There have been plenty of folks snickering about this front-page story from The Chapel Hills News:
CARRBORO Roy Mars was peeing in his compost last weekend it adds nitrogen when he looked up and saw something streak across the sky.
The story written by Mark Schultz was about a UFO sighting in North Carolina. But the buzz about the article wasnt because of the spaceships; it was the peeing in the compost part that gave readers a good laugh.
Really? Anyone who has been gardening for a while knows that peeing in the compost is the thing to do.
Uric acid speeds up the compost process and gets you to the end product faster. Even the National Trust in England provides pee bales in strategic places in public gardens and parks that the male horticulture staff can use.
PopScience says urine is a high-quality plant food rich with nitrogen, potassium and phosphate, much like any all-around organic fertilizer is. And its free.
Scientists in Finland reported a four-fold increase in tomato crops fed with urine and wood ash. (Wood ash in gardens is not a good idea if you have alkaline soils.)
Anecdotal reports in the rose-growing community say urine does wonders for these beauties. And the Washington Post reported the fantastic results urine had on cabbage crops.
The National Geographic says, Researchers estimate a single person could supply enough urine to fertilize roughly 6,300 tomato plants a year yielding some 2.4 tons of tomatoes.
But the focus should be the root zone, because urea can burn plant tissues.
Like anything in the fertilizer aisle, the key is not using too much.
As far as compost goes, urine serves as the green component in the green-to-brown ratio. The ideal mix for fast compost is 50 percent brown to 50 percent green. You have to watch the pile. If youve got too much nitrogen, youll know because it will smell.
Peeing directly in the garden is different. Goveganic.net says once or twice a month per plant is plenty. And keep moving. Not into the front yard though, or you can wind up in the slammer on indecency charges.
The back yard is all yours.