Ask a Question forum: Using human urine as fertilizer????????

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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
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cwhitt
Mar 8, 2019 12:17 PM CST
I have recently read - in several different gardening books on soil - that one can use human urine to boost the nitrogen level in soil and in the compost bin. It is fairly sterile and has a lot of nitrogen in it, a few other things too, and is highly recommended in these books I have read. The books have even said that one should not be concerned with prescriptions drugs that may pass through, that they are broken down and are fine, unless they are radioactive type drugs used for cancer etc. I have never heard of this before, and am still actually trying to deal with the "ick" factor. In fact, the ick factor has prompted me to ask how many of you have actually tried it, or would you ever, and if you did what were your results???
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Taos, New Mexico (Zone 5b)
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Henderman
Mar 8, 2019 1:23 PM CST
I've never used urine on my plants* by here's what I've read:
Human waste has been used for millennia to fertilize crops. Urine can be successfully used to fertilize crops but you have to take care not to use it full strength. It must be diluted (1:10?). Or applied secondarily by first adding it to compost or mulch.

To me the ick factor isn't as big an issue as the smell factor. Urine becomes incredibly rank after just a few days. You will want to use it soon after collection. And your garden will develop a new, special aroma.

Let us know how it goes.

*I have however peed around my hoop house to deter rodents.
Name: kathy
Michigan (Zone 4b)
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
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katesflowers
Mar 8, 2019 2:18 PM CST
Human waste can contain & transfer virus.
Ever wonder why grocery store vegetables have made people sick and have been recalled ?
I would never fertilize with human waste.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 8, 2019 2:20 PM CST
My father in law pee'd on his camelias and azaleas all the time. The plants didn't appreciate it and neither did my mother in law. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 8, 2019 2:28 PM CST
katesflowers said:Human waste can contain & transfer virus.
Ever wonder why grocery store vegetables have made people sick and have been recalled ?
I would never fertilize with human waste.


Its the difference between pee and poop. When my husband and I were in China in the 1970's, there was an out break of Hepititis A - the farmers were using raw sewage on their vegetables. Keep them separated. Whistling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 8, 2019 2:37 PM CST
Human urine??? Oh come on now. That just makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Whether it is good or bad for your plants, I just think that morally, ethically, if you have to, or want to, pee in your own plants, you have crossed the line!!
There are so many ways to introduce nitrogen into your garden. For you to resort to urine is just ridiculous!
With all of the threads on organic gardening, organic vitamins, organic produce, how do you imagine a grocer or farm stand owner advertising that no animal has pissed on my produce, BUT I DID, how would that be received by the public who would consume these things!?!?!?

I am getting off of my soapbox now! I suddenly feel the need for a shower! Thumbs down
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
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cwhitt
Mar 8, 2019 2:40 PM CST
Yes - the books all talked about urine, not poop. THey said poop could be used only on non-edibles - which is WAY too much for me to deal with anyway Crying
They said that urine was sterile and a wonderful addition. Still stuck on the ick factor though - and I guess now the smell factor. Sticking tongue out
But the books I read, and online also, say to "go" for it!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 8, 2019 2:42 PM CST
Hey, its your yard. Hopefully a BIG one that is well protected by view. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 8, 2019 2:47 PM CST
At first you said " fairly sterile", and in your next post you said "sterile". Which is it?
And why would you ever want to take a chance?

Now I am going to swear off lemonade!!! Rolling on the floor laughing
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
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cwhitt
Mar 8, 2019 3:06 PM CST
Well - the books said it is sterile while in your body, but as it passes out of you, it becomes technically non-sterile - unless you have just showered or such - it would be contaminated with the normal bacteria you may have on your skin. Probably not as bad as whatever you have on your hands though.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
[Last edited by cwhitt - Mar 8, 2019 3:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
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cwhitt
Mar 8, 2019 3:11 PM CST
Here are my sources:

The MiniFarming Guide to Composting, by Markham, Brett L.

