sequoia_stiffy

compost - to pee or not to pee

sequoia_stiffy
12 years ago

PUNK ROCK GARDENING.

EVERYBODY PEES ON THE COMPOST. What is the effect of direct human urination on a compost pile of grass clippings? Yay or Nay? Please leave any comments regarding the grossness/socially uncouth notions of this situation aside.

Thank You.

Comments (117)

  • Ed Beller
    3 years ago

    This question has got to rank up there with "do I need to rinse before loading the dishwasher".

    Featured Answer
  • petalpatsy
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    paulns, I'm not a soil scientist, or really much of a scientist at all. I'm an MD anesthesiologist, disabled for the last five years from a spinal cord injury. But, since I was a child genius and went to med school as a mere baby, the organic chemistry we brushed over is still pretty fresh. I was 45 last year, and this year I plan to be 44. I think I have that figured correctly.....

    Seriously, 1/2 teaspoon in a gallon doesn't sound like that much to me, since I would put that much into one batch of compost that was spread over 100 sq. ft. I don't really know how much salt is a lot of salt for the soil. Good luck with the seawater/asparagus plan!

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  • curtludwig
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    My heavens, what a thread!

    Back in the day I worked summers at a Boy Scout camp. We counselers would pee right by our cabins all the time rather than hike to the latrine, especially in the wee (HA!) hours.

    During the summer you could watch the foliage get burnt from the urine. I don't think it was salt causing the burn I think it was the nitrogen levels, maybe ammonia? Heck what do I know?
    Anyway the following summer the foliage would be back growing taller than ever.

    The moral of the story is not to put your pee on just a couple plants or to dilute it well with water. Dilution helps keep the smell down too. I remember one summer there was a drought and we all agreed to pee in the latrines phew!

  • paulns
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    If we get jumbo asparagus in that patch and make postcards showing one big asparagus stalk on the back of a flatbed truck over a caption that says We Grow Em Big Here you will be the first I email it to, Petalpatsy.

    I've tried many times to understand the difference between table salt and fertilizer salts, since we use some rather 'salty' amendments like urine, seaweed, eelgrass and chicken manure, but I've given up, and take the word of people here who sound like they know what they're talking about, including yourself - I appreciate it.

    Now that I think about it though, is it safe to say that all salts have a parching effect on plant roots if there's too much of them (salts)?

    About diluting, I find the foulest smelling urine - stuff that's been forgotten in a closed bucket for days in summer - the smell will go away in hours, if not minutes, once it's exposed to soil bacteria and air.

  • ptilda
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I found this interesting thread while doing research on using urine in compost (I like the idea). And then I wonder to myself... I just went to a local homestead and helped clean out their small barn that had housed 4 horses over the winter, with only thin layers of straw being placed over the wet "deposits". The stuff stunk to HIGH HEAVEN! But my compost pile LOVES it!

    Doctors and nurses and other germo-phobes (I think I just made that word up) are paranoid about cooties, but studies (beyond my own independent studies) show that kids who are allowed to get the sniffles & eat dirt & go outside without their coat on in 20-degree weather, grow up to have less health problems. So, I plan on having a HEALTHY compost pile AND a healthy garden.

  • takadi
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It's funny ptilda, I was just talking to some people about the origins of allergies and some people were saying how we live in too clean and sterile of a lifestyle, and the histamines mistake the pollen and stuff for nematodes for which it was originally meant for.

    I mean, when using any type of waste, common sense should be used, but urine really is good stuff. It's as urine was made specifically to recycle nutrients back into the food web

  • avid_hiker
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Ptilda,

    You and I must have been reading this at the same time. I was laughing my head off.

    I remember back when I first started composting and wondering what all I could put in my compost. I searched the NET and found all kinds of stuff to use not to mention all the different types of composters. I was talking to a nursery guy and he suggested I go to the horse stables that are just down road and use horse manure because it does not have as much unin in the poop as cow manure does. He said horse manure is great because it is not as "hot" as steer manure. It is so funny to me that people say they will not pee in their compost piles and yet they put manure from cows, horses, rabbits, chickens,etc into their pile. The last time I checked we are mamals too. I would not put manure from sick animals into my garden either. How is it that people get so turned upside down when it comes to human urin vs other animals?

