Garden Connect is a project that we’re participating in this year where gardeners from around the world grow identical 2 by 6 foot (60 x 180 cm) gardens, compare and share growing methods. Here’s an update of what’s happening in ours. You can read more about it here.
Even the beans and nasturtium finally germinated, albeit in both cases just 2 out of the 3 seeds I put in each square. The spinach bolted as predicted and I replanted the square with 4 chard plants. The kale seems to be under a permanent slug attack, but hopefully will outgrow the damage.
Some of the plants, namely the tomato, the hot pepper and the lemon cucumber, were looking a little pale, pointing towards nitrogen deficiency. The reason behind that was probably that the bed was mostly filled with home made compost and not all of it was completely broken down yet. As the decomposition continues, the bacteria use up the nitrogen from the soil and there’s a temporary shortage. In the long term it will all even out, but since the plants needed a little immediate help, we opted for some liquid fertilizer.
I hope I’m not shocking anyone here, but the fertilizer in question was… pee. If you think this is weird, please consider these facts: human urine is rich in all the main plant nutrients, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Urine is sterile, making it completely safe to use. There is a possible risk of contamination with leftover pharmaceuticals, but since we’re not currently using any medication, that’s not an issue for us.
Another fact to consider: one Northern European adult pees enough plant nutrients to grow 50 to 100 percent of the food requirement for a person. So peeing in the toilet equals wasting nutrients, saying nothing about the drinking water wasted to flush the toilets.
If you want to know more, please read this article.
All I can say is that after just two applications (obviously we do not pee directly on the plants, but rather water the soil around the plants with diluted urine), the plants are looking much healthier and stronger, their leaves a darker shade of green.
We are also conducting an experiment on our tomatoes elsewhere in the garden, fertilizing one row with urine and the other with liquid comfrey feed. I’ll let you know how they compare.
Now, I’m curious: are there any other gardeners out there using urine as a fertilizer or maybe willing to consider it?