Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

There's a lot of info available online on the subject of human urine as fertiliser

This is a good introduction:

Aside from the associated water saving -- flushing less -- advantage, there is a scientific case that urine  may be the answer to a looming global shortage of phosphorus, a key component in fertilisers.

Despite the  'yuk' factor, human urine is actually a relatively clean substance. It should be sterile when produced at the body  factory. Compared to other sources of  manure fertiliser -- cow, horse, sheep, chicken -- it carries much less chance of contamination by pathogens. 

Indeed, in-house human urine -- rather than the other solid stuff -- is where most of the good nutrients are at. 

The downside is the smell. However, if urine is diluted and spread on soil or mulch within 24 hours of its production, the odour issue won't register significantly in the process. Although some commercial  system do -- the preferred domestic management approach rule should be don't store your urine: use it fresh.

In situations of drought or water restrictions, recycling urine can save a significant amount of water. Even low-flow toilets use approx 6 litres   per flush (as opposed to 13.2 litres for the full) so that a visit to pee on average 5 times per day will use up a daily quotient of 30 litres of water. 

After working as a nurse for many years, especially in geriatric facilities,  urine doesn't scare me at all.  I also recall the time before sewerage connections were installed in houses and folk relied on outback 'can' toilets and under bed 'potties' -- just like kids' toilet training hardware-- to get them through the night without en suites

 I've been experimenting. So far so good. While it takes some dedication to collect and distribute human urine -- production is easy -- compared to other exotic gardening activities, like making manure teas and composting, it has its efficacy merits.

Why bother with pee, you ask? 

I think the core advantage with urine harvesting is that it can contribute to your water budget by reducing  usage. It won't impact on your water bill much given the way the utilities currently charge, but each week you could be saving 300 litres of drinkable water from being flushed away. Scandinavians  are building townships that recycle urine as a form of sustainable sewerage management.

Is the effort  worth it for the plants?

Hypothetically you'll save on input costs as you won't be importing fertilisers.Aside from the phosphorus advantage, research is very supportive:

Indeed if you were  feeling a bit low on any day  and feeling a tad worthless as a human being , you can take heart from the fact that  you  could supply enough urine to fertilize roughly 6,300 tomato plants a year.

There's power in pee!

Views: 2029

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Home made is best: DIY Urine Gardening Update

Since I've now been fertilizing with urine for some months -- half a year at least -- I thought I'd share my experiences and lessons.

  1. Don't store: fresh is best--and the only way to go.Odour is everything that matters about using urine on the garden. It is better to spread your nectar always sooner rather than later.
  2. Neat is OK: I find the business of diluting urine an absolute pain. Time consuming. Cumbersome and requiring a lot of trips to the tap. So I no longer dilute. This is how they teach the school kids in Zimbabwe. That doesn't mean that you actually urinate on your garden beds. But when you collect your wee and you  have mulched garden beds, start with the golden showering directly between the plants rather than complicating the issue with double handling.
  3. Between the plants: Neat is OK so long as you spread the wee between the plants. While I have  had no foliage issues -- no burning or leaf colour changes -- you don't want to eat for tea something you peed on that morning. To this end I suggest the use of a long spouted light watering can  without a flower head--  2-3 litres in volume should do. Make the task manageable and the spout should enable you to target where your golden shower prefer.
  4. Pong First Aid: 'Tis amazing how only a litre or so of urine can odour up the air if it is allowed to 'rest'. To save yourself or your neighbour any embarrassment, the best therapy for odour is to hand water over the urine to drown the smell. Soak it into the soil. That's even more effective than mixing pong urine and then spreading it. If you have smelly wee ready to go, get it to  ground  level  and always drown it with a good hosing straight away.
  5. Does it work? I've had no complaints from the vegetables so far.The figures for urine makes for good N:P:K  but I haven't been adding ash because I haven't been burning wood. But then: no complaints.Urine collecting can be an easy routine -- if, say, you were looking for a fulfilling hobby. But I'd stick to your own brand. That should be ample for most gardens. Where you spread it or when isn't the challenge. If you collect it -- then spread it ASAP within that first 24 hours. Directly on mulched gardens is the way to go so long as you also water them too. I find it sufficient to use the urine where it may be needed rather than keeping to some consecutive plan.
  6. Do you need to supplement? I've wondered about that. I've been a little hesitant about using urine on my seedlings (1:15 mix is recommended) but I'm thinking some sort of seaweed based mix may prove useful generally.I've stated to experiment with a microbial innoculent mix . Cover my options. But since the point is to reduce my garden inputs i thought I'd splurge on a creature feature an indulgence. The fact is that my garden surely gets enough fertilization anyway and the urine applications are really about sharing the love. But then , being on sand any liquid addition is going to filter through quickly. So I'm waiting for the day --which may in time come or not at all -- when the garden says, "I've had enough. I'm all peed out. I'm drowning, man -- drowning in wee." Until then...I'll keep making it (just can't help myself) if the garden keeps lapping it up.

