Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Save Your Soil with the Power of Pee

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down into the dirt – but you may want to grab a bucket, especially first thing in the morning. Nutrient loss in our soils is an ongoing issue for some gardeners, and you may find help in an unexpected—liquid—form.

Carol Deppe, author of The Resilient Gardener and Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties touts the benefits of nourishing soil to keep your garden growing, even in hard times. Using grass clippings, leaves, and other organic matter is common practice. Many use manure, too, but Deppe also boosts soil fertility with urine. She recommends the first pee of the morning. Here’s why:

“I collect my first pee of the morning in a bucket. Later pee is pallid stuff. Both color and odor suggests that the first-early pee is more concentrated. My guess is that there are more nutrients in the first batch of pee after waking than in all the pee put together for the entire rest of the day. So I collect the first pee and forget the rest,” writes Deppe. She also dilutes the pee then waters both the plants and the ground. Although, she said she doesn’t water the parts of the plants she’ll eat, like lettuce leaves.

Deppe is not alone in recognizing the power of pee. In The Resilient Farm and Homestead, author Ben Falk describes human urine as the “ideal plant food for the vegetative state of growth.”

To find out more about how to put pee to work for you and your soils, read this excerpt from The Resilient Gardener.

The Power of Pee by Chelsea Green Publishing


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