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Human Pee With Ash Is a Natural Fertilizer, Study Says  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I would worry most about radioisotopes.

Some cancer patients are on these for short periods of time, particularly radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer. It's a complicated process, and dealing with radioactive waste is also complicated. An isotope with a short half-life, as used in a PET scan, might actually be undetectable before the compost is even half-finished.

You might just look up each drug individually and see what you can discover, but I bet most of them can be metabolized by fungi of one sort or another.
 
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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Question: Can't add wood ash to limestone soil.... too alkalline. So would urine without the woodash be good in this set-up?

And if so... which plants in particular?... I have read about roses. Citrus? Anything else?

I know it is rich in phosphorus.... now I read rich in nitrogen.... so want to use it if possible on more than my compost.

Can anyone help here?

Chelle
 
                              
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Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Urine is a good fertilizer for most greedy fast growing plants, dilute it more for the tender plants.  We use a strong mixture for the bamboo while it's shooting and papaya and banana during the warm season.  Comfrey would probably appreciate a strong mix of urine fertilizer too.  Anything really greedy for nitrogen and phosphorus or thought of as really really fast growing can take fairly strong mix of urine as fertilizer.  Just add plenty of mulch and compost around where you use it to help capture some of the nutrients and keep them close by as well as providing some potassium.  Since you can't use the ash, you might simply use the wood chips and leaves around the garden and save the step of burning them for ash.  And of course urine makes a wonderful compost activator if you have lots of "browns" and little/no greens or manure.
 
pollinator
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Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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If you're worried about adding wood ash to your soil, just dilute the pee with water - the most common recommended dilution I've seen is 10 parts water to one part pee - and apply to your plants, preferably within a few hours of the urine's production. This will give a nitrogen and mineral boost to any plant or compost pile, and at a 10:1 dilution, I doubt there would be any overdose effects.

The point of the study was that the combo of wood ash and urine released more nutrients than the urine alone. It could well be that wood ash combined with urine would not have the detrimental pH effects on an already alkaline soil that plain wood ash would have.

I think there's plenty of room for home experimentation here, using your own native soil, ordinary soil test kits, and varying ratios of pee and wood ash. Hmmm, I've been meaning to buy a soil test kit for some time now - anyone have any recommendations?
 
Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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TCLynx wrote:
Urine is a good fertilizer for most greedy fast growing plants, dilute it more for the tender plants.  We use a strong mixture for the bamboo while it's shooting and papaya and banana during the warm season.  Comfrey would probably appreciate a strong mix of urine fertilizer too.  Anything really greedy for nitrogen and phosphorus or thought of as really really fast growing can take fairly strong mix of urine as fertilizer.  Just add plenty of mulch and compost around where you use it to help capture some of the nutrients and keep them close by as well as providing some potassium.  Since you can't use the ash, you might simply use the wood chips and leaves around the garden and save the step of burning them for ash.  And of course urine makes a wonderful compost activator if you have lots of "browns" and little/no greens or manure.

Thanks TC. I have been quite tentative about where to use it.....but from what you have said I think I need to give it to those monster pumpkins of mine...they have even started climbing up the lemon tree! They seem to grow almost a meter in a weekend... !!! I am so fascinated I just leave it to see what happens.

Chelle
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Chelle Lewis
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Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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jacqueg wrote:
If you're worried about adding wood ash to your soil, just dilute the pee with water - the most common recommended dilution I've seen is 10 parts water to one part pee - and apply to your plants, preferably within a few hours of the urine's production. This will give a nitrogen and mineral boost to any plant or compost pile, and at a 10:1 dilution, I doubt there would be any overdose effects.

The point of the study was that the combo of wood ash and urine released more nutrients than the urine alone. It could well be that wood ash combined with urine would not have the detrimental pH effects on an already alkaline soil that plain wood ash would have.

I think there's plenty of room for home experimentation here, using your own native soil, ordinary soil test kits, and varying ratios of pee and wood ash. Hmmm, I've been meaning to buy a soil test kit for some time now - anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks yes jacqueg...

That is what I have been doing... diluting and using a bit... now won't be so tentative. Have used it in the compost because saw TC recommending that before. I think it is great that it is so complete with woodash... but when I was more ignorant than now I used woodash with not too good results ... so would rather not do that again. Maybe my soil offers what the woodash adds anyway. Hope so.

Chelle.
 
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Around here, it's quite wet in between November and June, so I just pee during that time. Starting about now, I pee in water. I like the idea of ash to mix it with.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Urine and human manure, or as Joe Jenkins who wrote the Humanure Handbook calls it are excellent organic materials for compost and fertilizer and I personally been
using the material for decades in gardening and reforestation. I personally believe humanure, because we are at the top of the food chain and have much variety in our diets results in the best fertilizer/compost available. An internet study will tell you that yields in growing can be increased 400 to 1000 per cent by using
diluted urine on crops, especially those requiring high amounts of nitrogen. Also urine in the compost promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria because of the presence of nitrogen. There is a very interesting project in Ethiopia where a Swedish man and his Ethiopian wife are showing people how to collect human
urine and "waste" and compost and grow food. You can see this project on Youtube as well as some of the work that is being done with humanure by
Joe Jenkins, of the Humanure Handbook fame in places like Mongolia and Haiti just to mention a few. A lot of the stigma is just a relearning process. When
one billion people a day, (that's Coca Cola's quote) can not find satisfactory drinking water, it means some of the other 6 billion of us need to stop using
drinking water for toileting. I live on a large sailboat and yet am able to compost all of my food scraps, urine and fecal matter. I believe food is "on loan" to us from the soil and we need to return it to the soil. Imagine if you will 7 billion people taking their
nutrition from the soil and then not putting anything back into the soil. Is it any wonder that growing now requires all kinds of chemicals in order to get the soil to grow. Remember human waster is not waste, unless you waste it and nature and the soil does not know waste. Waste is a human thing and its simply the
unwise use or abuse of resources. Ashes mixed with other organic material also makes a good "flush" in the organic no water toilet that goes into the compost pile. jdlum46@gmail.com
 
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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For most medications, I wouldn't be worried about content in urine... if the body hasn't broken them down, the soil biota should.

However, any radionuclides I would be very concerned about as they are elemental poisons and their 'decay' will lead to an entirely different sort of 'hot' compost.

Radionuclides are used in large doses for a wide range of diagnostic procedures. Radioiodine is used in hyperthyroidism. I don't remember which are the radioactive pellets they insert into cancerous prostates.

The levels of medically used radionuclides are not insignificant. The ONLY time my geiger counter ever went off in Japan post-fukushima was in the lobby of a medical building. Also, a friend of a friend was pulled over in NYC because the cops picked up his radioactivity after a heart testing procedure. So, he was radioactive enough to pick up while traveling in a car.
 
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