Liquid gold - use urine as fertilizer
Did you know that you yourself are the best producer of fertilizer for your garden? It's time to bring out the potty and fertilize with urine!
Liquid gold is an effective fertilizer that makes your garden flourish. Learn how to make liquid gold, what plants like it and how to water with urine.
What is liquid gold?
Liquid gold is the slightly nicer name for diluted urine. It's is also called pee water.
Urine is rich in nitrogen, fast-acting, nutritious and a good and free alternative to other liquid plant nutrients for your garden. Both for outdoor cultivation and for your flower beds, but also for pots on the terrace and for the containers on your balcony.
The diluted urine also works very well to enrich nitrogen-poor compost. Low-nitrogen compost is, for example, leaf compost and other compost that consists largely of dry grass, straw, newsprint and the like.
In addition to nitrogen, urine also contains potassium and phosphorus. The plant nutrients in urine are in low concentration with about 5 grams of nitrogen (N), 1 gram of phosphorus (P) and 2 grams of potassium (K) per liter, which provides a well-balanced fertilizer. This corresponds to other so-called NPK fertilizers with NPK 5-1-2. Exactly how much NPK you produce depends on when in the day you urinate and how much you urinate per day. From an average adult, you get a total of about 10–15 grams of nitrogen, 0.5–1.5 grams of phosphorus and 1.5–3 grams of potassium in one day. Your self-created fertilizer also includes sulfur, magnesium and calcium, which benefit the plants.
How to make liquid gold
To use urine as fertilizer in your garden, you need to dilute your pee with water because pure urine is too strong for the plants.
With your own urine and your liquid gold, you can fertilize an area of 200 m2 of vegetable cultivation in one season! There are divided opinions about the combination of medicines and hormones with liquid gold. If you eat a lot of medicines and hormones and are unsure, you can refrain from using your urine to water vegetables and other things to be eaten and instead focus on watering your ornamental plants with it.
1 part urine is mixed with 9 parts water, for example 1 dl urine and 9 dl water yields 1 liter of liquid gold.
If you want to use your nutrient solution to water potted plants, you dilute even more, ½ dl urine with 9 dl water.
To create your liquid gold, you can do it in two ways.
You can collect fresh urine in a tightly closed canister to use later, it can be stored for a few weeks. This method smells more so think about where you store your canister. Plan the dilution and watering for when you're not about to set the table for a garden party.
You can also use your urine directly by immediately diluting with water as above and watering. Pee in a potty or bucket, pour into a watering can and mix with water. There's a combined pot and watering can available for purchase that makes collecting and watering easier.
How to water with urine
Primarily you fertilize with liquid gold in the spring and early summer.
If you continue further into the garden season, late summer and autumn, it can cause too much growth and foliage. It can also delay ripening and budding before the autumn season and the plants do not have time to prepare for the winter dormancy and can get frostbite.
Annual plants you can continue to fertilize throughout the summer. As the name suggests, they have no need for winter preparations for next season.
For plants that are to be fertilized, the basic rule is to water more often with a weaker solution of liquid gold than rarely with a strong solution.
Liquid gold is fast-acting and you can look at the leaves of your plants when the liquid gold acts by giving them a darker green hue. If the foliage becomes very dark green or if there is an excessive amount of leaves in relation to what is grown, it's a sign of reducing or ending fertilization with the liquid gold for the season.
When watering with your mixture, do not water directly on the plants but on the soil next to it because the urine can burn fragile leaves. In row cultivation, you water between the rows of cultivation so the liquid gold reaches the roots and they can absorb the nutrients.
Do not fertilize immediately before harvesting your vegetables, but take a few weeks break before harvesting.
How often to fertilize with liquid gold
How often you should water with liquid gold depends on what is to be watered. Different crops and plants have different needs for nutrition. Some can be fertilized as often as once a week. For other plants, a couple or three times is enough in the spring and early summer. Some only need a single fertilizer with liquid gold during the season. Here are some examples of how often you can fertilize with urine and water.
1 time a week
Cabbage, pumpkin, leeks, asparagus, squash, tomatoes
2 times per season
3 times per season
Beans, cucumber, turnip, carrot, parsnip, potatoes, rhubarb, beetroot, lettuce, spinach
Hedges, roses, fruit trees
Plants that like liquid gold
Some plants like liquid gold more than others. Here are some examples of plants that like to be watered with urine diluted with water. Adjust the frequency of watering according to variety.
Leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce particularily enjoy being watered with liquid gold.
In general, those who give their harvest above ground, such as cabbage, pumpkin, squash, corn and tomatoes, need more nutrition and fertilizer.
Vegetables that form tubers and roots underground that are harvested, such as carrots, potatoes, leeks need less nutrition. If you give these too much nutrition, it can result in the root vegetables losing flavor and becoming bland. They can also be less suitable for storage.
Flowering plants can be watered with liquid gold, but if they grow in dry conditions, they shouldn't be fertilized too much as flowering can be affected and there will be predominantly leaves.
Perennial plants such as those who enjoy acidic soil and nitrogen like Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Magnolia are well suited to be watered with this.
Plants that don't like liquid gold
For various reasons, some plants don't like liquid gold. Here are some examples of plants that do not like to be watered with urine and the reason why.
When yellow onion, red onion and shallots are watered with this, there will be more haulm than onion. The onion also becomes less durable for storage.
For many berries, nitrogen-poor fertilizers are recommended. Nitrogen found in urine can produce weaker berries and berry bushes. Nitrogen can also cause blight and other fungal diseases that you want to avoid. However, raspberry bushes like nitrogen more than other berries and you can fertilize a raspberry bush twice a season, once in the spring, right at the start, and once in connection with your raspberry bush blooming.
Young seedlings are fragile and can be damaged by too much nutrition, so you should wait until they are a little bigger. The young plants also don't need as much nutrition so early in their lives, so wait until they have grown before you start fertilizing them.