    Man I gotta say that I laughed and laughed. I just had to read every post. I spent an hour reading and laughing. People, when it comes to someone telling me how qualified the are to speak on a subject I get very suspicious if they try to convince me of their point of view by using extremes or data that does not seem to jive with what is logical. Pleasse remember one thing, on the internet a person can be anything they want to be. They can be a Nobel Prize winner if they want. When people start saying things like they are in the medical field but then resort to exaggeration or fear tactics to bolster their argument then as far as I am concerned, their credibility is immediately suspect.

    Pee in your compost if you want and don't pee in your compost if you don't. But dont tell me that I am at risk for getting HIV from a compost pile. If you are in the medical field, and that is a BIG if, you would know that. As a marriage and family therapist I know that. That is like telling me I can get HIV from sitting on a toilet seat.

    But still, the last time I checked I was not going to be arrested for putting my pee along with the the pee from horses, chickens, cows, or rabbits into my compost pile. People are animals too.

    Great thread people. Just great.

  • rj_hythloday
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I've been putting it straight in my corn patch. It'll go back to the compost pile after I harvest my corn.

  • joepyeweed
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It is so funny to me that people say they will not pee in their compost piles and yet they put manure from cows, horses, rabbits, chickens,etc into their pile. The last time I checked we are mamals too.

    There is a big difference in the manure from herbivores and the manure from carnivores or omnivores. Plant eating mammals have a different digestive system and are highly unlikely to be able to pass parasites that effect people.

    Carniovore/omnivore manures have the potential to pass parasites. However, those mammals would have to be infected/hosts in order to pass them. So if you are using the manure from healthy people or healthy animals (like a vaccinated/medicated dog eating commercial dog food) then you are minimizing the risk.

    avid hiker, if you are interested in this thread, have you seen the Humanure Handbook? Its available free online. I think you will like it,

  • idaho_gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hey rj, I am doing that this year for the first time. Seems to work. (I've been collecting my urine, letting it ferment for a day or so, and applying it to the soil under the corn plants.) The corn seems to be growing quite well, but this is my second year for corn, so I don't have a good basis of comparison.

    I do notice that my neighbor's corn isn't quite as green as mine.

    My wife is not exactly enthusiastic about this process, so I told her I'd use organic fertilizer when the ears of corn start growing.

  • luckygal
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Funniest statement in this thread - "I was 45 last year, and this year I plan to be 44" - Petalpatsy, I'm a disciple of that form of math also but I started about 20 years later than you!

    I've encouraged DH to "water" our compost as well and I think I'll get a bucket of sawdust for me to use (good idea). I always wear vinyl gloves when playing in my compost as use sawdust bedding from a horse boarding facility which has both manure and urine in it.

    I think I was more at risk when working in a hospital or whenever I'm shopping than when working with compost. I just wash my hands well after any of these activities.

  • idaho_gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Regarding germs in the compost bin; I almost never wear gloves when I'm composting or gardening. I never think to put them on. My hands go from garden soil with lots of compost, to compost bin, to working in the house doing sheetrocking, etc. I just don't get infections of any sort. Hormesis? Perhaps, but it just has never seemed to be a problem.

    I was working in the compost bin last year, moving a pile from one bin to another when I banged my right hand on the splintery piece of scrap plywood that has been one side of a bin for eight years. Trust me, it's been exposed to compost.

    A chunk of wood got jammed through my thumbnail. It was sore but I wanted to finish moving the pile, so I worked until it was completely done. Afterward, because I'm right handed, when I tried to pull that large splinter out of my right thumbnail, my left hand just didn't have the combination of strength and dexterity to do it. My wife was no help either.

    I went to the doc-in-the-box the next day and they numbed the thumb and pulled that chunk out of the thumbnail. He said it was the fattest splinter he'd seen jammed in there like that.

    There was no infection afterward.

    Two weeks ago, I shot a brad through the tip of my left finger. My fault, I hadn't let the air compressor get fully pressurized before trying to nail a bit of laminate flooring. The brad hit the hard surface of that laminate and
    bent into a fish hook shape. Through my finger. Didn't actually hurt.

