A Wee Bit of Theatre

| March 21, 2014

Your plants need food. Composting and hummus takes time. You want your tiny plants to grow NOW. Whilst you’re still excited. You blew all your money on the plants and are now digging them in with a spoon as you don’t have many garden implements. Hey, this is how wee all start. Small. In a wee way. Can you see where I am heading? You can contribute to the health of your garden organically. It’s free ( financially rather than emotionally). There may be a little performance anxiety initially. And the aim can take a little practice too.

Yes, I’m talking about using human urine as fertilizer for your vegetable garden.

This is how you do it:

  • Half fill a watering can with water. Or better still leave a bucket out to collect the rain.

  • Source some fresh wee from your own bladder or that of your housemate/child/partner. (What is weirder? Weeing into a watering can in your garden or taking a watering can into the privacy of the bathroom and doing it there. Both equally strange although plein air was settled upon.

  • Add the fresh wee. Yup, straight in the can and top up with water. A ratio of 20:1 is recommended but we are way less scientific around here.

  • When pouring, aim for the soil, not the leaves of your plant. If it does go on the leaves it’s no worry. Will it smell, you ask? No, fresh wee has no ammonia smell. Its only when it gets older than 24 hours that it starts stinking. Whatever you do, don’t save it for a rainy day or it will be rank.

  • Water your veggies with wee/water mix twice weekly

The (very basic) science

Wee contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium all great things for your garden. Scientists from  the University of Kuopio in Finland found that it wee fertilizer worked equally as well as traditional mineral fertilizer.  And according to an article in Scientific American, recycling human urine as fertilizer could not only make agriculture and wastewater treatment more sustainable in industrialized countries, but also bolster food production and improve sanitation in developing countries. Well, how about that?! It seems  a little wee can go along way.

But does it really work?

Using human wee as a liquid fertilizer sounded great in theory but I felt before recommending it we had to try it and see the fruits of our labours. It’s been over a month, and to my mind well tested. We trialled it on half the garden. The basil and tomatoes are blooming, and in great numbers. Capsicum and the other non wee basil plants less so. Not dramatically but noticeably. No plant was lost in making this DIY. Much fun was had. Mostly situational…