• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mark Tudor
  • Pearl Sutton

Using urine/wood ash to restore soil for plants yes it works  RSS feed

 
Posts: 3
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This subject brings up a coming project here - and talking to a woman in Ireland who is successfully doing this. She has no running water or sewage system, it's entirely set up on permaculture. It's called Beltaine Cottage as some of you have probably come across on youtube. She planted a whole 3 acre forest from seed by herself - and she mentions using urine like everyone else in Europe. 10:1 is the general ratio - and she does use heavy duty plastic garbage cans, I think 10 of them, for humanure. I can't remember if it's all mixed with grass and kitchen waste or not. I do know she has spirea shrubs that are over 15 ft tall, and her fruit trees and berry plants are skyrockets compared with mine and we have black loam orchard soil here. And we use compost.
Somebody mentioned mixing wood ash with urine - its mentioned off and on. We also make lye for soap. Yesterday I watched a video on what to do with all the hardwood ash and it was a mile long list including grass, and making "ash tea" by putting it in a pillow case in a plastic garbage can and using 1 cup in a circle around your plants. the exception being rhododendrons/azaleas which don't like that kind of soil. Everything else does including food.
If you ever watched Paul Gautschi Back to Eden he talked about the book called "Dead Doctors Don't Lie" where the guy researched how villages of people around the world lived so long and so healthy and found 3 things; they cooked on wood stoves, grew their own food; and put the ashes back in the garden.
So we just move the wood chips aside in late fall and dig trenches down on both sides everywhere and put the ashes down, then put the chips back over it. The rain/snow will take it down into the soil replenishing the soil. The potassium/potash and trace amounts of zinc etc is way way cheaper than buying Azomite. I would love to buy that much Azomite but its a limited resource. The old villages didn't buy that crap, so I'm trying to do it closest to the older villages, I just don't have the wood cook stove yet. Just a regular wood stove.
My take on it - stop over-analyzing it. Some guy in Wa state near where we are who sells rhododendrons just put out a video on how urine made his zucchini plant grow so big he couldn't believe it. I'm betting a lot of people are doing it and just not mentioning it.
Somebody mentioned using urine against critters - we do that also. Male urine I'm wondering if it would stop the squirrels who eat the plants - seriously, I'm going to do something desperate. When the hawks come, squirrels go away permanently. But I know that male urine would mark the area and should keep critters away - course there's always rogue ones that it may not work.
All for doing things the old-fashioned way.
t
 
gardener
Posts: 5065
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
609
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wood ash has been used for thousands of years as a soil amendment (part of what makes true terra preta is wood ash along with bone ash) the trick is how you incorporate it since as you know, hard wood ashes yield sodium hydroxide (lye).
To compost humanure you need vegetative material in a 4 to 1 ratio (4= vegetative matter), without it, the pathogen load would be fearsome since there would be no heat to kill off pathogens.

Ashes do make soil more basic (hydroxides are very basic, along the lines of pH=11 to 14) so acid lover plants would not like to live in soil treated with ashes.
Wood ashes contain all the minerals the wood contained so yes, they are going to add some minerals back to the soil, more importantly the hydroxides allow for new mineral compositions to be formed in the soil.

Once you have leached out the lye from hardwood ashes you are left with mostly minerals and non water soluble components.

Urine at 10:1 is the "perfect" ratio of nitrogen.  Male urine does indeed deter four legged critters, Male dog urine works better than male human urine. (you can purchase male wolf urine (the best defense on the planet, at pet stores, it is used to keep your pets from killing your plants)

Redhawk
 
pollinator
Posts: 1206
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
225
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Bryant, you got me laughing at the thought of going to the store to buy urine. What a hoot! Maybe there's a business opportunity there for me......."Organic Urine Direct From the Farm....Biodegradable! "
 
Posts: 226
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
45
cat chicken fish forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking transportation trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alliums and brassicas love wood ash. Sprinkled around onions, shallots, cabbage, kale, brocoli and others in those families.

My Dad, and a mate who's father worked in a tannery, mentioned that wood ash and urine are used in the tanning process of hides - to strip the hair and soften the leather.

A man would have to be an agile and controlled pee-er to catch a squirrel!
 
You'll never get away with this you overconfident blob! The most you will ever get is this tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!