Survival Gardening with Liquid Gold

I thought about titling today’s post, “When SHTF, Go Pee in Your Compost,” because this is about using urine in your survival garden. It’s hard to resist all the silly one liners and puns that keep wanting to leak out. (Did he really say that?) But I’ll keep it civil as we contemplate uncivilized times.

Seriously, What happens when we can’t readily get plant fertilizers? Shouldn’t we consider things that are already at our disposal? (Sorry, that one got away from me.)

Using urine to grow things has a long history, and Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants discusses that and more. We get grossed out because we hate to think of what must be in our own urine. But why squander a good resource? Think about the animal manure and urine that are used to make compost.

You might be surprised what you’d gain by draining human urine into your garden compost. It contains plenty of nutrients that go back into nature, but it doesn’t contain the harmful microbes in fecal matter. It won’t be flushed into the water system if you put it in your compost.

Think about this. Did you put kitchen leftovers in your compost? Small amounts of saliva was part of that. Which is worse, spit or pee? Besides, by the time you grow those tomatoes and peppers, it will all have broken down like the rest of the elements in your compost.

Liquid Gold discusses the scientific evidence of urine’s benefits. Plus, more has been discovered since the book’s publication. For example, the September 4, 2009 News Blog of “Scientific American” cited a study in Finland showing urine combined with wood ash is nearly as effective as conventional fertilizer for growing tomatoes.

If you’re burning wood in a stove or fireplace, you’ve got a ready supply of ash. Urine contains urea, and wood ash contains potassium and calcium. These are nutrients you’d find in chemical fertilizers. Of course, you want to grow naturally and organically, right?

If you’re concerned about the salt content in your urine, cut back on the salt you consume. Doctors recommend going on a low salt diet anyway, so you’re doing good for both you and your plants by doing so.

Liquid Gold tells you how urine can be used as a resource. It gives a short history of urine’s various uses and shows how urine is used around the world to grow food and landscapes.

Several advocates of using urine for growing things are profiled along with their gardens. They’re proof urine is safe, cuts costs, and prevents pollution.

If this is something you want to look into further, get Liquid Gold by clicking on the book’s title wherever you see it linked in this post. That takes you to the page where you can see more info and place your order.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

4 thoughts on “Survival Gardening with Liquid Gold”

  1. I will read the book, I use urine to kill the grass that grows between the pavers on my walkway. Never thought of mixing it with the ash from my fire place. It’s fall here going into winter. I will try it in the spring.

  2. Great. I don’t think the article citing the Finland study mentioned any particular recipe, such as X parts ash and Y parts urine, etc. All the best on your experiment with this.

  3. Yes, but those who practice using urine in their compost now can give their gardening an edge. The book mentions adding sugar to urine, which boosts the friendly biological activity in compost and soil.

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