Don’t Waste That Urine!

This is the kind of post the woman I love finds mortifying, not because she disagrees with it but because it’s just not seemly to talk about these things.


The fact is, though, that if you grow anything, you need to be saving and using your own urine and that of your family members. I know, because I’ve seen the powerful effect of my own.

We’ve known for decades that human urine is sterile and rich in nitrogen. We also know that the phosphorous in urine, although not plentiful, is in a form that most plants can use more easily than the phosphorous in chemical fertilizers. For our naturally acidic central Alabama soil, urine has one additional advantage, a high pH.

For the last several weeks, as an experiment, I’ve been urinating on the hillside just north of the pole barn. Now that I know what a positive impact urine has, I change locations all the time. When I first started, though, I concentrated in a narrow band just across the driveway from the outdoor work area. Something about the shortest distance between a man and his toilet comes to mind, but let’s not get bogged down.

There was a dramatic difference in the growth and vitality of the grass in the areas that had the benefit of the urine. They were richer, darker, greener, and thicker. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have photos to show this, and now the entire hillside is rich and green because we’ve seeded it with rye grass, so there’s no longer a noticeable difference. But I can confirm that the areas that had fresh urine on them looked better.

This is not a soliloquy about the joys of peeing in the yard; in fact, my chosen method is probably wasteful; it would be preferable to pee into a container and dilute it 10:1 before distributing it. Maybe I’m just lazy, or maybe I have decided we don’t need one more weird substance in a container to keep up with.

I’ve settled for the next best thing. I’ve learned what I refer to as the fine art of the “sway pee.” For men, it’s a matter of making sure each stream gets distributed over a relatively wide area and that each new stream lands in a fresh area. I can report with confidence that women, even the adventurous woman I am blessed to call my wife, seem to have little interest, inclination, or aptitude to attempt a sway pee, so don’t try.

Sorry, honey. The next post will be more mundane. Promise.

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