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8 Reasons Why You Should Pee in Your Garden

8 Reasons Why You Should Pee in Your Garden

Yes, you read that correctly.

Far from being solely the behaviour of the woefully inebriated, introducing urine to one’s garden space is actually an age-old practice that’s used by gardeners and farmers around the world. It has a number of different uses, so depending on what your garden needs, you can use it a variety of ways.

1. Urine as Fertilizer

Did you know that human urine is chock full of nitrogen? Okay, maybe you did, but you might be wondering why that’s a good thing, and what it has to do with your garden. Well, plants generally need more nitrogen than any other element, as it’s used to synthesize amino acids, enzymes, proteins, and chlorophyll, and some plants suck up far more than others do. Corn, for example, requires much more nitrogen than most other plants, which is why they were generally paired with beans as part of the Native “3 sisters” combination: beans deposit nitrogen into the soil, and thus help corn to thrive.

We’re not talking about beans right now, though: we’re talking about wee, which is such a high-quality fertilizer that a single person’s urine would be enough to fertilize up to one tenth of an acre of vegetables for an entire year. If you plan to use pee as a fertilizer for actual plants in your garden, be sure to dilute it in a 20:1 ratio (20 parts water, 1 part pee) and sprinkle it around on the soil around the plants, not the plants themselves.

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2. Soil Enhancer

As urine isn’t merely rich in nitrogen, but also phosphorous and potassium, it replenishes soil that has had its minerals depleted by over-farming. Get a bunch of friends together and have everyone pee in your garden in late autumn, then put down some layers of vegetable peelings, leaves, and hay as mulch. By springtime, that soil will be loaded with nutrients that will plump up your parsnips and coddle your cabbages.

3. Compost Accelerator

The whole point of composting vegetable matter is to break it down so it can be used to fertilize the next generation of plants, but that decomposition takes time.

The uric acid present in urine accelerates compost decomposition, so taking a leak on your compost pile is actually fantastic for breaking it down. Of course, uric acid is most concentrated in your first pee of the day, so if you’re aiming to let loose on the compost, you’ll either have to trudge out there will a full, insistent bladder, or else keep a jar/watering can/bucket in the washroom to collect said liquid gold and then toss it on the compost when you’re a bit less bleary-eyed.

4. Weed Murderer

Have you noticed that when dogs urinate on specific patches of grass, that grass tends to die? First it goes yellow (from the acids in the urine), then it dries up as it dies. Guess what? It’s not just un-diluted dog pee that will kill plants: human urine will do the same.

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It’s been mentioned that you have to dilute urine like crazy-pants to ensure that it’s safe for the garden, because the acids contained therein will burn and kill your plants if you use it full-strength. You can, however, use that full-strength pee on weeds that you don’t want in your garden.

5. Fungus Fighter

Speaking of things you don’t want in your garden… sometimes plants can develop fungal diseases like leaf rot and downy mildew. Remember that uric acid we talked about? It’s also great for eliminating/discouraging those fungi on plants like berry bushes and low trees. You’ll have to dilute it by about 50%, and then use a spray bottle to spritz the watery wee on the affected areas.

*Note: in both World Wars, soldiers apparently urinated on their own feet to get rid of (or even prevent) athlete’s foot and other foot-fungi that thrived in the damp trench conditions. Whether this was effective or not, I have no idea, but it’s possible that it helped!

6. High-Carbon-Soil Balancer

Most people don’t give much thought to how soil is made, but just like most other substances on the planet, it has to be built. That rich, dark soil that’s so gorgeous for planting was created over time from broken-down plant matter, including sawdust, leaves, branches, and hay. These are dry “brown” materials, high in carbon, that break down very, very slowly, while those that are high in nitrogen are moist “green” materials, such as lawn clippings, vegetable peelings… and urine.

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Ideally, you’ll want to have equal portions of brown and green matter so that your compost is well balanced, but those who keep compost heaps generally have a great deal more in the way of lawn clippings and leaves than potato peels and carrot tops. To boost the nitrogen quotient, add un-diluted urine to the heap: it won’t just accelerate the breakdown (as listed in #3), but will help to balance out the nutrient ratios in your future soil.

7. Animal Deterrent

If you’ve ever spent any time with a dog, you’ll notice that they like to mark their territory with their urine so all the other neighbourhood dogs know who lives where, and not to disrespect boundaries.

Apparently, the scent of human urine (again, early morning pungent pee) can keep animals such as cats, foxes, and rabbits away from your garden. This hasn’t been tested by anyone I know and could just be hearsay, but it could be worth a try! Do note that this supposedly only works with adult male urine, as it’s full of potent hormones and manliness and such.

8. Deer Defense

This is really an extension of #7, but is special enough for its own little section.

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If you live in an area that’s frequented by deer, you’ll likely have had some issues with the lovely beasts nibbling greenery from your garden. To keep them out of your lettuce bed, you should apparently fill a spray bottle with your own early morning urine (if you’re a guy—ladies will have to coax a partner or friend to donate instead), and then hose down the nearby trees, a few feet from the ground. Like, the height at which a deer’s nose will smell it easily.

The idea behind this is that deer are frightened of humans, and the strong scent of human presence should be enough to spook them away. If it doesn’t work, call up your local zoo or wildlife centre and ask them for a bag of coyote or wolf poop: that should keep them from venturing too close.

If you do decide to put any of these into practice, do let us know how/if they work for you.

As a side note, if you happen to get caught urinating in your yard after a night of particularly fervent partying, you can use some of these benefits as an excuse for your behaviour.

Good luck!

More by this author

Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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