Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Golden showers proven to improve crops

Here's a little vindication for you! For those of you who think I'm nuts for suggesting you use your urine as fertilizer for your crops, I thought I'd share this article with you, from the UK Daily Mail: Science & Tech (the emphasis are mine):
Gardeners keen to boost their crop of tomatoes may be surprised to learn they can turn to an unusual and free source of fertiliser.

Allotment growers can enrich the soil and therefore their plants using their own wee, according to a new study. Scientists discovered the unusual addition made crops up to four times larger.

A team of Finnish researchers found that sprinkling tomatoes with human urine mixed with wood ash was the ultimate eco-friendly fertiliser. It worked just as well with cucumber, corn, cabbage and other crops. Although scientists have previously tested urine on plants, this is the first one to mix it with wood ash.

The mixture produced bumper harvests when compared to untreated plants.

It could one day be substituted for costly synthetic fertilisers.

The university study, published in this month's Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, found using nitrogen-rich urine does not carry any risk of disease.

When combined with wood ash is perfect to provide minerals and reduce the acidity of soil.

Report author Surenda Pradhen said the findings could lead to a new source of cheap fertiliser without the need to use potentially dangerous chemicals.

'The results suggest that urine with or without wood ash can be used as a substitute for mineral fertiliser to increase the yields of tomato without posing any microbial or chemical risks,' she concluded.

So there. Don't be complaining to me if you've got puny crops... you know what to do!

Who out there is still fertilizing their crops with diluted urine? Anyone... anyone?

Thanks to all of you who emailed me the article!

15 comments:

Robin said...

Yep, one hand raised over here. My rhubarb is about 4 feet tall.

Sonja said...

Hmmm, nope only the compost pile, will have to start telling the boys this.

Heather @ SGF said...

That does it! I'm sending the hubby out back to pee with the dog. Just aim for the garden baby...

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

I do this a bit from time to time when out in the garden and no one is around. One of the benefits of living in the country.

But I do worry a bit about residuals from prescription and over the counter meds. Any info to share on that?

Anonymous said...

Yup... Being female I use recycled plastic containers to pee in and use the results within 24 hours (after that pee changes and the smell isn't good)I mix it about one to ten with water and apply. Don't use this on lettuces or green onions you are using in salad any time in the next ten days or so. Oh and also don't bother telling your friends, they already think you're nuts.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Hmmmm.... I've been thinking about G-diapers, but won't flush them, considering how much we paid for our engineered septic system. Perhaps composting the wet ones with the wood ash will do well.

eladnarra said...

I've been randomly telling my friends about this ever since I read "Dam Nation" (http://greywateraction.org/). They had a picture comparing the sizes of corn grown with (and without) "golden showers." I thought it was brilliant. ^_^

Sandy said...

I did it in the spring to ward off deer. It's a community garden, so I had to be sneaky. Who knew it was a fertilizer too!!!! My neighbor gardeners kept asking why my garden looked so much better than theirs. Now I know why!

Robj98168 said...

^^Raises hand. I do. Ever since your golden shower party. And Sometimes I go up to the composter and just pee on it. LOL Not at the community garden though. They might take offense to me peeing on everybodies veggies.Hmmmm... maybe if I said it was performance art???

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Frustrated Farmer, If you're taking the drugs and you are eating the veggies, no concerns.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

YAY for garden whizzing!

Greenpa said...

ok. While the opportunities for humor are vast, I really want to be serious.

The only problem with pee for plants is- keeping it going. (oh, hush)

Tons of folks will do this for a short time; (like a year) but in the long run, it tends to become too much trouble, one way or another, and people get out of the habit.

Few of us can actually go pee in the garden any time we gotta go. Many will use a container in the bathroom, for the family to contribute to.

Then somebody has to empty it. And on time, because if you don't, it gets very stinky, the urea turns to ammonia and disappears into the air (and is not good for anyone to inhale anyway) - and eventually, someone in the family comes to really really hate it, and you have friction.

What we need is some genius to make the process very simple- and non stinky- so that the entire thing remains painless year after year.

Start thinking, you guys.

Kim from Milwaukee said...

Greenpa, what about a setup that collects the pee and directs it right outside to the garden area? Like a modified greywater system?

Like this, but coming from the potty...
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://aquadoc.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/01/31graywater.span&imgrefurl=http://aquadoc.typepad.com/waterwired/2007/06/greywater_guerr.html&usg=__tQ5Mq3x5UHRBpUKIXHinuGJh6Lw=&h=350&w=600&sz=53&hl=en&start=4&um=1&tbnid=ufUJAd3StRfZMM:&tbnh=79&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgreywater%2Bsystems%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

Rosa said...

We have been using a lot of pit toilets this summer, because of all the camping, and it seems like separate urinals would be a good source of revenue (look, i skipped the pun!) for the national and state parks that are servicing pit toilets anyway.

Condo Blues said...

I let the dog handle that one. We had a brown spot (not him, due to grubs) that I reseeded and Blitzkrieg watered - a lot. It's the greenest little spot in yard! Maybe I should hook the dog up to a sprinkler and make sure he water's the lawn evenly?

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