The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Expediting compost with urine

Homemade female urinalOnce I started collecting my own urine (with the quick and dirty contraption shown here), I suddenly had a lot more to play with.  In fact, I ran out of projects dying for an immediate dose of nitrogen and ended up wandering around the garden with a jug of liquid gold in my hand.

Winter compost pile








Aha!  The fall compost pile was sitting there doing nothing, mostly because I'd made it completely out of late summer weeds, which have a higher C:N ratio than spring weeds and decompose very slowly on their own.  Time to see if a regular dose of urine will speed up the composting process.

That's all of our urine experiments for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with more as the pee starts piling up again.  Have you gotten inspired and started to use your urine in your garden?  What's your favorite method?

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This post is part of our Urine in the Garden lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:





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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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pH
I was wondering about the pH effect on soil. At http://www.rnceus.com/ua/uaph.htmlA I read that during sleep decreased pulmonary ventilation causes respiratory acidosis resulting in a first waking urine specimen being highly acidic. Do you think this, somewhat diluted, would be beneficial for lowering soil pH for acid loving plants like rhododendrens and blueberries? Or would you risk burning the plants? Just curious.
Comment by Lisa Sat Feb 12 18:03:58 2011
That's a fascinating question. I would suspect that urine would make the soil too salty before it built up a high enough concentration to affect the pH much, but I could be wrong. Perhaps it's not a good idea to use it on extremely alkaline-loving plants, or if your soil is already very acidic?
Comment by anna Sat Feb 12 21:39:28 2011





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