    I cut one end of the brad off, and carefully rotated that curved end out of my finger. I kept pressure on it to stop bleeding. Because it was Sunday night and the doctor's offices were closed, I waited until Monday to go in to get some antibiotics from the doctor.

    It never got infected, despite the constant exposure to garden soil, compost, sheetrock dirt, etc. And I couldn't remember to keep taking the antibiotics because I just couldn't remember that I had injured my finger. No swelling, no discomfort, no nothing.

    My theory is that the bacteria in the compost bin are so numerous and so adapted to the environment, they they easily out-compete with the kinds of bacteria that would infect us.

    We don't get infected from eating yogurt or cheese, or fresh bread. (In fact, I think that the application of plain yogurt is a remedy for certain infections.) I'll have to take someone's word for it when there's a report of Legionnaire's disease after working with compost, but it's the only one I've ever heard of.

    I do wash my hands religiously when I'm at work, and I try not to touch public surfaces with my bare hands. No doubt that I still get exposed to public germs, but I try to minimize that. But garden germs just don't seem to be a bother.

    My mother recently passed due to complications of COPD. While she was in the hospital, she got hospital MRSA. I know of a lady that's probably going to die from MRSA because she can't fight off infections (a quadriplegic). I think the human community environment is far more dangerous than our garden environment, pee or no pee.

  • calm1
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    As far as saving water look at this site, the volume is amazing.

  • gardenz4evr
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think mutual respect is a good way to go here. But I must say, the whole reason why I decided to read this thread was because I was rather depressed about current events in my life, and thought it might help to read here. I am feeling much better now. Thank you to all who participated. I laughed several times along the thread.
    And for the record, I haven't pee-ed(?) in my compost.

  • joepyeweed
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    And for the record, I haven't pee-ed(?) in my compost.

    Did you mean to add, "not yet" at the end of that sentence?

  • teequiltbarbie
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I also have been reading this thread and found it interesting and very funny.

    It's been a great way to get my grandsons interested in the garden and composting. I've been able to talk to them about chemistry, recycling and life cycles. For me it's going to continue, peeing in the pile...not mine, just theirs. The 9 year old asked..."Grandma, does that mean next year I may eat something made out of my own pee?" Spawned a discussion of how things change and benefits of paying attention to what we do...both positive and negative.

  • gardenz4evr
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Joepyeweed,

    I have thought of doing the pee deal, but haven't gone that far yet ( "yet" like you hinted). I've read the benefits of adding urea. But I never did it. Being in a townhouse does not encourage me to go out water the pile. And I'm not gonna bother to save anything like pee in a bucket. I put my kitchen scraps in a bucket, but not much else. I did add horse manure in at one time, and that seemed to have a dramatic effect on my flower garden. But I don't have a truck anymore and so I'm not gonna load the back of my hatch back with horse poop. I don't think I would add pee to anything I thought I'd be consuming (i.e., vegetables). I like to experiment,and if I had more turf to work with, I would conduct a few of my own studies to see if one thing works (or enhances growth) better than another, including the whole pee concept. No humanure though.

  • gumbooter
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The Japanese have been using all human waste for centuries to grow produce. Pee in your compost! Its harmless and good value at the same time. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with using sea water to irrigate your plants either. They do it all the time in Israel and other places. Open your minds to the world around you and forget about the rules which are just man made anyway...and its man who is screwing up this beautiful planet...dont believe a word he says about nature!

  • sunnybunny
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I just posted a question on this site because I am in the middle of a project and forgot to check on a soil detail. I saw this thread and I had to read it because I taught my son to pee (urinate) off the deck for the plants and then water and then I had to revise that when we moved to a less private area. Thanks for posting this thread. All great tips! Thanks for the link to humanure I have been looking for that!

