 
pollinator
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I've always heard 10:1
 
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Drink plenty of wter and you should be good to go.  Our dog's pee never burned the grass unless she had been crated for a while.  Spread it around (don't use the same tree every time).  I keep a large flower pot, with drain holes, filled with homemade charcoal near the house then distribute it occasionally.
 
Russell Cook
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Thanks for feedback everyone.

I live in Brisbane, which has mild dry winters and hot, usually wet summers. In this kind of climate, is potential salt build-up from urine an issue to consider? Or will the summer rains wash the excess salt out?
 
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the late and greatly missed gary webb spoke out years ago encouraging people to plant garden and pee in your yard
 
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