Our top-secret plant food trials… Sssshh!

This year, tipped off on Twitter, I carried out a bit of an experiment with a new plant food; one that is completely free and in plentiful supply.  No, not my much-loved comfrey tea — something far easier to acquire that that.

Pee.

There, I said it.  I use urine on my plants, and I have to say that I think the results have been encouraging – it’s certainly something I’ll be doing in the future, possibly on my recently-planted garlic to give them a good start.

Guess which of these onions was fed with a 10:1 water:pee solution?

Guess which of these onions was fed with a 10:1 water:pee solution?

It may seem a little weird, but hey-ho – I pee’d in a recycled 4-pint milk bottle each morning for a few days at a time, then added the full bottle to a watering can.  Once every two weeks during the main growing season was enough to notice a difference in the size of the crops.  You’ll want to ease off on feeding when you get closer to harvesting time.

The photograph above shows the results of an onion taken from the row fed with “Agent Orange” and one from the row which was treated normally (occasional comfrey “tea” feeding, but otherwise left to their own devices).

Impressive!

You can read a little more about using your pee as a plant food at The Ecologist, except their article written by someone that knows why it works, rather than just that it does.

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12 thoughts on “Our top-secret plant food trials… Sssshh!

  1. It’s an age old trick, they used to water public gardens in Rome with it, but it has fallen out of favour thanks to people like glaxo-smithkline. Glad to see it beimg used again, as the phosphorus and nitrates in pee are much needed in soil as they dont occur that much in nature. Why not go the whole hog and buy the humanure handbook?

    • I’d never heard of it, but thanks for the recommendation! I’m also thinking of setting up another worm composter at home (used to have a home-made one in the pre-allotment days).

      It makes sense – after all, people don’t worry about manure being put into the soil, but seem to think it’s odd to use whizz.

      Things are definitely getting too “sanitised,” with people turning their nose up at good, common sense.

      Thanks for the comment and for reading, by the way

      • Wormerys are good, I have to say that I’ve never got round to constructing one but it’s on the list! definitely worth finding yourself a copy of the Humanure handbook its a great book with masses of info in it.
        – BHH

  2. I take it our pee won’t kill a dandelion at 10 paces like our dogs? Cheers for liking my recent post on Serendipity Farm and for your excellent blog. I will be tucking you into my RSS Feed Reader post haste where you will join a motley collection of eccentrics all hell bent on peeing on onions and learning something valuable about life in the process. I look forward to future adventures 🙂 (and I am going to get Steve to pee in a milk carton…that WILL be fun 😉 )

    • It possibly could kill a dandelion (hey, another thing it can be used for!) — I have been diluting mine down – I’ve seen recommendations online of anything from 10:1 to 50:1 – I’m a lot less precise and tip the 4 pint milk bottle into a can and top up with rainwater. It certainly seems to work for us!

      Thank you for the nice comments and for reading!

      • I love finding new great blogs and yours promises to be well worth reading. Cheers for following Serendipity Farm as well. Hopefully we can all find something to learn from each other. I figure you are in the U.K? We live in Tasmania. Steve comes from the U.K. so I guess we have a sort of bridge ;). I love reading about other people’s gardening adventures. Steve and I are new to this lark. Prior to moving to Tasmania, gardening was something that my family did that I avoided strenuously and Steve knew what a tree was… that was about it. We then launched ourselves into a course in horticulture and ended up with a Diploma in horticulture and a Diploma in Landscape Design. Does that mean that we are now officially “experts?” Nope. That means that we can satisfy our lecturer with bamph ;). Actually “DOING” is a lot harder than telling someone how to do and we are learning that each and every day. It’s full on growing season here in Tassie and we just finished a tennis court size epitaph to “how to prevent small furry animals from eating you out of house and home”. We are satisfied out the wazoo but are yet to get our garden beds up and running…wish us luck, we are going to need it! (I wonder if I can get Earl to actually aim at the dandelions rather than every building corner and our bbq…might be worth the odd dog treat to try…but then there is always horticultural vinegar, the next best thing to Earl pee 😉 )

  3. Apparently “Pee” is good for putting on your compost heap, as it helps break everything down. Not tried it myself, as I’m not sure if I could perch on top of my compost heap very comfortably. To be honest I don’t think it would be a very pretty sight. Some may think this disgusting, but after all it’s natural, so why waste it!!

  4. A while back, I visited a farm that uses a lot of permaculture methods…As we were touring round, I saw cows grazing on the greenest, lushest-looking grass I’d ever seen, and asked what was being put on the fields. Yep – pee. The farm owners were collecting gallons of the stuff and watering it down, to spray over their fields. Now I just have to persuade my other other half that he wants to start his day peeing on the compost or into a milk carton…And why stop at pee?! Last year I asked for a compost loo for my birthday – there were no takers! Ah well, maybe this year…

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