  • rond1
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    well I guess I will throw in my 2 cents. I pee in a gallon jug when its full I dump it in my compost pile. I thought it was weird, but my water bill was $30.00 less this year. through out the summer I throw grass clippings and leaves that I saved from the fall and then the pee. I turn the pile over every 2 weeks and there is no smell. the compost pile is large about 8 feet by 6feet by 3 feet high. Now I have more compost than I know what to do with, and I don't want to give any of my excess compost to my neighbors knowing my compost is full of pee. I actually feel a bit odd!

  • randy_coyote
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I peed in the 5 gallon bucket I keep in the utility room for kitchen scraps the other night. It was late and dark, but I was careful to hit the target (I can sink a Cheerio at 5 feet), but the next morning my bucket was empty and there was a little yellow stain leading from the bucket to the low spot on the floor. Apparently there was a little wee hole in my bucket. From now, it'll be late night forays out to the CP, at least until I get a bucket with only one hole.

  • r_skirt
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    So the action on this thread has slowed a little, but it looks like there's still some interest.

    I found GardenWeb through a link at journeytoforever.org
    http://www.journeytoforever.org/garden_con.html#contgard
    The germophobes and urinophobes on this site need to go read the fascinating account of how peasants in the slums of Mexico are successfully fighting hunger by growing their own food with leaf waste and household urine.

    The discussion of the peasants in Mexico leaves out a lot of details. They take a 5 gallon bucket, fill 4/5 full with dried leaves, top with 2" soil, drill a hole a few inches from the bottom to release excess water, and use urine to fertilize and compost the leaves, thereby producing a crop plus a whole bucket of compost to use for the 2" topping on several more buckets.

    Needs specifics: Is the urine directly applied to the pots, avoiding roots and leaves, or is a diluted solution used? Is urine fertilizer withheld for any period of time before harvest? Are different solutions used for different vegetables (fruit, leaf, root)?

    I requested info, and Keith Addison replied with a general "I suggest you try it. Check our site for more information." Well, I DID check the site, and couldn't find the information I needed. That's why I sent correspondence requesting SPECIFIC information. I'd like to feel that I could be reasonably certain to be at least 50% successful.

    There are many sources online for more information about using human urine for sustainable living. The biggest obstacle seems to be the "ick" factor. It's something like suggesting that the excess horses in the U.S. be butchered and sold in markets and restaurants. People are horrified . . . yet horses are livestock, they're herbivores, and they are prey animals that were born to be eaten. In the wild, if anything ever got on their back, it would either be mating them or trying to eat them.

    There's no logic to resisting using urine or horse flesh efficiently, but it doesn't "SEEM right" to many people.

    Any suggestions for more details about the system used in that Mexico project?

  • petalpatsy
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Apparently there was a little wee hole in my bucket."

    Good one. ;)

  • blutarski
    11 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    things of mine I've put in my compost:

    blood
    sweat
    nail clippings
    hair clippings
    ear wax
    urine
    saliva
    boogers

    Everything's been pretty much said about how germs that live in our bodies probably can't survive in a compost pile, so I won't repeat it.

    Respectfully, I believe that the microbiote that causes legionnaire's disease grows in standing water, most commonly from condensation from A/C units.

    The motto in our house is:
    "If it's yellow, let it mellow.
    If it's brown, flush it down!"

    My five and seven year old are still working on flushing ANTYTHING.

  • Paul Gregory
    3 years ago

    My god this question has caused a raucaus. I have been reading these comments and I just want to remind everyone that pee, unlike pooh, is completely sterile. There are no microorganisms in it at all. Infact if your pee has micro organisms in it, then you have a urinary tract infection. Now a good compost pile is teaming with micro organisms already. So you are in no means making your compost any dirtier than it already is.

  • theparsley
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    It is a common myth that (healthy) urine is sterile. It isn't.

    https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/gory-details/urine-not-sterile-and-neither-rest-you

    But thanks for reviving this ever-popular topic!

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago

    I skimmed through some of it Paul since it's been a few years. There was quite a discussion (that included medical professionals) about the bacteria thing. Personally I'm not concerned about it and I make such additions to compost, leaf pile or the ground regularly. Some people prefer not to. To each their own!

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Healthy urine vastly more sterile than what comes out the other way. But what it comes out of might not be. Your fingers sure aren't sterile either, so don't you dare touch any compost!

