The Effects of Human Urine on a Plant Grass

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Plant grass comes in several different varieties such as St. Augustine, Bermuda grass, Bluegrass and Zoysia grass. While many people prefer to use mineral fertilizer to help plant grass grow, human urine is a sustainable and effective fertilizer that has a positive effect on the growth of grasses, vegetables and other plants.

Fertilizer

  • Human urine contains high levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. These nutrients are important to the survival of plants and grass and are the main components found in most mineral fertilizers. According to Scientific American, human urine is suitable to use as plant fertilizer when it is diluted to reduce acidity.

Safety

  • Urine is much safer and acceptable as a fertilizer than human feces. This is because urine is sterile when it leaves the body. Human feces can contain dangerous bacteria such as E. Coli that have the potential to contaminate plants and the humans who eat them. Urine is safe enough for astronauts living in the International Space Station to drink after purification, reports Scientific American.

Effectiveness

  • In a study conducted at the University of Kuopio in Finland, beets that were fertilized with diluted urine and a mixture of diluted urine and wood ash had beetroots that were between 10 percent and 27 percent larger in mass than those grown with either mineral fertilizer or no fertilizer. All of the beets that were harvested contained similar nutrient contents and an indistinguishable taste when subjected to a blind taste test.

Issues

  • The main issue surrounding the idea of using human urine to fertilize plants is acceptance among the general public. To create a fertilization system for a large area of land, many people would have to bring separating toilets into their homes. Separating toilets separate the urine from everything else that is flushed down the toilet using a special bowl and pipe structure. Although this type of design cuts out on the amount of water and energy used to flush a toilet, many people do not want abnormal toilets in the home.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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