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Urine as ecological fertilizer for agriculture and gardening

The reuse of human urine for use as a fertilizer in agriculture and gardening is something that is being done more and more. Although in the past it was already used as compost or fertilizer, today great innovations in ecology help us to be able to use it more effectively and with great results. In addition, the use of urine as fertilizer allows us to save fertilizers in gardens and fields.

In this AgroCorrn article we will review several curious initiatives based on the use of urine as ecological fertilizer for agriculture and gardening .

You may also be interested in: Ways to use coffee leftovers in the garden
Index
  1. Urine is an organic, cheap and effective fertilizer
  2. What science says about urine as organic compost
  3. Tips on how to use urine as organic compost

Urine is an organic, cheap and effective fertilizer

Actually, the thing has no mystery whatsoever. Since urine is an organic waste , it can be used as an organic fertilizer . However, there are buts. On the one hand, it is true that it contains nutrients that are useful for plants, especially nitrogen and uric acid or potassium, magnesium and calcium, among others.

However, in turn, it contains traces of drugs. In fact, the composition of urine varies depending on many other factors, such as diet, possible diseases or the type of water we drink and, when it comes to microbes, it has less than saliva or feces.

In addition, if it is stored, the pH increases and we will minimize pathogens. So, we can use it as is, and thus obtain a cheap and effective fertilizer? Although if it comes from a healthy person it is usable, since it does not have viruses or bacteria and is biodegradable, it is better to know how to do it.

What science says about urine as organic compost

Indeed, the use of urine as a fertilizer for plants is a practice that does not have buts, except when it is contaminated in its collection or storage, let’s say. Currently, for example, studies seek to determine if there are certain remnants of drugs that may end up reaching food and, therefore, enter the food chain.

Apart from these aspects, since it is considered a safe compost , even the World Health Organization has guidelines for its use in agriculture and experiments and projects proliferate not only in urban orchards or private gardens, but also in intensive crops and in public gardens.

Of course, with respect to the latter, the citizen contribution made through public urinals is appreciated . In Amsterdam they are clear: their mayor’s office has proposed to collect the urine of its inhabitants to fertilize gardens and agricultural land.

Using large amounts of urine from many people requires special treatment. In general, it is stored at high temperatures for several months to generate ammonia, with the increase in pH to which we alluded. This is how pathogens are reduced , and the results can be very satisfactory.

A group of environmentalists from Vermont, in the United States, carried out a project with the Rich Earth Institute for its use in a hay crop that belonged to a farm. With the urine of more than 170 volunteers, cisterns were filled and he underwent this type of treatment. The objective was to take advantage of all the nitrogen and phosphorus that we obtain from food to return it back to the field, avoiding spending large sums of money on synthetic fertilizers.

At the same time, of course, an ecogesture is made that is well worth it, since urine is used as fertilizer and does not contribute to increasing gray water, another source of pollution and disorders in ecosystems. In fact, being very high in phosphorus and nitrogen, urine is very polluting if it has not been treated as we mentioned before.

Among other negative effects of excess untreated urine, for example in gray water, we highlight that it causes algae to grow in rivers, unbalancing ecosystems in a terrible way. An environmental problem that is avoided, and an agricultural benefit that is achieved. In this project, finally, a significant increase in productivity was observed.

Tips on how to use urine as organic compost

If we want to use human urine in the garden or orchard , the most common recommendations refer to its dosage. In addition to monitoring that they come from healthy people , it is important to do it only at home.

We will incorporate it into the soil, through irrigation . Let’s avoid spraying, because the particles will remain in the air and it will be unpleasant, in addition to losing part of the nitrogen. At the same time, it is better to dilute it, one fifth for adult plants and one tenth for seedlings or seeds.

Besides fertilizer, it can be used as a fungicide and to accelerate the composting . Of course, before launching it would be advisable to document yourself on the subject using manuals and simple guides that guide you on the different assumptions.

In any case, if things are done well, their microbiological risk is very low, we can produce good quantities, although technological equipment is required for their conservation. A good resource for small farmers and, of course, for a more sustainable agriculture .

Keep in mind that it should ideally be pasteurized if we want to use it in agricultural crops and also remember that the best time to apply it is one month before harvest, as recommended by the WHO.

If you want to read more articles similar to Urine as an ecological fertilizer for agriculture and gardening , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .

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