  • theparsley
    3 years ago

    Air: Totally not sterile.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Human bodies are LOADED with bacteria. Get over it. You'll find E. coli everywhere, coming out of every pore. Most E. coli is harmless, however, but in stool it is a common tracer for seriously pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and Shigella. You won't find the latter in urine. You will find E. coli in urine, especially with a urinary tract infection.

    The legacy of Louis Pasteur is that all bacteria is baaad. Couldn't be further from the truth.

  • bcomplx
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Wow, an old thread comes back to life. I get letters...The common practice these days is to keep a big bucket of sawdust to collect urine, then compost it. Also "pee bales" of hay handled the same way. Pee bales in UK

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    Actually, collecting urine that way is a poor way to do it if the goal is nitrogenification of soil. I've been in touch with our local ag extension scientists on this point, to understand more about urea as a fertilizer. Urea (which is in urine, and manure) is a HIGHLY expendable fertilizer. It doesn't hang around. When it combines in a moist environment with the urease enzyme, which is in the soil, and floating in the wind, it rapidly produces ammonia gas, which departs, taking the nitrogen with it. The trick is to capture that ammonia gas in the soil/compost and get it to mineralize, which fixes it for plant usage. Keeping urine moist in sawdust for a long time, or just collecting it in a pail for a while, does not prevent this volatilization of nitrogen. So the urine you keep that way for a long time won't have much nitrogen to offer the plants when you finally apply it.

    That's why dry urea (produced artificially by the Wöhler process) makes a long-lasting fertilizer. But as soon as you put it on the soil, and get it wet, BOOM, the ammonia is produced. Standard practice for urea application is to dig it in.

    The right way to use urine is to apply it to the soil or compost pile fresh. And don't just sprinkle it on top. Drill a hole, pour it in the hole and cover the hole with soil/compost. Keep that ammonia from easily departing.

    The chemistry of urea is quite unlike that of conventional nitrogen fertilizers. The common stories about using urine as a fertilizer seem largely unaware of that chemistry.

  • rgreen48
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Here's the unscientific method of testing the use of urine...

    If I send it out through the sewer, or into a septic, I spend what? A gallon of water to wash it away where it costs tax money to process? No return for me at all, and actually a cost.

    Or... when I put it fresh into the lawn, in a month or so I see the grass is a little greener, a little taller, and little more lush in that spot. Same with gardens. However... too much of a good thing can become an issue. I rarely use it in the garden when the plants are growing, I use it in other places.

    I also watch my salt. If it's a high salt day, I walk out back to the edge of the tree line. lol.

    So, if it is available to plants when fresh, it will also be available to the flora and fauna of a compost pile.

  • Paul Gregory
    3 years ago

    Alright you got me it is not completely sterile but I will keep doing it. Daninthedirt I like that method of making a small hole in the compost first then covering it up. I think I will incorporate that one.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Very good point. Urine can be pretty saline, depending on how many Cheetos you eat. Gotta watch out for that. In a compost pile, that saline will leach out readily, but if you apply it directly to plants, it can hurt them. So if you eat lots of salt, pee on your compost pile, and not on your plants.

    I actually have a small bucket I use and, at the end of the day, I poke a hole in my compost pile, and pour it in. Then I push compost over the top of the hole to seal it in.

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I would think that unless you're in an arid climate where it doesn't rain, if you rotate the application areas the salt will have a chance to leach away with rain (or watering for that matter). Now my brother killed my sister's grape vine in New Mexico with too much of a good thing, so it can happen. But the average yard/garden in most of the US should be enough area for a person to sprinkle things around, so to speak, and salt shouldn't be a problem.

    Re: urea converting to NH3 gas rapidly, I thought the browns in a compost pile were there to allow microbes to use them plus nitrogen to make compost. One would think the wet sawdust would harbor a bacterial culture that could capture that ammonia. But even if that works, the pee still has to be covered with sawdust or whatever in order for it to be recaptured before it floats away. Obviously a bucket of pee by itself is going to offgas ammonia. I'm just wondering if the sawdust bucket can be made to work. Maybe there should be some (5%) sifted compost mixed in to provide microbes...