The Ultimate Guide to Soil : the Real Dirt on Cultivating Crops, Compost, and a Healthier Home by Hess, Anna

https://www.veggiegardener.com...

Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 8, 2019 8:23 PM CST
cwhitt said:Well - the books said it is sterile while in your body, but as it passes out of you, it becomes technically non-sterile

Urine is sterile, unless you have a UTI.

Test have shown that it take at minimum 1-3 days for bacteria to grow in urine, now if you pee in your compost or on your ground do you think that in 1-3 days your garden is going to get a UTI?

I pee on my compost pile, on occasions when I am outside and have to take a whizz, better than leaving a spot on the lawn that is extra green.

Allthe -- OH my God, I am going to get Bubonic Plague from my garden if pee or poop there -- is at best ignorant paranoia.
Tests are done in sterile labs with no other part of nature affecting what ever they want to look at, unless you live in an area with a local disease infecting the majority of the population with an infectious disease you chance of it affecting you in any way from their urine or poop is half way between none and next to none.

One summer I spent a good part of a day standing in a foot and a half of human sludge shoveling it, literally, into a vacuum tube intake.
Most of the rest of the summer I crawled down into sewer manholes shoveling sand like debri out of the trought that carries sewage, without gloves.
Outside of cute little bugs crawling out of my nose every now and then it did not affect me one bit. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 8, 2019 8:37 PM CST
I can understand being caught short and needing to tap a kidney or bleed the old bladder but to piss in compost?
I will stop watching this thread now but my last thought is this. Urine is a waste product, sterile or not, it would matter not to me. I work hard tending my flowers and my veggies and the thought of me or some one peeing on my tomatoes, pissing on my green peppers and cukes turns my stomach.
"Man, you know these could have been bigger or tasted better if I pissed on them more often!"is something I never want to contemplate.
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 8, 2019 8:50 PM CST
BigBill said:Urine is a waste product, sterile or not, it would matter not to me.


How about cow manure, chicken manure, goat manure, rabbit poop, worm casings... Sounds like a personal problem to me. Rolling on the floor laughing

BTW, Bill, I am betting you are still watching. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Mar 8, 2019 9:03 PM CST
Like a moth to a 🔥.
The only manure I ever tried was cow manure. Never tried the others.

My grandma, rest her soul, was raised on a farm in Granby Connecticut. There, I would imagine, all of the animal waste was applied to the crops. We are talking 1910 to 1925 or so.
But I would draw the line at human waste. Just gives me the willies!!! Sticking tongue out
“The only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 8, 2019 9:07 PM CST
@BigBill, my husband is suggesting you try peeing on your orchids ... it was his father that pee'd on the azaleas. Maybe it runs in the family... D'Oh!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
West Central Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Rubi
Mar 8, 2019 10:52 PM CST
I use lots of pee in my compost. It breaks down very quickly. It's not like people are advocating taking a leak on some lettuce and then instantly making a salad. The urine gets added to the soil. Realistic people that realize there is nothing wrong with this sometimes forget that the vast majority of people live in cities and have no concept of the natural world.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Mar 8, 2019 11:25 PM CST
We sneak behind the shed to pee in the garden. It's a personal choice. My garden is fine and nobody gets sick. I know from years of reading garden forums we are not alone. Hurray!
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
kittriana
Mar 9, 2019 12:15 AM CST
Ok, certain amounts of urine may be sterile, but there is a septic issue after time passes, human urine/poo tends to contain (metals) we consume in foods that aren't healthy. Animal poo has different diets, but that is also differentiated between the foragers and carnivores as far as desirable. I won't use human pee/poo. Male Dog urine is known to kill plants after being overdosed in the stuff. Some places just don't wash down well.
Should you go first, and I remain, to walk the road alone- I'll live in Memory's garden, dear, with happy days we've known.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 9, 2019 8:37 AM CST
Why would you want to?! If your plants need more nitrogen, use fertilizer.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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