"Please, sir, I want some more."The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds; and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear."What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice."Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more."

Now that did give me a few chuckles.

Seeing as there's usually just one in this household I will continue to keep the urine fertilising simple and direct ie no need for containers. I share under the cover of night. Those full moon nights make me a little anxious that neighbours might think me an eccentric old lady but so far I seem to be undetected. I am yet to physically climb into any of my raised beds but that's not to say I might not give it a go one day when they are empty of growth.

My five year old grandson knows he's allowed to pee in Grandma's garden but must not do it elsewhere. At least I think he knows.

Thanks Dave for reigniting the urine discussion ,you all had a chuckle beforehand about the male urine collection device so I thought a photo would be appropiate lol

Although this collection device hangs proudly on the home made composter they can be hidden anywhere ,hoophouse ,garage,bathroom and should never arrouse suspicion ,why not make yours today LOL

Adding to my urine collection tool its now been upgraded with being tied to a rope onto the composter making it easier to find at night if it fell of. It's also good to see there are a lot more of the backyard pee brigade. To me it doesn't matter if you are a gardener or not the cost of all our utilities water included now make it just common-sense to do so. I guess the golden rule folks is whistle while you work

This thread has certainly encouraged me to wee on the garden more. One thing I've found is that grass clippings seem to be able to tolerate a lot of urine without getting smelly. I figure it will release the nutrients as it decomposes, like a urine slow release fertiliser.

I don't think weeing on the garden is so useful because it is hard -- regardless of gender -- to target your enrichment episodes.

I'm sorry to be a partying pooper -- or wee-er -- but you really need to collect the stuff.

Urinating into an outdoor bucket is kosher urine horticulture. Then Into a watering can....soon after. But unless you are growing lemons, free form micturition isn't something that would pass productivity protocols. Although compost heaps may be able to accommodate a lot of urine day in day out...

Surendra Pradhan of Finland’s University of Kuopio shows off cabbages whose growth was boosted by fertilizing them with human urine.

Also urinating outback has exposure issues -- moonlight or no.

I'm not against it, indeed I recommend it, but I'm saying that you  gotta make the best of your wee.

The normal range for an adult urinary output is between 400 ml  to 2 litres of urine daily.  For a small garden 2 litres per day is a big ask. But let's just say if you don't want to kill anything or share the olfactory consequences, you need to broadcast your product not focus it on any one spot.

Everyone knows what cat wee does to a property's ambiance. Occasional nocturnal showers aren't really worth the effort of embracing the night if your intention is to fertilize. I think the whole urinating caboodle needs to be conscious and organized.

A bucket with a lid may be feasible. Indeed I know it is.

And before you start weeing all over, do your sums: compare normal fertilizer inputs to what urine has on offer and make  your work up your garden specific.

My habit is such that when I am home, I never visit the toilet to urinate. I'm discreet and productive and very giving.

I demand little of the  lavatory.

This means that I could earn a Urinating Merit Badge if such an award existed.

So after passing so many litres of experience I'm saying you need a plan if you are going to divest yourself of your wee separate from restroom facilities.

I think Dave is dead on the money (or gold) with this.  I made the mistake of focusing my efforts on three particular fruit trees.  Within a few days, I began to get "the waft."  It wasn't good. 

Now, I'm not saying that I am dead lazy.  However, I found my best bet was to .. attend to my compost tea.  It lives in a 36 liter bin with with a lid on it.  It's also aerated and gets worm juice and lots of fish emulsion when I clean my aquaponics pumps. It is a solution that just happens to work really well for me without having to do anything extra (and without My Rozie working out what's going on).  

I actually feel a bit guilty if I find myself flushing at night.  What a waste of good waste. 

Now there's a Logo "Don't waste your waste".

Actually the work around is to keep a bucket out back with water in it and top it up from your own plumbing.I found that using the output in compost tea was senses challenging....but then I wasn't sponsoring a foaming head through aeration. Maybe a large cocktail shaker is the way to go ....

Imagine....I'm in my dressing gown after a night of micturition defending the free world from godless nasties. Cravat at the neck. Pencil bar moustache perhaps....smelling of aftershave and reeling of manicured finger nails.

I hold the container  up to the morning light to enjoy its opaqueness.Liquid gold.

"I like my urine shaken. Not stirred,' I say.' But I do like it to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they smell bad. This mix's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I think of a good name.'


Important note about adding photos:

Always add photos using the "From my computer" option, even if you are on a mobile phone or other device.


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

© 2021   Created by Andrew Cumberland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service