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    One correction. The process I was talking about, where ammonia is converted into lasting plant-usable nitrogen compounds such as nitrates and nitrites, is actually called NITRIFICATION. Not mineralization. Mineralization is where organic sources of nitrogen are so secured.

    Fair point about pee-in-sawdust. In principle, bacteria in the sawdust could act like bacteria in a compost pile, and do nitrification. But again, just peeing on the surface isn't a good strategy. Not clear how much active bacteria you have in a pile of sawdust, though.

    I read that for fresh manure, volatilization of ammonia happens fast. In order to harvest that nitrogen, you really have to dig in that fresh, moist, manure with in a day or two. Half the nitrogen is gone after a day or so, because of ammonia volatilization. Though if the manure dries out, that ammonia loss will be slowed considerably. So if you want to preserve nitrogen in manure, dry it fast.


  • rgreen48
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    And I think, lest anyone read this and get the wrong idea, even if all the N were to gas-off, to many of us, that's better than flushing it away.

    To me, though our culture would have you send good stuff right down the drain, why buy fertilizer when we produce our own? Just be aware that there are issues of over-using, salts, and the occasional infection. Oh, and I also don't use it if I am on medications, but that's just because of my ignorance of the effects of medicine that passes through the intestines. One question, for example, would be if antibiotics would affect microbes? But that too is probably perfectly fine, if nothing else, on the back 40 so to speak.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    Yes, I think it is unfortunate that most gardeners just flush away a powerful nitrogen fertilizer. Humans excrete, in urine, an average of 5g/day of urea. That's about 5 lbs or urea every year. Urea is something like 50% nitrogen, and is the most powerful nitrogen fertilizer known.

    Now urea application rates are of order 50 lbs/acre for commercial farms. So one human, in a year, can apply urea to 4000 square feet of garden. Not bad! BUT, it has to be done continuously, in order that the urine be fresh.

    With regard to antibiotics, it should be understood that agricultural manures are rich in antibiotics. Not really sure how that affects bacteria in compost. Good question. Those antibiotics break down in compost on time scales of weeks.

  • avgusta_gw
    3 years ago

    Why don't you collect daily pee in a milk jug instead of a bucket?

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    Hole is too small. Requires good aim. The small bucket is as big as a milk jug

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    3 years ago

    。◕‿◕。


    Alright already, enough with the urolagnia.

  • avgusta_gw
    3 years ago

    But a jug has a lid that means no evaporation of N. Don't have to aim, just bring it close enough. :)))

  • theparsley
    3 years ago

    Howard Hughes: The Composting Years

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    That's an interesting point. It's not about evaporation of nitrogen, but formation of ammonia gas. (That is, once ammonia gas is formed in your jug, when you pour the pee on your compost, the ammonia won't go with it.) BUT, if you keep the urine sealed in a clean container, where urease can't get to it, ammonia won't form. So maybe just a cover on the pail will do the trick. Don't know.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    Re manure antibiotics and soil bacteria, here's a thought. It turns out that soil bacteria is, in large measure, immune to common antibiotics. Why? Because penicillin, and the like, originated in soils. So it may be unlikely that medical antibiotics will have much of an effect on soil bacteria. That soil bacteria has evolved immunity. There are studies on this, but I haven't looked at them carefully.

    That, in itself, isn't a good thing. In our beds amended with manure containing lots of antibiotics, we're actively raising antibiotic resistant bacteria.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    Yep. Sort of like the post-or-not-to-post question. That's one that gets as much thought as the dishwasher question.

  • bcomplx
    3 years ago

    On the closed container question, a man from Ohio told me that he was so pleased with the results using his human liquid fertilizer that he started saving it up in plastic jugs. I said, I bet your wife likes that. He said, she doesn't know. It's in a cabinet in the garden shed.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)
    3 years ago

    So a pile of manure in the driveway would please the wife more?

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago

    On the antibiotic question, dilution has to be taken into account. i.e. the amount of active ingredient per pound of compost pile, or per pound of soil once it's applied to the garden. On top of the (assumed) biodegradation that takes place, the net amount in soil is going to be vanishingly small.