The ultimate organic fertiliserJune 13, 2014, 9:07 pm
Being an avid home-gardener, I am always on the lookout for practical, economical and convenient ways to improve my home garden, which provides us with almost all the vegetable needs of our household. Recently, I happened to come across some very useful information on the Internet which I thought fit to share with my fellow home gardeners. Hence this letter.
Farmers apply chemical fertilisers Urea, Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) and Muriate of Potash (MOP) respectively to provide Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and and Potassium (K) – commonly referred to as NPK - to their cultivations. NPK is essential for a plant to grow. However, if a plant is to thrive it needs what are known as ‘trace elements’ (such as Magnesium), in addition to NPK. For trace elements, farmers have to use other liquid fertilisers, which are quite costly.
The information I am about to share with you is about a natural liquid organic fertiliser which contains all the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) plus the necessary trace elements, which are essential for a thriving home garden. There are two things which put this fertiliser a cut above the fertilisers in the market. Firstly, it is freely available round the year and secondly, it is cost free!
The fertilizer I am talking about is human urine, which we let go waste because we do not realise its value. Using urine as a fertiliser in the home garden may sound disgusting to some. However, consider the following facts.
Human urine is one of the fastest-acting, most excellent sources of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium (NPK) and trace elements for plants, delivered in a form that’s perfect for assimilation. It is 95 per cent water. The remaining 5 percent is made up of a mixture of urea, minerals, salts, hormones and enzymes. It is said that during a pee, a healthy adult releases 11g nitrogen/urea, 1g phosphorus/super-phosphate and 2.5g potassium. Patrick Makhosi, a soil scientist with Uganda’s Kawanda Agricultural Research Organisation, confirms the efficacy of human urine as a fertilizer. He says that applying urine to growing vegetables once every week for at least two months will more than double the yield.
Besides that, if urine is collected and used as a straight fertiliser to feed the plants or in composting, a lot of water which is used to flush it away could be saved. For instance, the average person urinates five times a day and the average quantity of water used every time to flush it away is eight litres. On that basis, one uses 40 litres of water per day to flush away one’s approximately 1.5 litres of urine. What if there are 5 persons in your household? They would be using (or wasting) 200 litres of valuable drinking water each day (adding up to 6000 litres for a month), which could have been saved, if urine could be collected and used to nourish your home garden.
So, if you want a ready source of plant food that is perfectly balanced for your garden, that is absolutely free, available all year round, saves valuable drinking water and prevents excessive use of cleaning chemicals, and limits the heavy use of fossil fuels in artificial fertilizer production, consider using your own urine.
If you intend to use urine as a fertilizer you have to device ways to collect it. Keeping a small bucket with a lid in your toilet to collect your own urine is a simple way of doing this. Here are some tips to be followed in using urine as a fertilizer:
Use fresh urine (less than 24 hours old) for use as a straight fertilizer. Always dilute one part of urine with ten parts of water. Do not spray it on foliage or fruits, for obvious reasons. Apply it to the root systems of plants.
Dilute 1:50 for using on pot plants.
Pour old urine (more than 24 hours old) neat on your leaf compost heap. It is a fabulous compost accelerator/activator, with the extra benefit of adding more nutrients.
N. P. Karunadasa,
Last Updated Feb 21 2017 | 09:21 pm