Friday, July 2, 2010


Urine was used by the Romans as laundry detergent and in the tanning process. Roman emperors had a urine tax. Apart from that urine can be an excellent fertilizer. I found urine as fertilizer fascinating. Simple, effective, reducing waste, keeping rivers and oceans nutrient-free, reduced flushing of toilet, no transportation cost, freely available, ... What I wondered about were the basic rules of use. This short reading list (Humanure book, Liquid Gold book, article, article, article, article, article, article, article, video, video, data on growth benefits of urine The Nitrogen Fix: The use of Urine in Agriculture Eco Sanitation) helped boiled down the rules of engagement to this summary:

  • As a rule of thumb dilute urine with 5 to 15 parts of water for plants in growth.
  • As a rule of thumb dilute urine with 30 to 50 parts of water for pot plants.
  • Trees or lawns should be able to handle urine in undiluted fashion.
  • Don't put it on the leaves of the plants (unless you want to use it as a pesticide on trees), but put it on the soil.
  • Don't apply urine during the last 2 weeks before harvest.
  • Don't use urine older than 24 hours on your plants, instead put it into the compost.
  • Using urine in the compost is safe and beneficial as it increases compost activity and nutrients.
  • Don't put it on your skin over prolonged periods to avoid dermatitis.

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